Bollywood 2016: Alpha star-spotting

As the year almost draws to a close, Supriyo Hazra  reviews the past 12 months  to check how the leading stars of the dazzling B-town fared this year 
Aamir Khan: The superstar took two years break and he is back once again as a wrestler in his upcoming release ‘Dangal’. Aamir Khan Productions ‘Dangal’ produced by Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao & Siddharth Roy Kapur and directed by Nitesh Tiwari is slated to release on Dec 23. Dangal trailer, having a high dose of emotions has been winning accolades from across quarters. The crux of Mahaveer Phogat’s biopic, the Father-Daughter story has struck chords with the masses worldwide.Apart from the movie, Aamir Khan’s physical transformation into the character also earned attention of his fans. Christmas is surely going to be different this year with Aamir promising to deliver with his new release.
Aishwarya Rai: Hoax was one major upsetting incident which hit Aishwarya Rai’s life at the end of the year. False death rumours, and specially reports claimed that the gorgeous former Miss World had allegedly attempted suicide, went viral on social networking sites and blogs. It was only after the actress was seen at a party thrown by celebrity designer Manish Malhotra that the rumour was punctured. But, yes, the Indian beauty too became a victim of hoax which has affected hundreds of celebrities across the globe over the years. Away from such false rumours, Aishwarya made a strong return to the big screen as she was seen in Karan Johar’s major release of the year. Portraying the bold and beautiful character of Saba Taliyar Khan has gained immense appreciations from her fans. She was seen romancing actor Ranbir Kapoor in the movie, making movie lovers fall in love with a new Jodi onscreen.
Anushka Sharma: She continued to be the lucky charm of Bollywood in 2016 too as both her releases- Sultan and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil- made roaring business at the Box Office. Her performance as a wrestler in Salman Khan’s ‘Sultan’ gained attention as she practiced hard, learning wrestling moved, proved she is one such actors in the industry who takes her job seriously. She also delivered a powerhouse performance in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. In her personal life too, Anushka and her relationship with Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli kept the newsmen busy. They were also spotted at Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech’s wedding in Goa this year. Interestingly, she was quoted as saying by the media that she will love to settle one day and ‘marriage’ is indeed on her cards.
Alia Bhatt: The ‘Student of the Year’ star continued her golden run at the Indian Box Office as her performance in the November release ‘Dear Zindagi’, opposite Shah Rukh Khan, was appreciated both by critics and fans. As the young cinematographer Kaira, she competed onscreen to show her brilliant acting skills opposite superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who played the character of her psychologist Dr. Jehangir Khan, in the movie. The chemistry between the two has been loved and appreciated by all. The movie eventually turned out to be success story at the Box Office. Alia’s love for being a part of Box Office rockers started earlier in the year, when her ‘Kapoor & Sons, also featuring actors Sidharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan and Rishi Kapoor, received positive response from cinema-lovers. The ‘Kar Gayi Chull’ track from the movie became one of the biggest party rockers of the year. Alia was appreciated for her performance in the movie ‘Udta Punjab’. With three good movies, and a cameo appearance as a DJ in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Alia proved she is one actress to look out for in 2017.
Ajay Devgn: 2016 was one important year for Ajay Devgn as he made his debut as a director with ‘Shivaay’. Competing with Ae Dil Hai Mushkil as another major Diwali release, the movie may not have made a spectacular performance at the Box Office, but Ajay took up the challenge in showing India another fictional movie for kids and adults alike.
On November 8, Ajay announced that his upcoming movie ‘Baadshaho’ will hit the silver screen on September 1. Baadshaho is written by Rajat Arora, directed and co-produced by Milan Luthria. It features Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta, Ileana D’Cruz.
Akshay Kumar: The ‘Khiladi’ of Bollywood remained the star of Bollywood this year giving tough competition to his colleagues in the industry, including Bollywood rocker Salman Khan. Akshay dominated the year with almost all his films making a powerful impact on the Box Office. The year started with Airlift and then he continued his brilliance with Housefull 3 and then Rustom. While Airlift and Rustom showed Akshay serious side, Housefull 3 once again displayed the superstar ticking the audience with his funny dialogues. He ended the year with hopes of giving his fans another brilliant performance in Jolly LLB 2. The movie promises to be one big entertainer from the superstar in 2017. The film is scheduled to hit the silver screen on February 10. Jolly LLB2 is the sequel to the 2013 courtroom comedy drama Jolly LLB.
Amitabh Bachchan: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan continued to thrill his lovers by his strong performance in movies-Wazir, Te3n and then Pink. His last release Pink turned out to be one of the major releases of the year. His strong show in the movie charmed both his fans and critics. Eventually, the film was also invited for a special screening at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. In Wazir, Bachchan was seen competing with another talented actor Farhan Akhtar.
Bipasha Basu: The big breaking news of the year came when Bong beauty Bipasha Basu married ‘Alone’ co-star Karan Singh Grover on April 30, 2016.
Deepika Padukone: Bollywood beauty and lucky charm, Deepika Padukone walked her way to international fame when she finished off shooting for her debut Hollywood movie xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.She will be sharing the screen space with international superstar Vin Diesel in the movie. The trailer and Deepika’s presence as hot and glamourous Serena Unger in it, has already set the stage on fire. Back in Bollywood, the actress is working on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’. Deepika has now days is reading historic books for her upcoming film Padmavati. Deepika started reading novels pertaining to the Rajputana era as she is playing the role of Queen Padmavati in her next film Padmavati. In fact she is captivated with that era as it tells the tales of heroism, love and passion, how the Rajputs lived, their diet and social life.
Emraan Hashmi: In a year that witnessed movies based on two major cricket stars of India, Emraan tried to strongly portray former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin in the movie ‘Azhar ‘.The film was moderately successful at the Box Office, but was highly praised for its acting and storytelling style. Hashmi’s performance was appreciated by many critics. After Azhar, he was back again with horror flick Raaz Reboot. However, the movie could not produce the magic which the earlier three instalments of the series had done. Sadly, fans gave a thumbs down to the movie. Emraan will be seen sharing the screen space with Ajay Devgn in 2017 release Baadshaho.
Farhan Akhtar: There are some men whom you can’t ignore. They are talented and they know how to keep their fans busy with their whereabouts. Farhan Akhtar is one such brilliant star which Bollywood cherishes to have in its paradigm. In one of the major releases of his career, Farhan was seen competing with megastar Amitabh Bachchan in one of the biggest releases of the year-Wazir- earlier in the year. He returned again at the end of the year with Rock On 2. Sadly, the film could not produce the same madness which the first part had created in 2008. However, with live shows and performances before the release of the movie, Farhan kept displaying his singing skills across the nation.
Hrithik Roshan: When he teamed up with Lagaan filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker, all expected 2016 will be different for Hrithik Roshan. However, Hrithik Roshan and Ashutosh’s historical journey ‘Mohenjo Daro’ gained negative reviews from both fans and critics. But Hrithik gave his fans something to cheer about as the trailer of his 2017 release ‘Kaabil’ with young Yami Gautam promises to be a potential hit at the Box Office. Scheduled to release in January, Hrithik will compete with Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming release ‘Raees’.
Irrfan Khan: Irrfan Khan and his love for international presence continued in 2016 as the Indian actor appeared in Tom Hanks released movie ‘Inferno’. Despite receiving generally negative reviews and a poor domestic box office performance, the film was a box office success. In India, Khan gained appreciations for his performance in the social-thriller film ‘Madaari’.
Jacqueline Feranandez: She is beautiful. But more than her beauty, Jacqueline has proved now that she is here to stay in Bollywood. Starring opposite Box Office rocker Akshay Kumar in her first release of the year ‘Housefull 3’, Jacqueline Feranandez tasted success early. She again joined the party with John Abraham and Varun Dhawan in ‘Dishoom’ as the masala entertainer emerged a commercial success, making the Sri lankan beauty make it two out off two. Her third release of the year, opposite Tiger Shroff, received mixed response. Jacqueline will be back again next year with Varun Dhawan as they will recreate the magic of Salman Khan’s hit ‘Judwaa’ in their own ‘Judwaa 2’.The film is directed by David Dhawan.
John Abraham: Bollywood hunk John Abraham was back on the bigger screen with three releases – Rocky Handsome, Dishoom and then Force 2. All of them performed moderately at the Box Office.
Kareena Kapoor: The gorgeous beauty had something important to share with her fans in 2016.She and Saif Ali Khan are expecting their first child and the news on her pregnancy and her pictures kept her fans busy all the year round. She made a graceful presence at the grand finale of the Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive on the fifth day of the event when she stole the show by walking with her baby bump in designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee collections. On the big screen, she was back romancing young Arjun Kapoor in R. Balki’s Ki & Ka. She also appeared in ‘Udta Punjab’. Sharing the stage at a promotion for the movie with her former love Shahid Kapoor had garnered lots of attentions.
Katrina Kaif: Based on Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations, Katrina Kaif teamed up with Aditya Roy Kapur in Fitoor . The movie witnessed another star of Bollywood Tabu sharing the screen space with Bollywood’s Barbie Doll and Kapur. The film, despite much expectations, could not spell a magic at the Box Office. With trailers and teasers creating much hype, Katrina and Sidharth Malhotra came up with Baar Baar Dekho in September this year. The movie gained moderately good response at the Box Office.
Katrina’s fans had something to cheer about in 2016 as the gorgeous diva joined Facebook and till today, she had kept sharing interesting facts and her travel photographs to keep her lovers hooked to the profile.
Kangana Ranaut: Bollywood’s queen Kangana had a silent 2016 with no releases but she will be back onscreen in 2017 with ‘Simran’. Directed by Hansal Mehta, the film is scheduled to hit the silver screen on Sept 15.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Starting with Raman Raghav 2.0, Te3n and then Freaky Ali, Nawaz, who is known for his brilliance onscreen, might not have tasted much success at the Box Office in 2016, but he promises to make it big next year when he will be seen sharing the screen space with superstar Shah Rukh Khan in January release ‘Raees’. The trailer, which features Nawaz and SRK, has already created hype about the movie. Hopefully, it will be able to deliver the first major hits of next year. The film is scheduled to be released on January 25.
Priyanka Chopra: Every passing year is bringing glory for India’s international star Priyanka Chopra. 2016, remained one more special year for her. The Indian diva, who was ranked 8 on the Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid TV actresses of 2016, presented an Oscar this year to make it one memorable 2016 in her life. Priyanka, who has shot to international fame with her appearance in Quantico, was nominated for her second People’s Choice Award for the American television series. She was back with the second season of the show and most importantly completed shooting for her debut Hollywood movie ‘Baywatch’ which will also features superstar Dwayne Johnson. The trailer has already been released and Priyanka will be seen playing a baddie in the movie. Despite all international attentions, she was seen only once in Bollywood with ‘Jai Gangaajal’.
Ranbir Kapoor: He was back this time in Karan Johar’s multi-starrer Ae Dil Hai Mushkil-romancing two beautiful ladies-Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai. The Diwali release of the year turned out to be one of the biggest hits in 2016.
Ranveer Singh: Befikre, set in Paris opposite the talented dancer that is Vaani Kapoor, is the only release of 2016 for the Bollywood enfant terrible. Despite critics not being charitable to the film, the audience loved it and made it a super hit. However, at IIFA 2016, Ranveer Singh won the Best Actor Award for Bajirao Mastani and he won hearts with his speech thanking lady love Deepika Padukone. His upcoming big film in 2017 Padmavati is again a period drama directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali starring who else but Deepika.
Saif Ali Khan: With no releases this year, Saif Ali Khan might have been away from the silver screen but the news of her Begum Kareena Kapoor’s pregnancy kept the Indian entertainment world buzzing all around. Khan and Kareena are gearing up to welcome their first child.
Salman Khan: Salman Khan surely knows how to create the perfect formula to produce one successful movie after the other. The much-talked about ‘Sultan’, which was released on Eid this year, kept smashing all records and turned out to be one of the biggest hits of the year. Salman played the character of a wrestler in the movie. Interestingly, the other big name of Bollywood Aamir Khan will also be seen sketching the role of a wrestler in this year’s last major release ‘Dangal’. Romancing Anushka Sharma onscreen, Salman Khan and his Sultan kept the promise of gifting Indian audience one major hit movie every year during the festive season of Eid. Salman Khan was back again on the small screen hosting the tenth edition of popular reality show Bigg Boss. He will be back next year again on the big screen with ‘Tubelight’. However, 2016, also saw the actor once again triggering a major controversy when “raped woman” comment had earned him immense criticisms. Salim Khan, father of Salman Khan, even issued an apology for his son’s controversial remark in which he compared his hectic shooting schedule for movie ‘Sultan’ with a “raped woman”.
Shraddha Kapoor: Delivering a hit with Tiger Shroff in Baaghi, made Shraddha start the year with a bang. She then teamed up with Farhan Akhtar for their musical film ‘Rock On 2’. However, the movie failed to create the magic which ‘Rock On’ had created.
Sonam Kapoor: She was one actress to look out for in 2016, giving India a new meaning to patriotism, as Sonam Kapoor wonderfully played the character of Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life while saving passengers from terrorists on board the hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 on 5 September 1986, in the movie tiled after her ‘Neerja’. Directed by Ram Madhvani, Neerja will remain as one glorious chapter in the career of Sonam. The film made remarkable performance at the Box Office.
Sidharth Malhotra: Sidharth begun the year with a bang as he teamed up with his former colleague Alia Bhatt to charm the audience in Kapoor & Sons. The movie garnered positive response at the Box Office. He then teamed up with Katrina Kaif in ‘Bar Bar Dekho’. Though the film created my hype with its trailer, but the eventually it could not keep up the magic at the Box Office. Yet, the pair of Katrina and Sidharth was loved by young movie goers.
Shah Rukh Khan: Despite gifting Fan at the beginning of the year, Shah Rukh Khan waited to present something bigger in November when he was back on screen with young Alia Bhatt in their philosophical journey in ‘Dear Zindagi. The movie not only won hearts but also made it good at the Box Office. Shah Rukh Khan as Dr. Jahangir Khan (Jug) was appreciated. Besides, his small cameo in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was fresh and was loved by his fans all over. Khan will be back next year in January with ‘Raees’. The trailer of the movie has already created a hype about the movie.
Sunny Leone: She may have arrived in the tinsel world from an unconventional background, but Sunny has once again made her mark in B-town in 2016. With three major releases- Mastizaade, One Night Stand and Beiimaan Love, she kept herself busy all the year round. Yes, the films might not have rocked the Indian Box Office but her appearance in the movie did not go unnoticed. Surely, her fever continued to rise the mercury level in India in 2016 too.Sunny will be seen in Shah Rukh Khan’s January release ‘Raees’ where she will perform an item number “Laila O Laila”.
Shahid Kapoor: In 2016, Shahid Kapoor was seen in a film which also starred his one time lady love Kareena (Udta Punjab). Shahid’s portrayal of the character of Tommy Singh was loved by all. The movie assumed significance as the markers got engaged in a battle with the CBFC over numerous issues. In his personal life, 2016 will always remain special as Shahid became a father. His wife Mira Rajput gave birth to a baby girl in August.
Tiger Shroff: His heropanti was back again when he delivered a major hit of the year with Shraddha Kapoor with their release ‘Baaghi’. The high-flying actor attempted to become a superhero with ‘The Flying Jatt’, opposite Jacqueline Fernandez, but the film bombed at the Box Office.Tiger was seen fighting onscreen with former WWE star Nathan Jones.The Australian played a villain in the movie.
Vidya Balan: The superstar of Bollywood Vidya was back with Sujoy Ghosh and Arjun Rampal with thriller Kahaani 2. The movie has been loved by all and Vidya’s performance has been given thumbs up by her fans.
Varun Dhawan: He will back with Judwaa 2 next year, but in 2016, he was there to thrill audience with John Abraham in ‘Dishoom’. The movie made a good impact in the heart of their fans.He will be seen romancing Alia Bhatt in 2017 release Badrinath Ki Dulhania.
And not forgetting Vaani Kapoor: The actress and model who starred opposite Ranveer Singh in Befikre is a stunner of the year with her dance moves in the film where the duo played a carefree couple. Vaani Kapoor obtained a bachelor’s degree in Tourism studies from the Indira Gandhi National Open University and then interned with Oberoi Hotels & Resorts. She took to modelling and later signed films and TV series. She signed a three-film deal with the Yash Raj Films as an actress and Befikre is the second film that surely got her noticed to all Bollywood lovers. Vaani as Shyra a the Paris tour guide now only wows with her acting but also got praise of best Bollywood dancers like Hrithik Roshan for her moves. And though the film has not received very good review from critics, it is a super hit and none can forget the dance sequence between Vaani and Ranveer at the end where the Delhi-born girl at one point bent her torso with her long legs tangled around the waist of Ranveer solely on the strength of her abs, amazing the cine-goers. (IBNS-TWF)