2008 was the year of inane comedies and theme oriented movies. Quality was appreciated and slapstick humor were digested without a burp. On one hand, we had the inane, slapstick comedies like Golmaal Returns and Singh is Kinng as big hits, there were also few surprises in the form of Aamir, Mumbai Meri Jaan and A Wednesday. This triumvirate of theme based movies, based on terror acts and bomb blasts were high on quality and appreciated by both the critics and the masses. A Wednesday particularly stood out for its engaging dialogues and script sense. Towards the end of the year, the two Khans dominated the Bollywood scene. While Shahrukh Khan scored with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Aamir Khan’s Ghajini became the biggest hit of the year, raking in as much as whopping Rs. 33 crores world wide in the first day itself. At the point of writing, Ghajini is still riding very strongly and hopes to reach the magical figure of Rs. 100 crores in three weeks.
Among the guys, the year did not belong to one particular actor like it did for Akshay Kumar in 2007. The biggies Akshay Kumar (Singh is Kinng), Shahrukh Khan (Rab Ne), Hrithik Roshan (Jodhaa Akbar), Saif Ali Khan (Race) and Aamir Khan (Ghajini) had all one hit each. Oops, one big name is missing. Ah! there you are: Salman Khan. Salman had a bad year professionally. Two of his movies, God Tussi Great Ho and Yuvvraaj, flopped miserably at the box office.
Among the veterans, Naseeruddin Shah had a good year with two big hits, A Wednesday and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Amitabh Bachchan did not have a good 2008 with God Tussi Great Ho, Bhootnath and the Last Lear not doing well. The only saving grace was an average Sarkar Raj. But his box office status is unfazed. Son Abhishek Bachchan had a mega flop in the form of Drona and a semi hit in the form of Dostana. John Abraham also had Dostana to his credit while Emran Hashmi was safe and secure with Jannat doing well. Ajay Devgan had a disastrous directorial debut U,Me aur Hum in which he acted. Fortunately, he had one hit Golmaal Returns to his credit. Shreyas Talpade had two hits in the form of Golmaal Returns and Welcome to Sajjanpur. Shahid Kapur had to be content with an above average Kismet Konnection.
Among the girls, perhaps no one suffered so much professionally as Priyanka Chopra. In the same vein, we can say perhaps no one benefited as much in 2008 as Priyanka Chopra. Priyanka Chopra starred in four of the worst flops of 2008: Love Story 2050, Drona, God Tussi Great Ho and Chamku. However a strong performance oriented role in Fashion, turned the tide for heels. Following close on the heels of Fashion, was Dostana. Priyanka Chopra had an average year in 2008. Kareena Kapoor looked hot and sexy in 2008, but her size zero figure could not save Tashan from being the worst film of 2008. Kareena Kapoor was able to salvage some glory in Golmaal Returns. Minissha Lamba donned a sexy avatar which did not help Kidnap at all. However, she achieved some solace in Bachna Ae Haseeno. Deepika Padukone had one hit, as well in the form of Bachna Ae Haseeno. Rani Mukherjee and Amisha Patel, both flopped again this year with their only film Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic losing out. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had a hit in Jodhaa Akbar while Katrina Kaif scored in Race and Singh is Kinng. Her other movie Yuvvraaj sank without a trace. Vidya Balan had a semi hit in Kismet Konnection. Bipasha Basu, arguably, the sexiest actress of 2008, is the only actress with 100 percent success rate. The oomphilicious Bipasha Basu, sexy and sassy had two hits, Race and Bachna Ae Haseeno to her credit.
There were two South Indian beauties who appeared in Bollywood, one in a changed avatar and the other making a fresh appearance. Genelia D’Souza who had previously starred in Masti, years ago, starred in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, the youth hit, as a teeny bopper. Her fantastic performance and cute looks earned her a legion of fans. Asin, another southern sensation debuted in the biggest Bollywood hit of 2008, Ghajini. Asin’s performance is being widely appreciated. The other list of female newcomers in Bollywood include: Anushka Sharma (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), Sonal Chauhan (Jannat) and Adah Sharma (1920).
Among the guys making debut in Bollywood, Imran Khan, nephew of Aamir Khan had a fantastic debut in one of the biggest hits of 2008, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. However he couldn’t follow it up with his second movie Kidnap biting the dust. Another new comer, Harman Baweja, Priyanka Chopra’s boyfriend, starred in one of the worst films of 2008, Love Story 2050. Incidentally both Jaane Tu and Lovestory 2050, released on the same day. Rajneesh Duggal debuted in 1920 while Mithun Chakraborthy’s son Mimmoh had a pathetic flop in the form of Jimmy, as his debut film. Here’s hoping 2009 sees better movies, better performances and better surprises!