2018, The Year Bollywood Dared To Be Different

The year that was; the mega stars were on low wattage, and the so called Average Joe launched a box office blitzkrieg as the ladies lead from the front. They certainly weren’t the weaker sex – far from it they were the ones who rewrote the rules.

This year content was king, and  the characters reigned supreme. The so called small films emerged winners in the box office battle. And my top picks of the performance of the year 2018 are – drumrolls please!

Tabu in Andhadhun made bad look good. The calculating femme-fatale Simi, the unapologetic gold digger who would go to any lengths  to lay her hands on the spoils as she spun her own intricate yarn of deceit. You hated her guts and that’s what she wanted you to, Tabu gave a go for gold performance in Sriram Raghvan’s Andhadhun

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From the sly scheming Simi of Andhadhun, to Neena Gupta’s Priyamvada in Badhaai Ho, a middle aged woman with two grown up sons is paid a visit by the stork. So what does she do? “Aren’t they too old to have sex? What will people say? Oh don’t you have any shame on you”. After dealing with caustic remarks from mother in law, son and friends the couple decide to welcome their third on board.

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She was our heroine as the audience chanted Badhaai ho, we welcomed Neena’s second innings back.

The curly firebrand Rumi a carefree yet complex Punjaban, who is all heart in the matters of love. She is blasé as she has sex with her boyfriend as her cousin guards the door. No sooner does the boy shows his insecurity in the matters of love and marriage, and when he does, Rumi  immediately she goes ahead to marry another. Tapsee Pannu was poetry in motion in Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan. But it wasn’t just her as the raven haired Rumi  but playing the tough lawyer in Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk, Tapsee Pannu is B-town’s new poster girl when it comes to playing complicated characters.

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She is destiny’s own child, Alia Bhatt strong performances are not only box-office gold but she is a filmmaker’s delight. Playing a Kashmiri girl who moonlights as an Indian spy in Meghana Gulzar’s Raazi, Alia was sheer magic. Raazi had it’s makers laughing all the way to the bank proving that so called heroine oriented film with the right content, actor and director could give the brawny hero and his tribe a run for their money.

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The year also saw Anushka Sharma impress in Pari and Sui Dhaga, Rani Mukherjee in Hichki and  Deepika Padukone in Padmvaat!

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Now let’s talk about our heroes; the year welcomed a new triumvirate, they aren’t your regular muscle flexing heroes but their acting chops are lethal, they have the right moves to slip in and out of characters with ease.

Yes we are talking about Vicky Kaushal, Ayushman Khurrana and Rajkumar Rao who totally owned 2018 and the box office.

V is for Versatility when it comes to Vicky Kaushal, we saw him play Sanjay Dutt’s supportive simpleton friend Kamli in Sanju, then he was the Pakistani army officer in the spy thriller Raazi playing the character with vulnerability and sensitivity. In Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan he was the immature commitment phobic DJ, Vicky, who caught between love and his own sense of freedom loses the woman he loves.

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Ayushmann Khurrana sang a sweet note of success with Andhadhun playing the blind pianist caught in a web of revenge, intrigue and lies. In Badhaai Ho he was Nakulm handling his growing pains as he deals with his middle aged parents announcing the arrival of a new kid on the block.

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He was the cold, calculating terrorist Omar Saeed in Hansal Mehta’s Omerta and then came the horror comedy Stree, Rajkummar Rao impressed critics and fans. The so called underrated talent emerged strong , I couldn’t help but think back to Naseeruddin Shah’s famous dialogue in Hero Hiralal,  “phatta poster nikla hero”; no longer was the audience content to see their matinee idols spins the same yarn over and over again, it was time to welcome truly the man amongst the masses.

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But 2018 also proved being a hero was not something defined by age , Gajraj Rao’s brilliance as Jitender, the middle aged man who is passionate about poetry and his wife, and the obedient son and apologetic father in Badhaai Ho.

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Pankaj Tripathi bagged the National Award for best supporting actor for Newton proved his brilliance with Stree and there was also Manoj Bajpayee in the psychological drama Gali Guleiyein .

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But we cannot sign of 2018 without mentioning Varun Dhawan’s turn as Dan in Shoojit Sarkar’s October followed by Sui Dhaga the young actor is candid when he expresses his earnestness in exploring different genres and last but not the least Ranveer Singh may have ended the year roaring as Simbaa but he began the year on an equally triumphant note as the menacing, cruel and obsessive Allaudin Khilji in Padmavaat.

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As 2018 ends on jubilant note for Bollywood here is hoping the trend continues into 2019 as they say it could just be the beginning for some GOOD TIMES in showbiz

 

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