From best ac­tors and fringe play­ers, to best and worst films to scan­dals in Bol­ly­wood, we have the list!

In a year that threw sev­eral sur­prises, it’s tough to pick one per­for­mance. Subhash K Jha raises a toast to the films and the stars of the year

Masala! - - INSIDE... -

NAWAZUD­DIN SID­DIQUI IN MANTO

He lived, breathed and ex­haled the life of the great Urdu au­thor Saa­dat Hasan Manto in this cur­va­ceous bio-pic di­rected by Nan­dita Das. Nawaz didn’t un­ravel the mys­tique of the artiste-lit­er­a­teur. He sim­ply wrapped his per­son­al­ity around Manto, ab­sorb­ing and in­gest­ing Manto’s pain-lashed words. This was Nawaz at his best.

RANI MUK­ERJI IN HICHKI

The dan­ger of por­tray­ing dis­abled char­ac­ters is that the ail­ment ends up be­ing a gim­mick to gain au­di­ences’ sym­pa­thy. It is to Rani’s credit that she did not al­low her af­flic­tion to be re­duced to a for­mula. Not once did that alarm­ing sound from her throat be­come an ir­ri­tant. We were watch­ing Naina Mathur strug­gle with Tourette Syn­drome. Who is Rani Muk­erji?

AK­SHAY KU­MAR IN PADMAN

Yet an­other real-life char­ac­ter, this time the man who in­vented the eco­nom­i­cal san­i­tary pad for fi­nan­cially chal­lenged women. Make no mis­take, Ak­shay is back play­ing the so­cial cru­sader. In Toi­let Ek Prem Katha, he fought so­ci­etal prej­u­dices to build a toi­let for his wife. Here in Padman his char­ac­ter goes to great lengths to con­ceive, cre­ate and pro­mote eco­nom­i­cal san­i­tary nap­kins be­cause….well…be­cause when a woman bleeds, our Padman’s heart bleeds.

In just two min­utes,

Ak­shay com­mu­ni­cates to us the ur­gent need to end the fem­i­nine race’s men­strual dis­com­fort.

ALIA BHATT IN RAAZI

What I found more ex­cep­tional than Alia’s per­for­mance (no doubt out­stand­ing in its own right) was her abil­ity to un­der­stand a world she had never en­coun­tered in her life. This is the true hall­mark of great tal­ent. Play­ing an In­dian spy-bride in Pak­istan, she shone in every frame, as only Alia can.

TABU IN AND­HAD­HUN

Se­ri­ously vamp­ish, Tabu play­ing a hus­band­killer ef­fort­lessly con­veyed her plea­sure in be­ing bad. She loved every evil mo­ment of her char­ac­ter’s ex­is­tence.

VARUN DHAWAN IN OC­TO­BER

Varun moved away from his com­fort zone to get into the skin of a char­ac­ter who be­lieves a girl in a coma has feel­ings for him. The flimsy emo­tional ground was built into a char­ac­ter whose ob­sti­nacy de­fines the very essence of un­con­di­tional love. For Varun, this was a jump into an­other world, not quite as alien to him as the Pak­istani bride-spy’s world was for Alia. But still dis­tant enough to prove Varun’s evolv­ing tal­ent.

RAN­BIR KAPOOR IN SANJU

In a film fa­tally flawed and felled by its un­con­trol­lable de­sire to turn its crim­i­nal hero into a mar­tyr, Ran­bir daz­zled as San­jay Dutt. Dutt may not be any­thing like how Ran­bir played him. But I am sure Dutt would like to be the way Ran­bir played him.

DILJIT DOSANJH IN SOORMA

Play­ing the real-life hockey champ San­deep Singh,

Diljit breathed life into the char­ac­ter. He didn’t

‘play’ San­deep Singh. He in­ter­nalised the strug­gles of the char­ac­ter so ef­fort­lessly that we could no longer see Diljit on screen. A truly award -wor­thy per­for­mance.

RAN­VEER-DEEPIKA IN PAD­MAA­VAT

Deepika Padukone and Ran­veer Singh bring an ex­quis­ite op­er­atic duet-like feel­ing to their an­tag­o­nis­tic parts. Though they sing the same song from dif­fer­ent scales, they are like the earth and sky never des­tined to meet. Iron­i­cally they met in real life. Till death do they part.

AYUSH­MANN KHUR­RANA IN BAD­HAAI HO AND AND­HAD­HUN

This has been Ayush­mann’s year in many ways. His blind pi­anist act in And­had­hun was pitch per­fect, be it in the body lan­guage or when he shows his mean side. Then there was Bad­haai Ho where he stepped into fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory – of the boy-next-door.

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