Bollywood is no longer a male-centric industry, nor is it all about glamour. This year saw new and old B-town babes that made it ‘big’ with their performances, regardless of their old setbacks. It’s time to turn on the spotlight on to the female actors that have entertained us with their performances in 2012.
Anjali Patil — known as the Chakravyuh girl — needs no make-up or fancy clothes to make an impression. Her role as a brave yet soft-hearted Naxalite in Prakash Jha’s Chakravyuh won her rave reviews; it’s no surprise that this diva is labeled the perfect package for her good looks, dancing skills and passion for acting.
Model-turned actor Diana Penty would have shined bright last year if she had not rejected Imtiaz Ali’s film Rockstar. With her debut film Homi Adajania’s Cocktail, Diana proved to be a knock-out. Opposite Saif Ali Khan, she played the role of a simple Indian girl; and despite her poor dancing moves she is still the debutante of the year (sorry Alia Bhatt!).
Vidya Balan is not new to Bollywood, but her role in Kahaani is the reason she’s on this list. Her fame from Parineeta and No One Killed Jessica to Ishqiya and Bhool Bhulaiyaa has won her the title of a versatile actor. Her female-centric role in Kahaani was completely different from her bold role in 2011’s film The Dirty Picture.
Katrina Kaif has finally worked on those two left feet! Her latest film Jab Tak Hai Jaan once again brought her out to flaunt her sexy body with her seductive dance moves in Ishq Shava. As the first girl to be kissed by Shahrukh Khan in a film, this half-British beauty proves she can still manage a hit song video (Chikni Chameli, anyone?) despite miserable dialogue delivery.
Deepika Padukone, Vidya Balan, Sridevi, Parineeti Chopra,
Deepika Padukone is bringing sexy back. She transformed from typical Indian girl to bombshell in her film Cocktail. The diva has remarkable features and natural acting skills; but the lack of stylish wardrobe and attitude was a gaping void in her portfolio. Her transformation has earned her every moment of fame this year.
The late director Yash Raj’s favourite 24-year-old, Anushka Sharma stole the show in Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ). The young actor made her debut with Shahrukh Khan in Rab Ne Banadi Jodi and enthralled the public with her beauty and talent. Her bubbly character in JTHJ was the only attraction in the film.
Priyanka Chopra had her plate full this year; from acting to singing to writing, this diva makes it all happen. She received unanimous praise for her role of an autistic girl in Anurag Basu’s film Barfi! Besides her acting performances, PC’s first debut single In My City, featuring guest vocals from American rapper Will.i.am, is on everyone’s playlist.
Farah Khan is a choreographer-director who made her acting debut in romcom Shirin Farhad Ki To Nikal Padi. Known for choreography and film direction (Munni Badnam Hui and Shiela Ki Jawaani) she was recently in the groove with comedy actor Boman Irani. Farah dispelled the myth that only young, skinny and tall girls can get a house full at the cinema.
Anjali Patil, Aushka Sharma, Farha Khan
Parineeti Chopra was the high-voltage drama queen of the film Ishaqzaade produced by Yash Raj Films (YRF). This rising star studied finance in England and returned to India in 2009 and joined YRF as a publicist. Her performance in Ishaqzaade is impeccable as a Muslim girl in a political family who is feisty. She’s the perfect example of brains plus beauty.
Sridevi is the model for best comeback. This beauty queen has enthralled her fans in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, but took a 15-year-long break until her recent release English Vinglish. Sridevi played the lead role in the film, and despite her cosmetic surgery, she still managed to blow away the audience with her flawless acting and trademark thumkas at the end in Navrai Mahji.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2012.