Indian actors were on a roll in 2014. Ranging from the serious to the dramatic, action-oriented to comic, Bollywood's leading ladies vivified their personas with novel scripts and made the movie-viewing experience all the more thrilling and entertaining.
Here is a list of the top female performers of the year in Hindi filmdom:
Kangna Ranaut: Her heartfelt performance in the women-centric melodrama Queen earned her a lot of kudos from critics and viewers alike. The film turned out to be a success at the box office as it bagged Rs. 55 crore despite its modest budget. The actress appeared in two other films this year - Revolver Rani and Ungli - both of which did not perform very well, but her performance was lauded.
Alia Bhatt: Her sheer frivolity in 2 States and her portrayal of a vibrant, free-spirited girl who develops an affectionate relationship with her kidnapper in Highway, has landed Alia amid a mound of praise. With three films this year, the actress made her presence felt in the cinematic world with Imtiaz Ali's Highway, which raked in Rs. 30 crore. The 21-year-old also appeared in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, which received a lukewarm response.
Priyanka Chopra: The former Miss World and National Award winning talent showcased her versatile acting talent with Mary Kom, a biopic on Indian boxing champion MC Mary Kom. The film collected around Rs. 54 crore and further secured Priyanka's place among top actresses in present-day tinsel town.
Rani Mukerji: Her personification of the aptly labelled Mardaani police officer Shivani Shivaji Roy, and her raw, unswerving and invincible rage against the child trafficking mafia attracted humungous praise from noted critics and movie-goers. Mardaani, directed by Pradeep Sarkar, was a low-budget film but it minted Rs. 40 crore.
Deepika Padukone: The exuberant role that Deepika played in Happy New Year, which earned Rs. 188 crore at the box office, appealed to the audiences, who were also excited to see the Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika pair on-screen after they were last seen together in Chennai Express. Happy New Year is the flamboyant actress' third hit with SRK following Om Shanti Om and Chennai Express.
Shraddha Kapoor: After Aashiqui 2, which released in 2013, Ek Villain and Haider turned out to be great projects for Shraddha Kapoor this year. While Ek Villain collected over Rs. 96 crore, Haider minted Rs. 50 crore.
Anushka Sharma: With the release of Aamir Khan-starrer PK right around the corner, it seems like she saved herself for the last, only to emerge as a promising wild-card entry to the bevy of actresses who dominated the year. Her pixie look and jaunty persona in the film have received as much accolades as has Aamir Khan's 'alien' character in the entertainer, which has set the cash registers ringing.