2013 speedily arrived and is almost over and it has felt like a very quick 12 months indeed. However, when we take a moment to see what Bollywood had to offer in terms of fresh-faced talent, you realize there was quite a lot going on. Bollywood introduced many new talents throughout the year, some of which seemed to have faced huge challenges with their primary projects. Despite this, many of them triumphantly managed to stand out and make a significant impression. BizAsia looks back at the year and looks at the debutantes that made an impact.
Sushant Singh Rajput – ‘Kai Po Che’ & ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’
This fresh face undoubtedly, has set the perfect example for how one should start his career in the Indian film industry. Having done his first two films in the same year, Sushant Singh Rajput first came onto the big screen in Abhishek Kapoor�۪s ��Kai Po Che�۪. His role as Ishaan was carried off with perfection. As he entices his audience to believe in his character whereby they have no choice but to travel through his triumphs and troubles with him and his friends, one can�۪t help but fall in love with him and believe in Singh Rajput as a serious actor. His second film ��Shuddh Desi Romance�۪, saw him playing the hopelessly in love character Raghu, where again he proved that he�۪s more than just a pretty face, so to speak. Despite being a runaway groom at the beginning of the movie, his audiences are drawn to his charm in an instant. It�۪s safe to say we�۪ll definitely be seeing more of this newbie for many years to come.
Dhanush – ‘Raanjhanaa’
When the cast of ��Raanjhanaa�۪ was first announced, there was speculation as to what the filmmakers were thinking when they cast Dhanush as the lead. There was a lot of interest to see how this not-so-hero-looking South Indian boy would pull off a film that has many big names behind it and that too in Bollywood. Nonetheless, the more people who went to see the film, the more they loved Dhanush�۪s character Kundan in the film who chases his childhood crush, played by Sonam Kapoor, for years throughout the films. Not having the typical hero looks definitely worked in Dhanush�۪s favour for his debut. Dhanush plays his character simply, whole-heartedly and with complete passion, conjuring up all the ingredients needed for a star performer.
Girish Kumar – ‘Ramaiya Vastavaiya’
Girish Kumar waltzed onto the big screens in Prabhu Dheva�۪s ��Ramaiya Vastavaiya�۪. Playing the character of Ram, an NRI who falls in love with Sona (Shruti Haasan), who has to prove his love for her (in typical Bollywood style), turned out to be a slight hit and miss with the audiences. Despite this, there is no denying that Kumar has talent. Even with having to share the screen with the brilliant Sonu Sood, Kumar doesn�۪t make his presence go unnoticed. Making his audiences�۪ laugh and cry at all the right moments, it just proves that this actor has a lot more in store for the future.
Ram Charan – ‘Zanjeer’
When Ram Charan was first signed for the role as Vijay in the remake of the 1973 cult classic ��Zanjeer�۪, there was no doubt that he had a lot of pressure on his shoulders. Just the sound of someone having to pull off one of Amitabh Bachchan�۪s greatest roles, is enough to make anyone�۪s knees wobble. However, despite the film not meeting expectations, Charan was definitely the one who impressed. Crediting his ability to understand the expectations of audiences today, instead of replicating Bachchan, he instead cleverly made the character of Vijay his own. Making all the right moves in order to make his audiences believe in his character, Charan portrays the role meticulously, proving he has the ability to pull off any challenges that come his way.
Manish Paul – ‘Mickey Virus’
All that can be said about this debutante is that his charm seems to be enough to get the audiences going and this has been evident in his hosting. Manish Paul entered Bollywood with the film ��Mickey Virus�۪ this year, playing a careless computer hacker who is hired by the civil service to crack a code for a murder case. It is always said that comedy is one of the hardest genres to do, but Paul makes it look like he can crack some comedy in his sleep. He delivers perfect one-liners, and carrying off his obnoxious character in such a way that audiences can either laugh at him or with him. Setting a perfect debut with this film, Paul engages his viewers in a way that intrigue them to wonder, and wonder they do.
Tamannah Bhatia – ‘Himmatwala’
Another Bollywood debutante faced with the challenge of replicating a legendary yesteryear actress is Tamannah Bhatia. ��When Sajid Khan signed Bhatia for the remake of ��Himmatwala�۪, there was speculation as to how this film would be able to reach the highs of the 1983 version which starred Sridevi and Jeetendra. As the remake fell flat on it�۪s face, Bhatia’s role was quite limited but she still managed to make her presence known.�� For one, it�۪s hard to not notice her elegant hot bod which alone that she has the looks to be part sorted. And although this film didn�۪t make her the superstar it had once made beauty queen Sridevi, one can�۪t disregard that this particular film didn�۪t do justice to her talent that is already known so well in Southern cinema.
Pallavi Sharda – ‘Besharam’
Starring in your first film that includes three of Bollywood’s most celebrated actors, all of from the same family, is enough to make your heart pound at lightning speed. However, Pallavi Sharda showed nothing but confidence, elegance and pure talent, playing Tara Sharma in ��Besharam�۪. Sharing the screen with Ranbir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh-Kapoor, Sharda portrayed her feisty and headstrong character extremely well.�� Her character was convincing and audiences seemed to love her presence on screen. Yet again, not having been able to show her full potential, she still conducted her acting skills over being just a beautiful face and was clearly not nervous by big names like the Kapoors.
Sasha Agha – ‘Aurangzeb’
��Aurangzeb�۪ saw the first of Sasha Agha playing the girl caught in the middle of two twin brothers, played by Arjun Kapoor. Being her debut film, Agha managed to add to the darkness of the film perfectly. Her ability to make bold scenes convincing and capture the audiences�۪ attention in an instant was enough for her to be taken seriously. Delivering a tremendous performance, Agha was able to display a passionate and determined attitude towards her character. Having been compared to the legendary actress�� Parveen Babi for her performance in ��Deewar�۪ (1975), we are sure there is a lot more to come from this beauty.
Vaani Kapoor – ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’
Vaani Kapoor�۪s presence on screen in the film ��Shuddh Desi Romance�۪ was like a breath of fresh air. Playing the abandoned bride, she is no typical damsel in distress. Kapoor portrayed her character of Tara as a strong, confident woman, who knows what she wants, and goes after it. Performing each scene impeccably, she is able to lure her audiences to what her character is going through, and get them on her side without even seeming so. Standing up for what she believes in, Kapoor engaged her audiences effortlessly and despite sharing the screen with acclaimed actress Parineeti Chopra, Kapoor reflects an equal representation as her peer.
Pooja Salvi – ‘Nautanki Saala’
Here�۪s another actress who despite not having a lot of screen space managed to get herself noticed, and make an impression. Pooja Salvi played a girl who walks out of her relationship, in Rohan Sippy�۪s ��Nautanki Saala�۪. Although the film was somewhat male orientated, it�۪s difficult to forget the sweet-looking face who helps the audience ease into the films story. Her character seems to go through different waves of emotions where she is vulnerable, faced with the dilemma of what she wants. She fits into her role well and like many of her associates, gets viewers thinking what she might do next. She stands out among the other actresses in the movie which is achievement enough.
Taapsee Pannu – ‘Chashme Baddoor’
Despite not making our final cut, we can�۪t disregard the performance of Taapsee Pannu in her role as Seema in ��Chashme Baddoor�۪. She�۪s fiesty, strong-headed and quite rightly plays the eye-candy of the three male leads out to woo her. Her performance was accepted well by audiences and she showed potential as an actress. Here�۪s hoping she is given roles that allow the audiences to see more of what she is about.
Siddhanth Kapoor ‘ ‘Shootout at Wadala’
Being the son of a well-known actor who is celebrated for his villainous and comedic roles can understandably be rather limiting for someone starting out. There was no surprise when Shakti Kapoor�۪s son Siddhanth was signed as a villain in ��Shootout at Wadala�۪. However. with the film including so many big names, it was almost expected that this new face wouldn�۪t get much to act on. Despite this, Kapoor�۪s performance was not completely disregarded. Playing the role of John Abraham’s gang member, the audience could definitely see Kapoor has his father’s talents and has the tools to do more performance led roles. Let�۪s hope the ��villain�۪ title doesn�۪t hold filmmakers back in signing this fresh face to newer roles.
With Bollywood exceeding new limits, it’s fair to say that these debutantes who made BizAsia‘s list will have much to look forward to in the coming years. Highs and lows will always be a part of the industry, and here’s hoping that they all exceed in successful careers because well begun is, of course, half done.