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 actors from varied genres of films finding a unanimous nod of approval from audience as well as critics alike.
Ranbir Kapoor (Barfi!)
Even though as a film ‘Barfi!’ was a tad uneven, what enabled the narrative to keep peaking at regular intervals was one man – Ranbir Kapoor. One can keep assigning adjectives to his act but rest assured, he would be pretty much finding himself in the awards arena at every function. He more than just justifies his selection for the film and his mannerisms, body language, smile, angst, pathos, quest for smaller things in life and reasons to be happy are what make ‘Barfi!’ endearing. The youngest superstar that Bollywood has today.
Irrfan Khan (Paan Singh Tomar)
Tigmanshu Dhulia played a masterstroke by roping in Irrfan Khan as the film’s lead. There hasn’t been a blemish in his performances ever and yet again in a central role, Irrfan proved why even internationally there is so much curiosity to see him on the big screen. While he retains his originality, he never tries to go over and above the character and stays within the parameters that were written for a character, something that was the case with ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ as well. Irrfan was superb once again.
Akshay Kumar (Rowdy Rathore)
Akshay Kumar went all out for ‘Rowdy Rahore’ as he left behind the relatively serious characterisation from the world of ‘Desi Boyz’ and ‘Patiala House’ and stepped back into the world of ‘Aflatoon’ and the likes. In fact after watching the film many opined that it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to rechristen the film’s title as ‘Khiladi Rathore’ because that would have truly justified the essence of both characters that Akshay played. While his character of a happy-go-lucky-small-time-thief dominated the scene from start to finish, his cop counterpart ‘Rathore’ impressed in an extended guest appearance.
Salman Khan (Dabangg 2)
In 2012’s grand finale release ‘Dabangg 2’, one man who kept the entire show running with no interruption or hindrance whatsoever was Salman Khan. Right from the opening credits where the escapades of Chulbul Pandey from ‘Dabangg’ were flashed to the way he went about cracking jokes with his team of policemen to the camaraderie that he shared with his senior to the wit that he brings in practically every conversation of his to the way he went around reacting to the most life threatening situations as a mere joke, he never allowed the tempo of the film to slow down. A true ‘dabangg’ performance.
Paresh Rawal (OMG – Oh My God!)
Paresh Rawal dominated, and impressed, throughout the film and whether it was his argument in the Court or at the chat show or with God himself, he was just superb. What stood out was his never-say-die attitude in the most adverse of situations, so much so that as an audience you actually start empathising for him. As the character ‘Kaanji Bhai’, he never tried to project himself as someone overconfident and simply challenged the various beliefs and practices coming in due to commercialisation of religion. With the film, Paresh Rawal showed once again what he is made of.