May 28, 2010



BEST: Guru: Inconsistent is how you can best describe Aishwarya Rai’s filmography. She has been mediocre in many movies and then packed a surprise punch when you are least expecting it. In this Mani Ratnam film, Ash got the pitch perfect, first as the mercurial companion and then the silent support.

BETTER: Jodhaa Akbar: It’s not without reason that Ash is called a director’s actress. Her best work has been with the best directors. Under the watchful eye of Ashutosh Gowariker, Ash’s Jodhaa turned back time with grace and yet made an impact today. Her chemistry with Hrithik crackled. Again.

GOOD: Dhoom:2: There are movies where Ash shone brighter as an actress but we wanted to salute Ash the glam goddess too. And for that we don’t need to look beyond this Yash Raj style bible. As Sunehri the chorni, Ash sizzled like never before — with ravishing Hrithik for company.


BEST: Namastey London: Katrina Kaif and acting don’t exactly go hand-in-glove but the hit queen has improved dramatically over the years. The half-Brit half-Kashmiri stunner was most convincing in this Vipul Shah film where most traits of London babe Jazz were Kats herself. We loved this one.

BETTER: New York: Again a dash of firangipana, but also proof that Katrina is no longer just a great-looking showpiece. As the wife who knew everything, Kats turns in a mature act that goes with the sombre feel of the film. From college girl to motherhood, she looked smashing.

GOOD: Humko Deewana Kar Gaye: We chose this one because there are some films when just looking good is enough and if you go back to this Akshay Kumar-starrer, you will realise Katrina has never looked better in any film. Ajab Prem and Singh is Kinng come close, but this is what a Katdream is made of.


BEST: Jab We Met: Tum sirf apni nahin bahut saari logon ki favourite ho! Seldom does an original and endearing character like Geet come along in B-town and to Kareena Kapoor’s credit she made this Imtiaz Ali creation her own. So much so that she plays Geet now in other movies too. Proof: 3 Idiots!

BETTER:Omkara: Vishal Bhardwaj may make male-oriented movies but he does give the women enough to do. As Dolly, the desi Desdemona, Kareena is a refreshing revelation, free from mannerisms and make-up. Pretty and pure with a smile to drive men to distraction (if not death).

GOOD: Chameli: There’s something about golden-hearted prostitutes that makes them glow on celluloid. Bebo may not have outdone some stalwarts but she did manage to bring a curious charm to her Chameli that left a sweet aftertaste.


BEST: Fashion: Madhur Bhandarkar is bang on when he looks back and says nobody but Priyanka Chopra could have played Meghna in his ramp reality show. Why? There’s nobody in Bollywood today who can better this package of body, brains and bravura act.

BETTER: Kaminey: Another Vishal Bhardwaj creation, Piggychops doesn’t have a lot to do here but she does so much with her few scenes that you can’t take your eyes off Sweety Bhope. Remember her getting jiggy with Pehli baar mohabbat as a mast Marathi mulgi.

GOOD: Dostana: Glam, slam, thank you ma’m! Priyanka went the distance with this Karan Johar production looking as sexy in a silver sari as she does in a golden bikini. Who’s the hottest girl in the world? This desi girl, this desi girl!


BEST: Black: Rani Mukerji took off from where Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit had left off as a powerful mainstream actress. But for Bhansali’s Black, the Bengali beauty unlearnt everything to deliver a performance so honest and so moving that Michelle McNally has become a Bolly benchmark for all time.

BETTER: Bunty Aur Babli: We had seen Bonnie and Clyde and Natural Born Killers and Thelma & Louise, but Rani brought an infectious innocence to Babli that made B ’n’ B a duo we could root for, without guilt. Kajra re’s Ash may be have been the body, but Rani was the soul.

GOOD: Saathiya: Rani’s first tryst with Shaad Ali and Mani Ratnam’s brand of cinema (he directed the original, Alaipayuthey) saw the actress bloom to the fullest, riding the arc perfectly — from the radiant lover to the bruised wife. Rahman’s ballads really had never looked better.


BEST: Ishqiya: She may not have that many names in her filmography, yet we were really struggling to put Vidya Balan’s best performances in 1-2-3. We pick Ishqiya because a femme fatale like this doesn’t come along every day. What she did with her eyes to Naseer and with her mouth to Arshad redefined sensuality in B-town for us.

BETTER: Paa: She made love to Abhishek and mothered Amitabh. Wow! As the SMS joke which invaded inboxes after the release suggested, this film really should have been called Maa. Simply because Vidya constructed a mother that was rare, very contemporary yet classic.

GOOD: Parineeta: A debut which was so good that it was almost unreal. Pradeep Sarkar’s find almost didn’t make it in the auditions but destiny had other ideas for Vidya Balan who walked into Sarat Chandra’s world and gave a new face and dignity to Lolita.