Chennai and Tamil Nadu
ZIYA US SALAM
Twinkle, twinkle, all stars!
The first hit of the year came in the second week with Mani Ratnam’s “Guru” hitting the bull’s eye at the box office. The latest, and arguably the biggest, came in the penultimate week with Aamir Khan’s “Taare Zameen Par”. In between, the cinemagoers warmed up to “Namastey London”, “Partner”, “Shootout at Lokhandwala”, “Jab We Met” and “Om Shanti Om”. “Chak De India” united the classes with the masses, as did Aamir’s debut directorial venture. The urban crowd also appreciated “Cheeni Kum”, stayed lukewarm to “Water”, and faithful to “Traffic Signal”, taking a sneak peek at “Honeymoon Travels” and “Bheja Fry”. But how was the year for the stars? Let’s find out…
It was a year of mixed fortunes for Hindi movie stars - some recorded sweet hits and some hit upon immensely forgettable stuff.
His only release this year came at the fag end. With “Taare Zameen Par”, Aamir made his much-awaited directorial debut. However, the film, released on December 21, is well on its way to becoming the biggest hit of the year, if conservatism is given the go by. A single swallow has a year made!
Big B had the guts to portray a sixty-plus man in love with a teenager in “Nishabd”. He graced a love story like “Cheeni Kum”. Of course, he was reckless enough to play Gabbar in Ramgopal Varma’s “Aag” and a walk-on singer in “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom”! But with “Shootout at Lokhandwala”, things evened out.
At 42, he still plays a lover boy! Never mind “Marigold”, “Salaam-e-Ishq” and “Saawariya” bit the dust at the box office. “Partner” though kept him swinging. And as a fleeting shot in “Om Shanti Om” proved, he still has hordes of fans screaming for him!
Shah Rukh Khan
The industry needed a hit badly. He provided it with “Chak De”, all against the run of play. Come Diwali, people wanted to celebrate with something nice and light. He delivered with “Om Shanti Om”, arguably the biggest hit of the year. Of course, he stole everybody’s thunder in that fleeting appearance in “Heyy Babyy”!
The very fact that he is there in the list ahead of John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan means the old-timer is back big time. He was good in “Johnny Gaddar”, and even better in his home production “Apne”. With these two films he made us forget his countless “Munnibais”!
Nothing seems to go wrong with the King of Comedy these days. The critics found his films “Heyy Babyy”, “Bhool Bhulaiyaa” and “Welcome” unbearably loud. The masses could not care less, lapping up the films like kids take to lollies. Having begun the year with “Namastey London” he is proving to be the King of Good Times at the box office.
She got a great start with Mani Ratnam’s “Guru” where she looked like pearls, and danced like she had elastic for spine! Then came Jagmohan Mundhra’s “Provoked” where she showed a semblance of her acting potential, sketching the life of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, a victim of marital violence.
She was the stand-out girl this year. Graceful as ever in “Cheeni Kum” where she held her own opposite Big B, her prized moment came in Mira Nair’s “The Namesake” where she was equal to the task of cinematic adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s much-acclaimed work. The much-delayed “Sarhad Paar” came and went. Some more sugar please!
Win or lose the show goes on.
Whatever she turned, turned clay! Sad but the reigning queen has her throne in question now. What else do you deserve with “Tararumpum”, “Laga Chunari Mein Daag” and “Saawariya”? Three turkeys at the box office, one hen who failed to lay the golden egg. Time to play buck up?
She came, she did not conquer. A lot of hype preceded her comeback vehicle “Aaja Nachle”. A controversy accompanied it to the turnstiles. At the end, many admired her zest for dance, others questioned her wisdom. And Madam Madhuri left with more question marks than answers with her solitary foray to the big screen in almost half a decade.
She smiled like a millionaire yet again, reviving her floundering career with “Big Brother” show in the U.K. Then some of the luck rubbed off on to Anurag Basu’s “Metro”. Of course, an appearance in Dharmendra’s mainstream comeback film “Apne” did not hurt. At the end, she had more than a million bucks too!
She exuded oomph in the Helen number in Himesh Reshammiya’s much-talked about “Aap Ka Surroor.” And showed a long and lovely leg in “Guru”. It all ended with a special appearance in “Welcome”. Good enough to survive but suitable for a wannabe queen bee? Nope. By a distance.
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Chennai and Tamil Nadu