One of the best among the contemporary actors, Kay Kay Menon is a powerhouse of acting. Born as Krishnakumar Menon in Kerala, he started his career in the field of advertisement. The acting bug bit him and soon he moved into the theatres. One of his earliest theatrical roles was against the veteran thespian Naseeruddin Shah, in the much-acclaimed play ‘Mahatma vs Gandhi’. Playing Harilal Gandhi, the wayward son of Mahatma Gandhi, his portrayal was much appreciated by the audience. Later he found fame in the titular role in the mini tv series ‘Pradhan Mantri’ on the Zee network. His first break in the big screen came in the form of a small role in Saeed Mirza’s Naseem, a drama based on the events after the demolition of Babri Masjid. But it was Ram Gopal Verma’s gangster saga ‘Sarkar’ which brought him into the limelight. Brooding looks, unconventional style of acting and an acute skill of impersonating the man behind the character put him in a different league than others.
Over the years, Kay Kay Menon has enthralled the audience with his various roles on screen. Here’s the list of top Kay Kay Menon films, from his enviable list of performances. You can watch some of these Kay Kay Menon movies on Netflix.
12. The Stoneman Murders (2008)
Based on the infamous murders of the eighties, in the suburbs of-then what was known as Bombay, ‘The Stoneman Murders’ is part fiction, part reality. Kay Kay Menon plays a suspended police officer Sanjay, who’s been entrusted with the investigation while the rest of the police force suspects him to be the killer. The movie suffers due to an incoherent screenplay and a haphazard ending, not being able to tie the loose ends. In a not so great film, Kay Kay gives a bravura performance.
11. Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd (2007)
Playing one of the characters of the six-story arc of an ensemble cast, Partho Sen, a timid yet serious Bengali gentleman, Kay Kay Menon had everyone in splits with his antiques. A man, bred with a serious outlook towards life, Partho is a man of few words. He doesn’t like to mingle with others. His wife, Mili wants to enjoy her life but thanks to her nagging husband, gets reduced to being a mute. In the course of events, Partho gets to know the hidden wild side of Mili as she exhibits few of them like defending him from a gang of thugs by using her karate lessons or taking a paraglide ride. Anyone who has known Kay Kay for his serious acting gets the shock of their lives as Kay Kay lets his hair down with the tune of ‘Saiyanji’. Cracker of a performance, not so cracker of a movie!
10. Bhopal Express (1999)
‘Bhopal Express’ is based on the Union Carbide gas leak at Bhopal, in the year 1986. An entire town of people died due to the negligence of few individuals and their eventual escape, only made possible due to some influential people in the Government. Kay Kay plays Verma, a maintenance manager at the Union Carbide factory, who’s in love with his newlywed wife. Call it destiny or fate, on Verma’s watch, the gas leak occurs and he gets blamed for his negligence despite the factory lacking adequate infrastructure and security measures. One of the iconic sequences of the film is when Kay Kay manages to stop the train, to prevent his wife coming into the infected town of Bhopal. As he jumps in joy, with the train pulling in its tracks, another train passes by and the heartbroken Kay Kay realizes, that he had stopped the wrong train!
9. Chhal (2002)
It’s a pity that all gangster movies, that is made in Hindi, either glorify the criminal or shows a morally upright policeman, out there to upstage the criminal. There are very few movies which take the middle path i.e. bringing out the vulnerable state of mind behind the criminal as well as the psyche of the man who’s after the criminal. Director Hansal Mehta’s ‘Chhal’ is one of those forgotten gems. Kay Kay plays Karan, an undercover officer who infiltrates a gang to bring them down. As he gets acquainted with the criminals, he discovers their human side while his aides, the police seem to have a vendetta of their own. A great script, sharp editing, and some fine acting by Kay Kay and Prasanth Narayanan as Girish bhai, the gangster makes ‘Chhal’ an immensely watchable film.
8. Black Friday (2007)
Black Friday – The Friday, when thirteen bomb blasts rocked Bombay and took hundreds of lives. Hussain Zaidi wrote a book, detailing the conspiracy behind the heinous act. Anurag Kashyap took the book and brought alive the horror that a nation went through, on the big screen. Kay Kay played the real-life character, the then police commissioner Rakesh Maria. Leading the investigation, Rakesh Maria cracked the case open through his steely determination and commendable police work. Kay Kay portrays the anguish of a man, who has been burdened with a case that threatens his very existence as a man. As a policeman, he has to choose methods that are inhumane in nature, yet necessary for the investigation. Kay Kay was simply fabulous in it.
7. Sarkar (2005)
In a way, ‘Sarkar’ gave Kay Kay, the fame that he aspired from his earlier films. In his own words, had it not been an Amitabh Bachchan or a Ram Gopal Varma film, his performance would not have been noticed by the audience. ‘Sarkar’, a tribute to Mario Puzo’s ‘The Godfather’ is a great film, thanks to Amitabh Bachchan. But what makes it greater, is the performance of Kay Kay, as Vishnu Nagre, the elder son of Subhash Nagre, the Sarkar. Vishnu Nagre is a sleazy film producer who’s been reaping his father’s fame. When his father is attacked by his enemies, Vishnu is the first to bail out from the scene. Later, being the weakest of the lot, he’s found to be instrumental in an attempt to murder his father. Kay Kay, playing Vishnu, gives an earnest performance.
Read More: Best Ram Gopal Varma Movies
6. Life in a Metro (2007)
Living in a metro city, human lives are less than imperfect. Some live in lavish houses yet aspire for the coziness of a home. Some earn like crazy, yet when it comes to the heart, they are found to be a miser. Some are ambitious, yet for love, they leave everything behind. Such stories form the crux of ‘Life In a Metro’. Directed by Anurag Basu, this film boasted of an enviable ensemble cast. Kay Kay is part of a story arc, where he’s in an extramarital affair with one of his colleagues, yet when his wife confines to him about one of her fleeting moment of closeness with another man, he explodes. It’s a classic portrayal of a chauvinistic man, who can be wrong himself, yet takes a moral high ground, when it comes to his wife. In what is called, a vintage Kay Kay performance, he just slays it.
5. Haider (2014)
An adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, ‘Haider’ garnered applauses from various corners. The audience was taken aback by Shahid Kapoor’s performance. Tabu also received glowing reviews for her portrayal of Haider’s mother. But the one man, who made these performances superlative was Kay Kay Menon. Playing Khurram Meer, the man behind the conspiracy, Kay Kay gave the word sinister, a totally new meaning. Khurram Meer, who’s enamored with his sister-in-law, has his brother set up for treason for helping Kashmiri separatists. While his nephew Haider is clueless about his father’s disappearance, Khurram sets out to fulfill his political aspirations. As Khurram, Kay Kay brings out an evil persona that’s unheard of.
4. Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2007)
Set in the troubled time of the seventies, when the country was going through a change in the political as well as social fabric, ‘Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi’ tells the story of three individuals Siddharth, Geeta, and Vikram. It’s the story of changing ideologies under adverse situations. Kay Kay plays the mercurial student leader Siddharth, who feels the country desperately needs a rebellion. Geeta is in love with Siddharth and Vikram is infatuated with Geeta. Over the years, the dynamics of the country’s politics change and people are found to be leaving the ideological farce behind them to lead their lives. In a role that demands both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personas, Kay Kay turns out to be a revelation.
3. Shaurya (2008)
Agreed that it’s a rip off from one of the great courtroom drama. Agreed that it’s nowhere near the near flawless screenplay, of the original. But if anybody could match the great Jack Nicholson, it was Kay Kay. Playing brigadier Pratap to the original’s Colonel Jessop, Kay Kay is the reason why everyone remembers this flick. Based on ‘A Few Good Men’, director Samar Khan ‘s ‘Shaurya’ is about a courtroom drama where a Muslim army man is accused of killing his Hindu superior. While the movie can be accused of being a rather dull take on the original, there are two sequences that involve Kay Kay which are the highlights of the film; the first sequence where Kay Kay literally bullies a baffled Rahul Bose to drink up a cup of tea and the second sequence is the courtroom proceedings where he again thunders to Rahul’s incessant questioning of his motives- ‘Tum mujhe acche bure ka paath mat sikhao, tumhaari auqaat nahi hai !!’
2. Paanch (Unreleased)
Sometimes your best work goes unseen. Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Paanch’ remains unreleased in India till date and though it has been showcased in many festivals, the CBFC India deems it to be too sensitive to show on even Television. Partly based on the infamous Joshi – Abhayankar Murders of the eighties, ‘Paanch’ is the story of a group of musicians. As the leader of group Luke, Kay Kay is simply superb. Luke leads the group to their path of destruction. And the way he does it, shows the fallacy of human psyche, especially the way it crumbles in the end. It’s a pity that Kay Kay never got his due recognition for this role.
1. Gulaal (2009)
Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Gulaal’ is one of the finest films of the contemporary Hindi cinema. A struggle for power between the stakeholders of a clan occurs, amidst the growing political instabilities in the student council. Within the struggle, lies a story of love, betrayal, and pride. Kay Kay plays Dukey Banna, a statesman, and pallbearer of the Rajputana clan. His meteoric rise and swift fall from grace are held by one arc of the story. Dukey Banna is a character who believes in the stronghold of power. He treats people like the pawns in a game of chess. The ruthlessness, the cunningness and eventually the despair of losing his hold over a dangerous game of politics, Kay Kay brings his A-game to portray such emotions and never disappoints for a single moment.
Read More: Best Anurag Kashyap Movies