THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL
The Khans still rule, but it’s the ladies who showed how far Bollywood has travelled
AAMIR KHAN PRODUCED and starred in sports drama
Dangal which overcame demonetisation woes to become Hindi cinema’s biggest ever hit. Yet, Mr Perfectionist Khan has a ways to go before he becomes the most popular one. That position is still held by Salman ‘Bhai’ Khan. Shah Rukh Khan has kept himself in contention, though his star has lost some of its sheen with some ‘disappointing’ shows (which in film parlance means his movies are no longer cracking the Rs 100 crore club). But then, the actor has lately demonstrated a proclivity for less-formulaic cinema (Fan) and isn’t insecure about taking the backseat
(Dear Zindagi) for a change. The 51-year-old trio is still ahead of much-younger peers like Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor, but their toughest competition is Akshay Kumar, who is the hero of the hour with films doused in patriotic fervour (Airlift and Rustom). India’s movie-going audience isn’t just rooting for the top dogs; they like the underdogs too as is evident with the presence of Nawazuddin Siddiqui on the list, after having two solo releases in
Freaky Ali and Raman Raghav 2.0. On the heroine front, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra were the desi girls who went pardesi, spending 2016 building careers in the US. Padukone shot her Hollywood debut xXx: Return of
Xander Cage; Chopra was busy with season two of Quantico and the movie adaptation of popular TV series Baywatch. The box office queen of 2016, though, was Anushka Sharma with Sultan and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil cumulatively earning Rs 400-plus crore in India. Lastly, the entertainment story of 2016 has been the rise of 23-year-old Alia Bhatt. The young actor may not know the who’s who of the nation but when it comes to her craft she has it all figured out . With a stellar performance as a Bihari migrant who is sexually abused and addicted to heroin in Udta Punjab, Bhatt is the bona fide heroine to watch out for.