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Top Actors Of 2012

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actorsWho were the top actors of 2012? What did they do and what took them to the top? Here’s the 14 biggest performers of the year (with expert comments from trade experts Vinod Mirani and Vikas Mohan)

Akshay Kumar

Films released: Housefull 2, Rowdy Rathore, Joker, OMG: Oh My God, Khiladi 786

Box office collection: Rs 408 crore

What worked (or didn’t work) for him: “Akshay is good at comedy, but he is now back to the action genre, which is his forte,” says Vikas Mohan. “His brand of ‘comical action’ has worked big time in his favour,” says Vinod Mirani.

The X factor: “He mixed and matched his films and storylines beautifully,” says Mohan.“The fact that he is attempting ‘other kinds of films’ is heartening,” says Mirani.

In the news: This year, he became father of a girl, Nitara Khanna-Bhatia. He also lost his superstar father-in-law, Rajesh Khanna.

 

Salman Khan
Films released: Ek Tha Tiger, Dabangg 2
Box office collection: Rs 285 crore
What worked (or didn’t work) for him: “Whatever Salman touches is turning into gold. And he is making the most of this situation,” says Mohan. “Everything is working in his favour and he is making everything work too,” says Mirani.
The X factor: “When good fortune is working overtime, you don’t need anything else,” says Mohan. “He is an all-rounder who works with classy as well as massy people,” says Mirani.

In the news: This year, Salman offered to pay the fines (via his charity outfit, Being Human) on behalf of about 400 prison inmates in Uttar Pradesh, who have served their sentences but are still locked up because they cannot pay their fines.

 

Hrithik Roshan
Film released: Agneepath
Box office collection: Rs 123 crore
What worked (or didn’t work) for him: “In Agneepath, he put a completely new and personal touch to a cult hit,” says Mohan. “He is a powerful actor who can carry any film on his shoulders,” says Mirani.
The X factor: “He is not in the rat race, and that’s why he stays away from any kind of formula,” says Mohan. “He isn’t afraid to
venture out of his zone and play different characters,” says Mirani.
In the news: Hollywood beauty Kristen Stewart said that if she had a baby boy, she “would want him to look like Hrithik.”

Ajay Devgn
Films released: Bol Bachchan, Tezz, Son Of Sardaar
Box office collection: Rs 222 crore
What worked (or didn’t work) for him: “Ajay’s hard work and sincerity showed in all his films,” says Mohan. “Ajay wasn’t afraid to experiment with his characters and  films this year,” says Mirani.
The X factor: “He is best when comedy and action are mixed,” says Mohan.“He chooses his scripts very carefully. That’s why he is among the top five actors,” says Mirani.
In the news: Didn’t shift Son Of Sardaar from its Diwali release despite industry pressure when Yash Chopra passed away, and let it clash with Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Hosted the TV show Ramleela.

 

Shah Rukh Khan
Film released: Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Box office collection: Rs 121 crore
What worked (or didn’t work) for him: “If not for Jab Tak Hai Jaan, it would have been a terrible year for him,” says Mohan. “Not a great year for him. Plus, his charm seems to be waning,” says Mirani.
The X factor: “He is back to the romance genre and has proved that he is best in it,” says Mohan. “He is the romantic superstar but this year,
it hasn’t been his USP,” says Mirani.
In the news: He had a major brawl at Wankhede stadium with security staff. His IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders won the tournament for the first time.

 

Deepika Padukone
Film released: Cocktail
Box office collection: Rs 74 crore
What worked (or didn’t work) for her: “Cocktail was completely her film. It worked largely due to her performance,” says Mohan.“Deepika showed her hunger to deliver better performances,” says Mirani.
The X factor: “Her innocent and no-holds-barred performance,” says Mohan. “With Cocktail, she proved that she can act; that she isn’t just a glam doll,” says Mirani.
In the news: Reportedly, Deepika broke up with her rumoured boyfriend Sidhartha Mallya this year.

Anushka Sharma
Film released: Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Box office collection: Rs 121 crore
What worked (or didn’t work) for her: “In Jab Tak Hai Jaan, she played her part beautifully because she fit the role beautifully,” says Mohan. “She’s good in performance-oriented roles like Jab Tak Hai Jaan,” says Mirani.
The X factor: “She is talented but getting increasingly repetitive. Must redefine herself,” Mohan. “She can fit into any kind of role and film,” Mirani.
In the news: A rumoured break-up with boyfriend Ranveer Singh.

 

Priyanka Chopra
Films released: Agneepath, Teri Meri Kahaani, Barfi!
Box office collection: Rs 256 crore
What worked (or didn’t work) for her: “This year, she has managed to maintain her star status only thanks to the choices she made,” says Mohan. “PC has very formidable PR and that has worked big time for her,” says Mirani.
The X factor: “Priyanka is overexposed. That’s why her films of 2012 don’t come to mind immediately,” says Mohan. “She is all over the place — ads, newspapers and magazines. She has a nice marketing machinery,” says Mirani.
In the news: In connection with her rumoured proximity to Shah Rukh Khan, her rift (and then patch-up) with Karan Johar made news.

Katrina Kaif
Films released: Ek Tha Tiger, Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Box office collection: Rs 306 crore
What worked (or didn’t work) for her: “She is riding lady luck. But she has to rediscover herself,” says Mohan.“In Ek Tha Tiger, she had action scenes that made her look different from her glam roles,” says Mirani.
The X factor: “Only her glam factor, but it’s waning very fast,” says Mohan.“She isn’t a great actor, but the glam works for her,” says Mirani.
In the news: Worked with SRK for the first time in Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

 

Sonakshi Sinha
Films released: Rowdy Rathore, Son Of Sardaar, Dabangg 2
Box office collection: Rs 338 crore
What worked (or didn’t work) for her: “The fact that she simply chose big commercial films went in her favour,” says Mohan. “She knows what she is best at and goes for it unabashedly,” says Mirani.
The X factor“Her Indian looks and out-of-the-box avatar makes Sonakshi unique,” says Mohan. “Her measured performances and right choices help her a lot,” says Mirani.
In the news: There was a reported rift with director Farah Khan over Sonakshi not promoting Joker.

Vidya Balan
Film released: Kahaani
Box office collection: Rs 55 crore
What worked (or didn’t work) for her: “She has created a niche for herself but she shouldn’t get slotted,” says Mohan. “Vidya needs strong roles like the one in Kahaani to stand out from the rest,” says Mirani.
The X factor: “The power of her performances makes her stand out,” says Mohan. “Talent and luck are in her favour, and she’s making most of them,” says Mirani.
In the news: She married longtime beau, UTV CEO Siddharth Roy Kapoor, this year.

 

Ranbir Kapoor
Film released: Barfi!
Box office collection: Rs 106 crore
What worked (or didn’t work) for him: “With Barfi!, he proved that an actor can get critical acclaim and box office returns too,” says Mohan.  “He is very dedicated and wants to do things that others generally won’t,” says Mirani.
The X factor: “He is the superstar of tomorrow,” says Mohan. “He’s been in the industry a long time and has proved himself beyond doubt now,” says Mirani.
In the news: Signed Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani with ex-girlfriend Deepika Padukone.

Bollywood

Sridevi dies at 54 of cardiac arrest: India, Bollywood in shock

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SRIDEVI-DEAD

Sridevi no more, and a part of my childhood dies with her

Sridevi died on Saturday night after suffering a cardiac arrest at the age of 54. Called the first female superstar in India’s male-dominated film industry, she made over 260 films in a career spanning 45 years.

As a starry eyed schoolchild, I would spend hours trying to get the steps of Morni Baagan Maan right, in front of the mirror. As a girl, not even 7, I was too young to understand the complexity of the lyrics or the depth of the feeling that the Lamhe song held within it, but it was she, Sridevi, her fluid dance moves and the play of emotion in her face that had me entranced. I would try to turn just like Sridevi, get her hand mudras right. Again, it would take me years to understand there was nobody like Sridevi. The twinkle in her eye, the charm she could switch on as cameras turned towards her or the movie star charisma that was part of her personality — Sridevi lived what her Mr India song said, Bijli Girane Main Hoo Aayi.\

Sridevi as a child actor in Thunaivan.

Sridevi as a child actor in Thunaivan.

My experiments in front of the mirror were not extraordinary, nor were they one of a kind. Lakhs of children across India were trying to emulate Sridevi — for some (like me) it was her dance, for others it was the fact that she was a superstar when women rarely had the word super attached to them in any form in the industry. And for almost everybody, it was her ability to light up the frames she inhabited.

My romance with Sridevi began long before I understood how to tell good films from bad; at that age I either loved them or hated them. So, when, early on a Sunday morning, as I got up to incessant messages, tweets and Facebook posts full of grief, I went back to my childhood. It was a child again who was mourning the loss of her star.

Sridevi as the quintessential Yash Raj heroine in Chandni.

Sridevi as the quintessential Yash Raj heroine in Chandni.

Indeed, Sridevi’s death has taken away something crucial with it — a part of my childhood. Whether it was her act as a child-woman in Sadma, the luminous double role in Lamhe, the quintessential Yash Chopra heroine in Chandni or the bubbly Hawa Hawai of Mr India, Sridevi managed to bring a certain je na sais quoi to every role she played.

Among the yellowing photographs and fading memories is a photo of me with my friends with a fruit hat a la Sridevi in Hawa Hawai. Maybe it was a day during summer vacation when time hung heavy on our hands. But I remember how disastrous the first attempt with a straw hat and a bowl of fruit was. We were rescued when the friend’s mother emerged and gave us a tongue lashing that only mothers are capable of. Then, being a Sridevi fan (who isn’t?), she helped us fashion the hat.

For every Lamhe, Sridevi also did duds like Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja but managed to bring a certain charm to it.

For every Lamhe, Sridevi also did duds like Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja but managed to bring a certain charm to it.

Then came Madhuri Dixit, and the gaggle of girls divided into Team Madhuri and Team Sridevi. I was a staunch member of the latter and many a evening, we would spend in fraught debates on who was better. Sridevi had been around for decades. Starting as a child artiste at the age of 4, she had worked in Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films before she decided to shift her focus to Bollywood. She was a star here as well. Madhuri, IMHO, was a novice.

There were chinks in her career but it was still 90s Bollywood and actresses — even the one called the first female superstar of Bollywood — had to take the good with the bad. The pulpy papers of those times were full of how the leading actors of those days would cower before her. They may or may not have been true but they fuelled my imagination as a fan.

SRIDEVI FAMILY

SRIDEVI FAMILY

She definitely left a stamp on my career. I believe that years of defending her against Madhuri fans (you know who you are) made me pick up the job of an entertainment reporter. I came across her on many occasions in my career and always found her a picture of grace and poise, standing out in the sea of beauty that is Hindi cinema.

And today, she is gone, in a moment that appears was written by an unfeeling screenwriter. Or maybe, it is the fan inside me who is not ready to say goodbye. Oh, what it would be to watch her once again in a dark theatre with the lights dimmed.

Sridevi made 264 films over 45 years, and while not all of them will stand the test of the time, her charisma will. I would remember her as the effervescent Chandni, the middle class mother in English Vinglish but mostly as Hawa Hawai — who wore fruit hats and solved crimes as an intrepid journalist.

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The Great Sanjay Leela Does Disservice To Cinema With Propaganda And Dishonest Portrayal Of History In Padmavat

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I saw the film more than a week back and I was flabbergasted and disgusted by what I had seen.

It wasn’t until my mentor and friend Promod Puri, the founder an former publisher-editor of Canada’s oldest South Asian English language newspaper  The LINK, wrote his review online that I felt compelled to add to the debate about one of the worst forms of propaganda in a Bollywood film I’d ever seen.

The great Bollywood writer-director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has basically put himself in the gutter with this outrageous Rajput Hindu propaganda that glorified the individual suicide the Sati (mass suicide as in Padmavat called Jauhar).

Looking back at the Hooliganism and blockade of the film by extremist Hindu and Rajput groups – it seems like a conspiracy given that the film actually shows the Muslims as evil blood thirsty monsters and I’m not even talking about the actually monstrous Khilji played by Ranveer Singh.

It should be the Muslims who should be appalled and disgusted at the polar opposite portrayals of Muslims and Hindus. It’s the Muslims who should be protesting and saying the film should be banned!

Padmavati

Given that the film is produce by Viacom India which is now 51 percent owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, I think the “Show” if extremism might have been planned ahead so that Muslims in India don’t actually think the film is anti-Muslim which it clearly is.

Writer-Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a good if not great filmmaker but here he comes across as Hitler Propagandist  filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl who made pro-German propaganda films during Adolf Hitler’s reign.

Films like Padmavat are extremely irresponsible at a time in India where there continues to be a divide among Hindus and Muslims  in Modi’s India.

sanjay-leela-bhansali

And the film is really laughable as it tries to reconstruct history from a Hindu perspective when in reality the great but blood thirsty madman Khilji defeated the Rajputs. And no matter how much the film may try to sugarcoat it, the Rajputs were no match for the brutal strength of Khilji at a time in human history when brutal and maniacal strength was the Warrior’s code.

Take the brutal rulers of Europe and Asia – they were no different than Khilji!

I lost a lot of respect for director Bhansali as it seemed like he was just a puppet pulling someone else’s strings with much dishonesty and disgrace!

 

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Aamir Khan say there is no Intolerance in India, urges Modi to reign in people spreading hatred

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Aamir-Khan-say-there-is-no-Intolerance-in-India,-urges-Modi-to-reign-in-people-spreading-hatred

Days after his intolerance remarks, Bollywood star Aamir Khan today said India is “very tolerant” but there are people who spread hatred and appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rein them in.

The actor also believes that he still continues to be country’s brand ambassador even though the government may have discontinued his services, saying India is his mother and not a brand.

“Our country is very tolerant, but there are people who spread ill-will…Those who speak of breaking up this vast country, such people are present in all religions, only Modiji can stop them. After all, Modiji is our PM, we have to tell him,” he told Rajat Sharma in his ‘Aap ki Adalat’ show on India TV, according to a press release issued by the channel.

Aamir said a sense of security comes from the justice system, which should ensure speedy justice, and from elected representatives who should raise their voice when something goes wrong.

“After all, law is equal for all, and nobody is above law. Unfortunately, there are some people who spread negativity and hatred. If I am not wrong, our Prime Minister has also expressed concern. His slogan is ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’,” he said.

The actor, who hit headlines with his remarks that his wife was thinking of leaving India over growing intolerance, also replied to megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s remark that he damaged India’s brand identity by his statement, saying there was a feeling of insecurity due to growing intolerance.

“I had said in my interview that there was a sense of depression, a sense of despondency, a feeling of insecurity and intolerance was growing. But these are entirely two different things,” he said.

He added that he was “wongly quoted” and said, “I never said India was intolerant, I was wrongly quoted…To say about rising intolerance and to say India is intolerant are two different things.”

Claiming to continue serving as India’s brand ambassador even after government discontinued him, the superstar said, “For me, my motherland is my mother, it cannot be a brand. I can never view my mother as a brand. It could be a brand for other people, but not for me. Till this date, I continue to be India’s brand ambassador, even the government may have discontinued me.”

He said for 10 years he was brand ambassador for ‘Incredible India’s Atithi Devo Bhavo campaign’ and never charged a penny for all his public service campaigns for the country and nor will he charge in future.

Aamir also asked media and news channels not to air news about violence on TV as it creates an atmosphere of fear.

“Every Indian is infected with fear. I would also appeal to media not to highlight such violence, as it creates a sense of insecurity and fear among common people,” he said.

On his wife Kiran Rao expressing her intent to leave India due to insecurity, Aamir said he and his wife were not going anywhere and have been born here and will die in India, but said, “After all, Kiran is a mother, a mother always worries about her children.”

“Often we speak so many things among ourselves, but that does not mean, we take 100 per cent action on them. Now was that our intention. Kiran has actually expressed a feeling, an emotion, and we were born here, and we will die here. We are not going to leave our country, let me make it clear,”he said.

The superstar went on to say that whenever people try to divide, “we should become alert, and should beware as to why we are being reminded that we are Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh. After all, we are all Indians. We have to be on our quard.”

Seeking to clarify that there was intent on his or his director’s part on purportedly denigrating Hindu religion in his film ‘PK’, he said, “It was only a character playing the role of Shiva in a play, who was made fun of, in a particular situation. After all, Lord Shankar is Almighty, how can we dare to make fun of him?.”

The actor said he fully empathised with the cause of Kashmiri Pandits. “My heart cries even today for them. It is shameful, and I appeal to people living in the Valley to bring the Kashmiri Pandits back.”

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