Monday, November 12, 2012

The Blooming Talent

Raring to go…!   

(The article was published in the September 15, 2012 issue of Super Cinema) 

So, here we have, Salman Khan making 200 crores at the box office with his Tiger act. Akshay Kumar giving two back to back hits – ‘Housefull 2’, ‘Rowdy Rathore’-  and entertaining the audience with his quintessential action avatar, and comic timing. Of course, not to forget, Ajay Devgn has been bringing in huge moolah at the box office with his ‘Singham’ and ‘Bol Bachchan’ stint. Then, we have the Badshah, Shah Rukh Khan, who stands high on the popularity charts; not really surprising. Clearly, these actors despite being in the industry for a long time, are reigning at the box office.
Obviously, the adage, ‘Old is Gold’ holds true more often than not, but well, not all the time since there is no dearth of young talent in the industry. Each year, we are introduced to a number of fresh faces, some turn into superstars, some instantly make you skip a heartbeat, while some could well go unnoticed. But it’s hard to miss their dynamism, the freshness they bring to the 70mm and the enthusiasm to get there. This year too, was no different. Perhaps, this year saw some faces, who’ve instantly proved their credentials, and could most definitely be called ‘stars’. The industry is certainly welcoming the young blood, who might want to change how Hindi cinema looks, who might want to experiment with novel concepts. Or probably, do the same run-of-the-mill stuff differently.
Seemingly, the audience also is open to welcome fresh faces on the 70mm. Little wonder then, that ‘Vicky Donor’ is one of the most profitable films this year despite a cast that is new. Or people loved the raw chemistry between Parma and Zoya in ‘Ishaqzaade’ and Arjun Kapoor’s rugged look was a hit. The dewy-eyed Meera of ‘Cocktail’ made boys go weak in the knees. The list is long….
Of course, the year isn’t yet over, and there’s more for the audience to look forward to.  Here we go!

Arjun Kapoor
Debut Film: Ishaqzaade

He has been an industry child. Being an assistant director for films like ‘Shakti : The Power’ and ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’, he indeed got the opportunity to hone his skills that could help him fulfill his dream of becoming a director. But obviously, destiny had something else for Arjun Kapoor. One mustn’t have expected Arjun to turn to acting. Reason? He was over-weight. He himself never planned on becoming an actor as he weighed 140kgs! It was actor Salman Khan who inspired Arjun to shed kilos and take up acting. Sallu’s association with Arjun has been a long one. Arjun was the executive producer for the Salman starrer ‘No Entry’ and ‘Wanted’. 
Well, that is history! Everything has changed at this day. His acting prowess has been well-appreciated by the critics and audience alike. Arjun now has women drooling over him and filmmakers wanting to cast him. His raw sex-appeal and intense chemistry with co-star Parineeti Chopra in his debut film ‘Ishaqzaade’ left the audience going gaga over Arjun.
The actor’s take: “I’ve always wanted to be a director. But you just don’t know what life has in store for you. Acting did demand a lot of hard work, more so, since I had to lose weight. But then when people like Salman Khan feel you have it in you and someone like Aditya Chopra feels you could carry off a role, that does make one confident and you start believing in yourself. I’d love to be involved in good films. Would love to experiment, but at the same time, pure Hindi commercial cinema is what I like. Touchwood, my upcoming films are all different from each other and I hope it remains so. And you never know, direction might happen too, soon.”
Trade perspective: According to trade expert Aman Gill, “His film has done well at the box office, and he has been liked by the audience, but his second venture will be crucial for him, since the expectations obviously rise. As for now, I certainly think he has a bright future.”
Trade expert Suniel Wadhwa seconds that opinion and adds, “He is just one film old, yet, is considered one of the most bankable stars. He has a good line up of films, and in 2013, he could be having 2-3 films releasing. While he plays a double role in ‘Aurangzeb’, ‘Gunday’ also is an interesting tale. He is also doing a film with Dharma Productions and a home production film which could be a big project. Arjun might be able to achieve mass as well as class appeal.”
Upcoming films: ‘Aurangzeb’ and ‘Gunday’ both under Yash Raj Films. ‘Gunday’ shall see him alongside Ranveer Singh, the female lead yet to be finalised. ‘Aurangzeb’ shall star a new face, Sasha Agha (Salma Agha’s daughter) opposite him. Adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel ‘2 States’ which would be a joint venture between Dharma Productions and Sajid Nadiadwala.

Esha Gupta
Debut film : Jannat 2

She wanted to pursue law and never thought of being an actress. But the next thing she knew was, she had bagged a plump role in a film under the elusive Bhatt camp, that too, opposite Emraan Hashmi. Like they say, your destiny takes you to places. Not just her debut film was a hit, her next, the recently released ‘Raaz 3’ is doing exceptionally well at the box office too. With her current pace, we wouldn’t be surprised, if she’ll soon work with the Khans.
The actor’s take: “Actually you know I’m a bit crazy. Forget being an actor, I never thought I’d even be a model. I wanted to persue law after I finished my graduation. But then, I developed a liking towards modeling and one fine day thought of giving acting a try, and gave a screen test, and then I was told that I’ve been signed for the film. It has been an honour for me to make my debut with the Bhatts, and Bhatt sahab is just like a father figure to me.”
Trade perspective: “Among all the debutant actresses this year, Esha has made a remarkable mark. She had two films this year – ‘Jannat 2’ and ‘Raaz 3’, both have proved successful at the box office. Her third film is also coming up. Things look good for her,” says Aman Gill.
Though Suniel Wadhwa differs slightly in his opinion. He feels, “She made her debut with ‘Jannat 2’, where she didn’t have much scope to perform. But the film did well at the box office. Her next ‘Raaz 3’is also a hit, but can’t say much about her performance. I hope she doesn’t get branded for ‘sequels’. But hoping we get to see a good performance from her in her next, since it’s a Prakash Jha film.”

Upcoming films: Prakash Jha’s ‘Chakravyuh’

Ayushmann Khurrana
Debut Film: Vicky Donor

Over the years, a stereotype has gained ground: That people from the small screen cannot really make it big in the Hindi Film Industry, because of over-exposure which curbs audience’s curiousity. Of course, we don’t think that notion is true, given that the current Badshah of Bollywood, SRK, started his career with television. Ayushmann Khurrana seems to be breaking that stereotype too. The actor made a successful debut this year, with appreciation from the audience and critics alike. Women certainly are smitten by his charm and of course, those dimples. And his portrayal of Vicky Arora in his debut film, certainly has opened various prospects for him in the industry. The fact that he is multi-talented, can compose, sing, and pen lyrics, also adds to his fan following.
The actor’s take: “There has been this stereotype that people from the small screen may not be able to make it on the big screen. But I think it depends on your choices and how you carve a niche for yourself. I’ve always been a part of good shows and MTV is very popular among the youth, so I think I got the right kind of exposure. Also, since I’ve been anchoring for a long time, I had to unlearn a lot of anchoring techniques and habits and learn the techniques of acting. It didn’t take much time though. But I believe, I couldn’t have asked for a better film than ‘Vicky Donor’ for my debut, because of its unique concept.”
Trade perspective: Trade expert Aman Gill says, “Ayushmann has got a brilliant start, and a lot of appreciation. Box office wise too, the film was a hit. But again, it all depends on his upcoming films, and how well he is received in those films too.”
Expert Suniel Wadhwa opines, “Ayushmann is a great actor, plus he is gifted with a great sense of music since he can also sing. Also, he is being very careful about his choice of films which is a good thing. He indeed has a long way to go.”
Upcoming films: Rohan Sippy’s ‘Nautanki Saala’, Shoojit Sircar’s ‘Hamara Bajaj' 

Sunny Leone
Debut film: Jism 2
Now who doesn’t know Sunny Leone? From Karenjeet Kaur to adult film star Sunny Leone to Hindi film actress Sunny. She has chosen her path and made her own destiny. And Pooja Bhatt’s ‘Jism 2’, of course, changed the whole game for Sunny as it also opened several other avenues for her career. While she’s not your quintessential Hindi Film actress as yet, she certainly is trying to be one. Yet, for Sunny, all this still seems dream-like.
The actor’s take: “I had always desired to be a part of Hindi films, but I never gave much importance to that thought, since I didn’t think it was possible. And now, when I see myself in posters and in commercials on TV, like on national television, it does seem unbelievable. But it was a lot of hard work, specially when it came to learning Hindi dialogues. So, this actually feels good since I shall soon also start working on my next film. Now I hope I get to do some Bollywood dancing in a film soon.”
Trade perspective: According to trade expert Aman Gill, “Sunny Leone has made a mark at the box office, but there’s not much one can say performance wise. She has that ‘sex-symbol’ image, and she hasn’t done anything to break the mould through her performance. Hopefully, she should do that in her next films.
Upcoming film: Ekta Kapoor’s ‘Ragini MMS 2’ 

Siddharth Malhotra
Debut Film: Student Of The Year (SOTY)

Brother of filmmaker Punit Malhotra, and nephew of ace fashion designer Manish Malhotra, Siddharth came to Mumbai for another film that never took off. He would survive on modeling assignments, and was even set to sign a major contract with one of the leading brands. But then, he landed himself as a trainee assistant director for Karan Johar’s ‘My Name Is Khan’ before he was signed for ‘SOTY’. 

The actor’s take: “I had never thought about getting into the film industry. Initially, when I came to Mumbai, I’d started off with modeling. It was only later that the acting bug bit me. I was supposed to do another film but it never took off. So, I took up assisting in order to learn the technicalities of filmmaking. Then of course, ‘SOTY’ happened. ”

Trade perspective: As trade expert Suniel Wadhwa puts it, “It is like a dream debut for these actors, to be directed by Karan Johar. He looks promising in the promos. A youth-based film like this is coming after a really long time. It could be well-received at the box office.”

Upcoming films: Not signed as yet.

Alia Bhatt
Debut Film:
The Bhatt camp is known to launch a bevy of beauties in the industry. Kangna Ranaut, Esha Gupta, and the list goes long. While Bipasha Basu made her debut with Abbas-Mustan’s ‘Ajnabee’, she rose to fame with Bhatt camp’s ‘Jism’. Now that explains why it came as a surprise that Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter Alia Bhatt is being launched by Dharma Productions and not the Bhatt camp. So far, the promos of the film have aroused curiousity, while Alia seems to remind the audience of Pooja Bhatt in her heydays.

The actor’s take: “My father would have liked to launch me, but I wanted to debut with someone other than my home production. It’s a challenge to get work from an outside banner. Getting work from your father’s production house is an easy installment. At present, I’m just excited about my debut film and the wonderful character that I play, but I have to still concentrate as an actor and give my hundred percent to acting.”

Trade perspective: “Like I said, it certainly is a dream debut even for Alia. To be debuting with Dharma Productions, and being directed by Karan Johar, is a big thing. Things should look good for her,” opines Suniel Wadhwa. 

Upcoming films: Nothing confirmed as yet.

Varun Dhawan
Debut Film:
Student Of The Year (SOTY)
Son of acclaimed filmmaker David Dhawan, Varun also started off with being behind the camera. He assisted his father for several films and later went on to assist Karan Johar for ‘My Name Is Khan’.
Even though, his debut film hasn’t released, women seem to be drooling over his perfect ten physique and looks that they get to see in the promos.

The actor’s take: “I’ve worked as an AD with Dharma Productions but I was very clear about venturing into performing arts. However, I have inherited the genes of enacting through my dad David Dhawan who too was keen on becoming an actor but fate had something else for him. Now I’m hoping that the youth shall allure ‘SOTY’, the audience is the best judge, we can’t predict anything.”

Trade perspective: “About Varun, I’m similarly opinionated as in case of Siddharth Malhotra. Their chemistry with each other in the promos looks good and he could create magic with his debut film,” says Suniel Wadhwa. 

Upcoming films: Nothing confirmed officially.

Ileana D’cruz 
Debut Film: Barfi!
She isn’t an unknown face down the south, thanks to her body of work in Telegu cinema and successful commercial ventures like ‘Pokiri’, ‘Kick’ and ‘Jalsa’. With ‘Barfi!’ she made an entry in the Hindi Film Industry. Interestingly, the actress declined the offer of being signed as the female lead opposite Salman Khan in the Hindi remake of her film, ‘Pokiri’ – ‘Wanted’. While making a debut opposite Salman Khan could be every actresses’ dream, Ileana didn’t think she was ready to make her Hindi film debut, though she regrets having missed the opportunity to work with Salman. But, she chose a slightly niche film like ‘Barfi!’ to step into the industry. Her chemistry with co-star Ranbir Kapoor in the promos has been the talk of the town and is being appreciated. The film has everything going right for it, hence is expected to do well.
The actor’s take: “Down south, I’ve been doing glamorous roles. So, I always had this thought in mind that in a Bollywood film, I’d have to do a little bit of acting, and just look pretty and glamorous. With that in mind, I didn’t want to be a part of such a film. I earlier got many hindi film offers, but it didn’t excite me. I found the script of ‘Barfi!’ really different and interesting, something I haven’t done so far, hence I chose the film. It’s all about the right time.”
Trade perspective: Trade Expert Aman Gill says, “Ileana looked appealing in the promos of the film and her performance is getting good reviews. The film is expected to do well. Things should go well for her, since ‘Barfi!’ is a good film to start off with, and she’s already signed her next project.

Upcoming films: ‘Phata Poster Nikla Hero’ directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, opposite Shahid Kapoor. 

Diana Penty
Debut film: Cocktail

She could have been Jordan’s Heer. We mean, Ranbir Kapoor’s leading lady in Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Rockstar’. She had auditioned for ‘Rockstar’, but like they say, ‘you’ll do what you’re meant to do’. The actress made her debut with Homi Adjania’s ‘Cocktail’ as the simpleton Meera. It was Imtiaz who recommended Diana for the role, since he penned the script of the film. Diana has also done few commercials before entering the industry. One of her TV commercial had her share screen space with Ranbir Kapoor and Genelia D’souza.
Her acting ability was well-appreciated by the critics, and her performance equally well-received by the audience.

The actor’s take: “I’m not a trained actor, but what helped was that I could completely relate to the character of Meera, I’m not starry. I’m an ordinary girl. As a person, I am a little reserved, just as my character was. So, that made it easier for me. And I think ‘Cocktail’ was the perfect debut for me. But I had to train myself for everything possible, right from dancing to diction, modulation and acting classes.”

Trade perspective: “Diana did create a lot of buzz with her debut film and ‘Cocktail’ did well too at the box office. But one can’t say much now since she’s yet to sign her next film. It all depends on that,” says Aman Gill. 

Upcoming films : Not signed any.

Yaami Gautam  
Debut Film: Vicky Donor 
With a face like that, one definitely can’t forget her. So, when Yaami Gautam was seen in the promos of ‘Vicky Donor’, the audience instantly recognised the former TV actress. With a couple of TV shows, and various commercials, she wasn’t really a new face, though it indeed would have been a surprise for the audience to see her on the big screen. The actress had also been doing a few films down the south. But post ‘Vicky Donor’, she just swayed away all the compliments from the critics and audience. Right from her looks, to her acting prowess, the audience seemed to have loved Yaami and would most definitely hope to see more of her.

The actor’s take: “You know for me, work is work. I didn’t do TV thinking, ‘oh it’s just TV’. I had worked equally hard for all my TV shows, just as I did for ‘Vicky Donor’, but yes, it is a different feeling all together to see your self on the 70mm. And ‘Vicky Donor’ was a perfect film for the debut. I signed the film because of the script and a brilliant director like Shoojit Sircar”

Trade perspective: Aman Gill feels, “Yaami has been really liked in her debut film. She has that charm and a bubbly feel to her. But she hasn’t signed many films post ‘Vicky Donor’ so can’t comment much.”

Upcoming films: Shoojit Sircar’s ‘Hamara Bajaj’ with her debut co-star Ayushmann Khurrana.

1 comment: