For Bollywood’s A-listers the going was tough in 2010, but a whole lot of fresh talent came as a breather for the Hindi film industry.
Industry estimates say 2010 saw over 150 debuts both on and off screen in about 180 releases. And Bollywood can boast of new names like directors Anusha Rizvi, Abhishek Sharma or actors Omakar Das Manikpuri, Ali Zafar and Pradhuman Singh.
While journalist-turned director Anusha Rizvi made headlines with Aamir Khan’s production ‘Peepli Live’, she introduced many talented new faces in her satirical comedy.
One cannot forget Shalini Vatsa, who played Natha’s short-tempered wife Dhaniya in the film. The full-time theatre actress left audiences applauding at her desi rants and critics praised the M.Phil degree holder from Jawaharlal Nehru University for a splendid portrayal of an illiterate mother of three.
Omkar Das Manikpuri, better known as Natha from ‘Peepli Live’, impressed with his rugged and desi looks. No frills and no fanfare, he became the talk of the town thanks to his outstanding performance as a poor farmer.
‘Dabangg’, the blockbuster movie of the year, launched actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha’s daughter Sonakshi in the role of a village belle. The film was directed by debutant director Abhinav Kashyap, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s brother.
Debutant director Vikramaditya Motwane took his coming of age movie ‘Udaan’ to various film festivals abroad including to Cannes. Apart from its associative story, it also introduced a new face in Rajat Barmecha. The newcomer not only proved his mettle but also made the film an interesting watch.
Pakistani singer Ali Zafar made a charming entry into B-town in debutant director Abhishek Sharma’s sleeper hit comedy ‘Tere Bin Laden’.
Another newbie who was loved by all was Amrita Puri. Daughter of an entrepreneur, Amrita, a classy and stylish girl in real life, won hearts as a small town girl trying to find a place in the capital’s Page 3 circuit in Sonam Kapoor-starrer ‘Aisha’.
The film also introduced model Lisa Haydon in her glamorous big screen debut, but it was Amrita as a simpleton who stood out.
However, talking about newcomers and what took Bollywood by storm was Dibakar Banerjee’s ‘Love Sex aur Dhokha’. It launched a host of new faces like Raj Kumar Yadav and Anshuman Jha in the lead.
At the end of the year Yash Raj banner introduced Ranvir Singh, alongside Anushka Sharma in the film ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’. And surprisingly his easy going attitude caught the attention of many.
Creativity was on a high with a bunch of debutant directors like Habib Faisal of ‘Do Dooni Char’, Danish Aslam of ‘Break Ke Baad’, Abhishek Chaubey of ‘Ishqiya’, Vijay Lalwani of ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’, Faruk Kabir of ‘Allah Kay Banday’, Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan of ‘Lahore’ and actor Parmeet Sethi with ‘Badmaash Company’ crowding the big screen with their unusual but interesting tales.
Bollywood’s most sought after designer Manish Malhotra’s nephew Punit Malhotra too made his directorial debut with ‘I Hate Luv Stories’.
There were major debacles too in first time directors like Mudassar Aziz and his ‘Dulha Mil Gaya’, comedian-turned-director Sunil Pal and his ‘Bhavnao Ko Samjho’, Marathi director Kedar Shinde’s and his Hindi debut ‘Toh Baat Pakki’, Raja Unnithan and his debut ‘Hello Zinagi’, etc.
The year also marked the entry of many star kids who failed to make a mark.
Shakti Kapoor’s daughter Shraddha went unnoticed in ‘Teen Patti’, so did Reema Lagoo’s daughter Mrunmayee in ‘Hello Zindagi’ and Udit Narayan’s son Aditya in ‘Shaapit’.
(Manpreet Kaur can be contacted at email@example.com)