2012 was an eclectic year for Bollywood as far as sheer variety was concerned. With middle of the road films also finding their due popularity, the line was diminished further between commercial and non-commercial cinema. This resulted in actresses from varied genres of films finding a unanimous nod of approval from audience as well as critics alike.
With ‘Kahaani’, Vidya Balan showed once again that how she has it in her to hold an entire story based on her sheer presence. The woman, who doesn’t really have to prove anything to anyone now, was terrific yet again in the film. In fact the way she interacted with one and all in the film, whether it is a 6 year old kid or a 60 year old man, to get clues was admirable. She made sure that there was no respite even for a solitary minute and right from the prologue scene to a shocking finale, she kept audience on the edge of the seat.
‘English Vinglish’ could have gone wrong at many counts. It could have just gone into this over sentimental space where one may have been exposed to all the hardships Sridevi was going through due to her discomfort with English. It could have just gone into Shobhana starrer ‘Mitr-My Friend’ space where a middle-aged woman would have found love outside marriage in a foreign land. It could just have just turned into a mere show-reel of sorts. However Sridevi didn’t allow any of that and made a worthy comeback where various facets of her acting talent were on play.
Kareena more than just justified her inclusion in ‘Heroine’ where she was simply perfect and brought her years of experience into this characterisation that risked turning predictable or filmy. However she maintained a wonderful balance right through the film and instead of portraying a bipolar character in a clichéd way that many other heroines have done in the past, she gave it all a realistic touch without even once going off tangent. In fact the film made one totally forget that the woman on screen was the same Kareena who was dancing to ‘Chammak Challo’ not too long ago.
It isn’t easy to be a scene stealer as a leading lady when the male protagonist of your film is Saif Ali Khan. However Deepika managed to that, and how, by taking over proceedings a little while into the film. After showing the ‘bindaas’ side of her for the entire first half of the film, she came on her own in second half of the film and successfully demonstrated why she chose to play this part. Whether it is playing cool, feeling disgusted, getting frustrated, carrying anger, letting go of empathy or suffering all the mixed emotions, Deepika delivered perfectly.
Even though Ileana D’Cruz, an accomplished actress from down South, was the main female lead of ‘Barfi!’ and made a very worthy start in Bollywood by lighting up the screen every time she came on screen, Priyanka came on her own mainly in the second half. She conveyed everything through her body language and after ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ showed once again that how she is up for challenges at every juncture of her career.
Vote: Whose performance did you find best in 2012 / 2013?