Actors are, many will say, the game-changers of every year. However, it’s safe to say that this year it has been the record-breaking films that have changed the Bollywood spectrum. With a range of movies from love stories to action thrillers, 2013 has very much been a mixed bag. There have been male lead roles that have stood out over the others; often in a very different way to what kind of success a given film went on to see. BizAsia looks back at the year and gives you our hand-picked list of the five best male performances with a little extras.
Farhan Akhtar – ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’
It was a biopic that was much-awaited. With Rajkumar Santoshi at the helm and Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor in front of the camera, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ had a lot to live upto. However, although his natural acting ability has been recognised previously, Akhtar well and truly outdid himself at Milkha Singh. A story filled with pain, with effort and with a lot of hardship became a performance packed with honesty, humility and most of all true magic on the screen. Akhtar gave undoubtedly one of the best performances of his career to date and perhaps also of his entire career to come.
Hrithik Roshan – ‘Krrish 3’
Hrithik Roshan made a return to the big screen after nearly a two-year gap. For that reason and a very many more, there was a lot riding on ‘Krrish 3’, which was – as the name would suggest – the third instalment in this sci-fi series made by Rakesh Roshan. Hrithik played three roles in the movie – Rohit, Krishna and Krrish – and, having dealt with an unfortunate down in his health at post production stage, he managed to promote and give the audiences what they were waiting for in each scene he delivered. Hrithik’s hard work paid off and ‘Krrish 3’ gave him a bigger opening that his last offering ‘Agneepath’ in 2012. This list would be incomplete without him.
Ranbir Kapoor – ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’
‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ (‘YJHD’)was loved for its variety, colour and love story but at the heart of the film was the character of Bunny, played by Ranbir Kapoor. Having given the hugely successful ‘Barfi!’ the year before, Kapoor’s more commerical and mass-bankable role in ‘YJHD’ was one that fans and industry folk were excited about. In an interview with BizAsia, Kapoor revealed that Bunny was written with much of his real self in mind. Perhaps that is why Kapoor’s performance was natural in the film but he managed to come across as cheeky, loveable and emotional all at once.
Dhanush – ‘Raanjhanaa’
He was most known in the Bollywood world as being Rajnikanth’s son-in-law and also for his song Kolaveri Di which saw much success across the globe. However, when Tamil star Dhanush made his debut in Indian cinema, there were many expectations of him. In ‘Raanjhanaa’, starring opposite Sonam Kapoor, the actor was out of his comfort zone because he did not know much Hindi. To top it off, to be put in an unconventional love story was maybe another thing which could have worked against him. Despite these odds, Dhanush very much emerged as a fantastic debutante, conveying to the audiences the reason why he such a huge star in the South.
Aamir Khan – ‘Dhoom 3’
Aamir Khan’s name was somewhat inevitable on this list even before the movie ‘Dhoom 3’ released. Why? Because his acting abilities always surpass the brand of a film at every point. In ‘Dhoom 3’, they do just that. With little to be impressed with in the actual plot which should have been a step up from the previous two in the successful franchise, Khan is very much the film’s saving grace. Playing his part with much integrity and unpredictability, Khan showed why he is the most trusted actor today in terms of box office success, performance and paisa-vasool-ness. He deserves a place on the top five for his rendition in ‘Dhoom 3’.
As if those five actors weren’t enough to whet your appetite on male performances, BizAsia has also chosen a few others who rightfully should get a mention. Firstly, Aditya Roy Kapur for his performances in ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ and ‘Aashiqui 2’. This actor has come a long way in short span of time and that too from supporting actor to male lead. If this year is not enough to go by then his forthcoming releases will do hopefully do justice to his talent.
Vivek Oberoi, after some time, also gets a mention in our list for his flawless performance as Kaal in ‘Krrish 3’. He played Bollywood’s first super-villain and his evil performance was indeed one that should be recognised. In a difference to the norm, Oberoi came in as a villain in a film and with an actor (Hrithik Roshan) who would otherwise be his contender and still managed to make a mark. Hats off to Oberoi on this worthy (and scary) performance.
Another actor who made his debut in Indian cinema this year was Sushant Singh Rajput. His acting ability and dancing prowess was always there for the world to see but seeing him in ‘Kai Po Che’ and ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ just cemented his place in Bollywood. With many promising projects at hand currently, Singh Rajput is sure to have made 2013 a good basis for what is sure to be a very colourful career on celluloid.
Last but not the least, a special mention is also worth giving to Ranveer Singh. In his third and fourth films this year, he has shown his versatility as an actor is on par with the Khans and Kapoor of the film world. Whether he is placed as a convict hiding from the police in ‘Lootera’ or in the grand Sanjay Leela Bhansali set of ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’ as a Gujarati boy who falls in love in the most unlikely circumstances, his talent never goes unnoticed.
So, as another year comes to an end and another realm of cinema is expected in 2014, BizAsia hopes that the actors get better but also that the roles and movies also get more worthy of an actors’ talent. With any luck, next year will prove just as difficult to pinpoint just five out of the many male performances cinema is about to see.