Wedding bells to MeToo scandals, it has been a rollercoaster year for Bollywood and its stars. Supriyo Hazra moves through the different corners of the year to check out the year-long performances of the key players of tinsel town amid the high profile marriages of top stars.
Aamir Khan: It is a rare event when you have seen superstar Aamir Khan is apologizing to his fans for the debacle of his movie. Yes, this happened in 2018 when Aamir’s much-awaited Diwali release Thugs of Hindostan bombed at the Box Office and left millions of his fans disheartened. Aamir, who is known for making hit movies like Dhoom3, Dangal, PK, had to apologise for the movie’s poor show and hopefully we will not see another such disaster from his bag in future.
Akshay Kumar: Akshay Kumar started off with Padman where he was seen enacting the role of Lakshmikant Chauhan. The movie is based on the short story named “The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land” from Twinkle’s book “The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad”. Infact, it is the life of Tamil Nadu-based Arunachalam Muruganantham, who created affordable sanitary napkins for the women of his village, who has been the main driving force behind the tale. Akshay portrayed the central character beautifully. The movie released in January and entered the Rs. 100 crore club easily, based on its strong content and storyline. With the film Gold, Akshay once again turned his patriotic button on when he played the character Tapan Das, who brought the Indian team together to win the first Olympic gold as an independent nation. In late November, he came out strong with his first southern debut with 2.0. The movie also featured Rajinikanth and Akshay played a villainous character. In 2019, he will be seen in movies like Kesari and Mission Mangal.
Ayushmann Khurrana: Ayushmann had a perfect 2018 with all his movies- Andhadhun and Badhaai Ho- rocking at the Box Office. While, Andhadhun gave Ayushmann a chance to move out from his boy-next-door characters to play the perfect protagonist in the thriller, he was once again back in his usual cute avatar with Badhaai Ho. The Dusshera release was loved by people across India and the movie emerged as one of the biggest hits of the year. Ayushmann will soon be seen in Dream Girl. The announcement about the movie was made recently via an interesting video which the makers created specially by keeping in mind the impact Ayushmann is making in recent times.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Ash, the Bachchan bahu, was back on the silver screen this year with Fanney Khan. After a long time, she was seen pairing with her old onscreen partner Anil Kapoor. The movie, however, failed to impress fans much and did average business at Box Office.
Anushka Sharma: 2017 was a major year in her life as Anushka, the poster girl of Bollywood, tied knots with Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli. This year, Anushka came roaring on the big screen with a horror movie named Pari. The posters of the film, which was released in 2017, had created much thrill among fans. Pari finally released during Holi and Anushka surely impressed people with her experiment of playing a scary-yet-lovable Pari. She then arrived as the autobiographer in the biopic based on actor Sanjay Dutt’s Life-Sanju. Anushka was praised for her small yet significant role in the movie. Anushka will end the year with the release of her much-awaited movie Zero where she will once again pair with Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif, her co-stars in 2012 movie Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
Alia Bhatt: Apart from her love affair with Ranbir Kapoor making the headlines in the year, actress Alia Bhatt impressed her fans with perhaps one of her best performances in Raazi. The Meghna Gulzar directorial Indian spy movie provided Alia the perfect platform to perform strongly the character of Sehmat Khan. The movie was appreciated both by fans and critics and surely provided the much needed momentum to Alia Bhatt’s glowing career. Away from Raazi, she was engaged in shooting for her upcoming movies which include Gully Boy, Brahmastra and Kalank. With Brahmastra, Alia will pair for the first time with Ranbir Kapoor. Images from the set of the film have already gone viral as the actress herself shared several of them on her social media pages over the months. The movie will also feature acting legend Amitabh Bachchan. The announcement was also made about Sadak 2, in which filmmaker father Mahesh Bhatt will direct his daughter Alia for the first time.
Ajay Devgan: Ajay Devgan’s major activity in 2018 was his appearance in the movie Raid. Directed by Raj Kumar Gupta, the film is inspired by the real life income-tax raid conducted by the officers of the Income Tax Department under the leadership of a courageous and upright Indian Revenue Service officer in the 1980s. The movie earned positive reviews from critics and fans. Ajay also produced the movie Helicopter Eela which features his actress wife Kajol.
Amitabh Bachchan: From turning on the comedy switch with 102 Not Out to experiment by playing the character of a warrior named Khudabaksh Azaad in Thugs of Hindostan, Amitabh Bachchan still dominated the Indian entertainment scenario with ease this year. Pairing up with his old co-star Rishi Kapoor in 102 Not Out, Big B succeeded in entertaining his fans with this movie that released on May 4.The movie even released in China later in the year. However, Thugs of Hindostan, a mega release of the year, failed miserably at the Box Office. The Diwali release had every ingredient to win at the counters but Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan’s Jodi flopped even before setting for a voyage on the sea. In the small screen, the old sound of hooters was back as Big B once again took the opportunity of hosting his favourite gameshow Kaun Banega Crorepati.
Deepika Padukone: The Bollywood beauty finally said ‘Yes! I do’. The dimple-cheeked B-town queen, perhaps one of the most successful actors of this generation, tied the knot with another tinsel town heart-throb Ranveer Singh. In a wedding that could even give a tough challenge to the beautifully scripted marriages of Bollywood, Deepika and Ranveer skipped media attentions to land in Italy to be the perfect man and woman forever. ‘DeepVeer’ perhaps became the new word that emerged in the world of social media following the marriage. Images of the wedding went viral on the internet as the entire nation rejoiced and wished the couple a very best of luck for their new innings in life.
Ranveer Singh: Officially scheduled for release on Dec 1, 2017, controversy surrounding his Padmaavat movie had forced makers to delay its release till 2018. The movie finally released this year amid protests, violence and even ban on release in several states. However, Padmaavat and Ranveer as Alauddin Khilji shined on the big screen. The movie became a smash hit and Ranveer earned appreciation from both fans and critics for his strong performance onscreen. He will once again be back on the silverscreen as the tough cop in Simmba. Ranveer pairs up with young Sara Ali Khan for the Rohit Shetty directorial film that will try to compete with Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero at the end of the year. Interestingly, Simmba assumes significance as it will be the first movie of the actor after he tied the knots with beloved actress Deepika Padukone in 2018. In 2019, Ranveer and Alia will pair up for director Zoya Akhtar’s much-awaited movie Gully Boy.
Hrithik Roshan: Hrithik Roshan did not appear on the silverscreen for a single time this year but anticipations over his 2019 release Super 30 is already quite high. The Indian actor will be seen playing the character of a teacher. Away from his glamorous roles in movies like Dhoom 2, Hrithik has been portraying a simple look with a beard in the movie.
Irrfan Khan: Karwaan and Blackmail were perhaps two movies in which Irrfan appeared this year but it was the news of his cancer detection which left fans shocked across the globe. A Twitter post earlier in 2018 by Irrfan Khan had left his well wishers silent as the actor said that he was suffering from neuroendocrine tumour. Irrfan has been receiving medications for the disease in the UK and has been away from India for a long time now.
Jacqueline Fernandez: Bollywood’s Sri Lankan diva Jacqueline returned onscreen with his Kick co-star Salman Khan in Race 3. The Eid release made reasonably good business at the Box Office. The actress also tasted some social media trolls and criticisms over her move of experimenting to recreate Madhuri Dixit’s iconic Ek Do Teen song in her own way. The attempt left most of her fans disappointed. Comparison with Madhuri Dixit and the original number from 1988 movie Tezaab even made situations tough for the Sri Lankan actress. The Baaghi 2 song remained one forgettable moment of the year.
John Abraham: Bollywood’s hunk returned onscreen in his kickass avatar with two movies- Satyameva Jayate and Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran. Both the movies performed reasonably well at the Box Office and John made his presence strongly felt in the Bollywood arena with his power packed performance. Satyameva Jayate will be specially remembered for the item number Dilbar. The recreation of the iconic Bollywood number of the 90s earned appreciation from moviegoers. Nora Fatehi sizzled onscreen with equal boldness and guts that was once showed by Sushmita Sen in Sirf Tum. The new Dilbar became equally popular across India and perhaps became the party anthem in discs and pubs all over.
Ranbir Kapoor: After a poor show in 2017, Ranbir returned with a bang this year as ‘Sanju’. The biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt helped Ranbir shine at the Box Office. His transformation from Ranbir to Sanjay Dutt had become the talk of the town this year and Sanju remained one memorable film in his career. Fans will be looking forward to see Ranbir Kapoor once again when he will unite with his real life love Alia Bhatt for Brahmastra. The fantasy film will also feature Amitabh Bachchan.
Kareena Kapoor Khan: Kareena was back in action with Veere Di Wedding this year. The poster of the movie had earned attention of fans in 2017 and this time the movie also grossed well though it was disliked by critics. Kareena shared screen space with other ladies in the film like Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania.
Katrina Kaif: The Barbie Doll of Bollywood made a poor start to the Box Office this year with her highly anticipated Diwali release Thugs of Hindostan doing poorly. While the movie boasts of a cast like Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan it failed miserably at the Box Office, disappointing fans and critics alike. Katrina will end the year with another probable major movie of her career- Zero. The film will see her unite with her old Jab Tak Hai Jaan co-stars Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma. Katrina’s sizzling avatar in Husn Parcham song from Zero wowed her fans as they are going gaga on social media. In 2019, Katrina will be back with Salman Khan once again with their Eid release Bharat.
Priyanka Chopra: India’s international star had the most memorable 2018 as she tied the knots with US singer Nick Jonas in Jodhpur. Nick and Priyanka married just days after Ranveer and Deepika wedding, giving Indians a chance to celebrate two major Bollywood marriages back-to-back in one year. Priyanka appeared for one last time in the third season of her international TV series Quantico. She also worked in international movies like A Kid Like Jake and Isn’t It Romantic? Movie lovers are eagerly waiting for their release. However, despite opting out from Bharat, Priyanka is currently busy with her much-awaited Bollywood return- The Sky Is Pink . The Shonali Bose directed movie will also feature actors Zaira Wasim and Farhan Akhtar. Fans will be waiting for her arrival once again on the Desi screen after a long gap.
Saif Ali Khan: Saif Ali Khan is a happy father in 2018 as his daughter Sara made her Bollywood debut with Kedarnath. Sara will also feature in Simmba, opposite Ranveer Singh. On the work front, Saif’s two movies Kaalakaandi and Baazaar released this year. The movies performed moderately at the Box Office. But the biggest takeaway for Saif this year is probably Netflix’s web series Sacred Games, in which he played the role of police officer Sartaj Singh. Saif received appreciation for his acting in Sacred Games, which also featured Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte.
Sushant Singh Rajput: Onscreen MS Dhoni was back with one special year end release Kedarnath where he was seen romancing Saif Ali Khan’s daughter Sara Ali Khan. It is time to see how he delivers at the Box Office after a dry 2017 where his only release Raabta failed miserably.
Salman Khan: The blackbuck poaching case came haunting Salman Khan in 2018. After spending two nights in jail, the Bollywood superstar, who is convicted in the 20-year old Blackbuck poaching case, was granted bail by a Rajasthan court in April this year. The actors were accused of poaching a blackbuck, an endangered species protected under the Indian Wildlife Act, in Kankani village of Jodhpur during the shooting of film Hum Saath Saath Hain in September, 1998. Khan was convicted under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. In his career, Salman featured for the first time in Race movie series with Race 3 and the Eid release once again did not fail to entertain fans. Salman once again made a special appearance in 2018 movie Zero for a special song Isaaqbaazi. Salman and Shah Rukh Khan could be seen entertaining their fans with their signature dance steps in the special Christmas gift for their fans. Salman will be seen back with his Eid release Bharat next year. He is pairing up with his old colleague Katrina Kaif for the movie. Salman also hosted popular TV shows 10 Ka Dum and Bigg Boss this year.
Shah Rukh Khan: He started 2018 with a teaser and now he is ending the year with the whole movie-Zero. So far, the teasers, trailer and even the songs of the movie, where SRK is playing the character of a vertically-challenged person, has left his fans quite impressed. Khan has paired up with director Anand L Rai and actors Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif with the promise of delivering one major hit at the end of the year. In 2019, SRK’s Kolkata Knight Riders will be back once again on the field with the aim of winning the title for the third time.
Sunny Leone: Sunny Leone remained absent from the Bollywood screen for the entire year. She was last seen in 2017 released movie Tera Intezaar which had failed miserably at the Box Office. However, it was her biopic that made headlines in 2018. Titled “Karenjit Kaur – The Untold Story of Sunny Leone”, it was an original web-series by ZEE5. The series narrates her journey from a middle-class girl in Canada to becoming India’s most googled celebrity. The series starts from her childhood as Gogu to her foray into the adult film industry to her exciting journey into Bollywood. Sunny herself portrayed her own character in the online series. In her personal life, Sunny and her husband Daniel announced the birth of their twin boys, born through surrogacy. They named the boys Asher Singh Weber and Noah Singh Weber.
Varun Dhawan: After completing a successful 2018, Varun Dhawan appeared in two movies this year-October and Sui Dhaaga. While October passed away silently, it was the other movie, which also featured actress Anushka Sharma, that made some bang at the Box Office. Both critics and fans loved the simple story of hopes and aspiration that made Sui Dhaaga one big hit of the year. Pairing up for the first time, movie lovers will surely want Anushka and Varun to work together in several colourful movies in the upcoming years.
Shraddha Kapoor: Stree and its success as a horror movie would not have been possible without Shraddha, The movie emerged as one surprise hit of the year and Shraddha competed hard to match with the skills of Rajkummar Rao in this movie. Her mysterious character and that too without a name left viewers spellbound. She was also seen in other major release of the year Batti Gul Meter Chalu, opposite Shahid Kapoor, but it remained mostly unnoticed.
Tiger Shroff: How can one forget the new hunk in the town. Tiger Shroff, his dance steps and his fight sequences, made Baaghi 2 one memorable roller coaster ride for young B-town fans. Tiger will now be seen in 2019 as the new student in Punit Malhotra’s movie Student of the Year 2. It is now time to see how he steps into the shoes of Sidharth Malhortra and Varun Dhawan who had left a deep and everlasting impression in Student of the Year in 2012.
Disha Patani: She is just few films old but her performance in Baaghi 2 was impressive enough to make her find a place in the list. Disha will be waiting for 2019 excitedly as it will mark her major Bollywood debut in Salman Khan’s Eid release Bharat.
Radhika Apte: You cannot ignore Radhika when it comes to content driven movies and her eye catching performance in making the characters go alive onscreen. From Akshay Kumar’s Padman to Ayushmann Khuranna’s Andhadhun, Radhika left her presence strongly felt in all of them. She was also seen in Saif Ali Khan’s Bazaar. With three big releases and her notable appearance in web series Lust Stories, Radhika dominated the world of Bollywood in her own ways in 2018. Not to forget Netflix web series Sacred Games, in which Radhika made her mark.
Sonam Kapoor: Sonam Kapoor finally said Yes when she tied the knots with Anand Ahuja in May this year. The first fat Bollywood wedding of 2018 was followed by two more as Deepika-Ranveer and Priyanka and Nick also tied the knots in the fag end of the year. In the working front, Sonam worked in three popular movies-Padman, Sanju and Veere Di Wedding. All the three movies roared at the Box Office and made Sonam one heroine to look after in the coming year.
Mr. Consistent of the Year
Rajkummar Rao: There was a strong competition this year between Bareilly Ki Barfi co-stars Ayushmann and Rajkummar Rao when it was time to find the consistent performer of the year. But it was probably Rajkummar Rao who once again stole the show with the variety of characters he played all through the year. From a serious role in Omerta to the ghost hunting village simpleton in Stree, Rajkummar did it all to entertain his fans. He also appeared in two other major movies this year- Love Sonia and Fanney Khan. In Fanney Khan, he shared the screenspace with Anil Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. With several releases on the cards, the powerful actor is expected to deliver yet another electrifying 2019 for his fans.
Following Hollywood, #MeToo movement had also created ripples in Bollywood this year. The campaign began with actress Tanushree Dutta’s allegations of sexual misconduct against Horn Ok Pleassss co-star Nana Patekar. Following Tanushree’s claim, several actresses belonging to different generations came out in public to share their experiences of sexual harassments and assaults. One of the allegations, which raised storm, was brought by writer-director-producer Vinta Nanda against onscreen ‘Sanskari’ actor Alok Nath. Nanda alleged that Nath had sexually violated her years ago.
Sridevi: The Bollywood screen goddess, who ruled the hearts of her fans for decades, passed away in Dubai. When the news of her death broke, generations of Indians were too shocked to digest it. The heart stopped beating for the Julie girl a little too early. But then she would forever be the Hawa Hawai of the Indian film industry like none other. Sridevi, who died due to ‘accidental drowning’, was just 54. Sridevi, who left a strong impression in the minds of Indian cinegoers with her films like Mr India, Sadma, Chandni, English Vinglish and Mom, had gone to Dubai to attend a wedding ceremony. (IBNS)