Every year is about the people (and things) that make it fabulous. And so, in our year-end issue, we always look forward to who’s going to make it big next year. We ask a jury of experts in our favourite fields – films, music, sports, technology – to suggest names of people and products that will hit the jackpot.
Some of the names we have recommended in the past – MS Dhoni, Sneha Khanwalkar, Amit Trivedi, Deepika Padukone – did very well for themselves, as predicted.
With the last issue of 2013, we bring you a list of people – newer names who, our jury says (and we agree), are going to stand out in 2014.
We wish them all the luck, and we wish you, our readers, a very happy New Year! Take our advice and party hard – the rest will follow!
Komal Nahta, film trade analyst
Shraddha Kapoor: She is a fine mix of glamour and talent. Kapoor proved herself in Aashiqui 2, essaying a difficult role with finesse. Her performance in the 2013 blockbuster reminded people of her aunt, Padmini Kolhapure, who was also a very fine actress. Additionally, Kapoor is very glamorous. Young people find her ‘hot’.
Parineeti Chopra: Her style of acting is so natural that you don’t even feel like she’s acting. Chopra may not be very glamorous, but her talent makes up for it.
Alia Bhatt: She is young, pretty and cute. Bhatt is every young boy’s fantasy; and her first film, Student Of The Year (SOTY), was a hit. The headstart that she got with SOTY will work to her advantage.
Sushant Singh Rajput: He seems to be a born actor. Looking at the films Rajput’s done so far, it appears that he enjoys acting and gives his everything to the role he is offered. There is not an iota of doubt that Rajput has a very bright future ahead of him and should soon become a force to reckon with.
Ranveer Singh: The young man swayed audiences in his first film, Band Baaja Baaraat. Singh didn’t do as well in his next films, but shone like never before in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela. With this hit under his belt, he’s now looking at a brighter future. This year will probably force even those who would like to give all the credit for his performance in Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela to Bhansali, to sit up and take notice of Singh.
Aditya Roy Kapur Like Shraddha Kapoor, Kapur was also not fortunate enough to taste success in his debut film. But Aashiqui 2 gave him name, fame and stardom, much like it gave Shraddha Kapoor.
Vikas Bahl, director and producer
Alia Bhatt: Everyone wants to love her.
Parineeti Chopra: Her USP is the magic of seeing the girl next door on the big screen.
Shraddha Kapoor: She’s lovable and will grow with each film she does.
Arjun Kapoor: He’s a man amongst the boys and has great screen presence, as we saw in his two movies, Ishaqzaade and Aurangzeb.
Sidharth Malhotra: It’s the sincerity in his eyes and ‘the guy you can depend on’ vibe that makes him tick. He’s the teenagers’ new fantasy come true.
Varun Dhawan: A livewire and effortlessly charming.
Amar Butala creative director, studios, Disney UTV
Deepika Padukone: With four blockbusters: Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express and Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, 2013 has been Padukone’s year. She’s incredibly talented; audiences both in India and overseas love her; and with some good films in her kitty, 2014 will be another good year for Padukone. It would be great to see her do a film that’s about her: no hero, just her and a good script. She’s one actress who can pull that off!
Alia Bhatt: She made a confident debut in her debut film. I think Imtiaz Ali’s Highway will be the game changer for Bhatt, who is set to emerge as one of the hottest young stars.
Parineeti Chopra: She is a natural. Chopra is a favourite with filmmakers and audiences alike, perhaps because at an early stage in her career she’s picked films with strong, interesting characters.
Ranbir Kapoor: He’s rewritten every rule in the film business and yet his winning streak continues. Barfi! was a brave choice for any actor to make, but Kapoor did the film, and even now continues to create a brand of cinema he believes in. The 18-35-year-olds who go to the movies both in India and overseas love him for his choices. A Ranbir Kapoor film is already an ‘event film’. In the business, not many young stars can boast of that so early in their career. Disney UTV, Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Basu come together again, post Barfi! for Jagaa Jasoos which we believe will be another landmark film.
Aditya Roy Kapur: He has what it takes to grow into a major star in the coming year. Aashiqui 2, a sleeper hit, has set the stage for it. With Disney UTV’s next, Fitoor, we believe Kapur will emerge as a major star in the next year.
Arjun Kapoor: He is a talented actor and has the charisma to grow into a major star. Kapoor’s picked an interesting mix of films for the coming year – from Two States, a Homi Adajania film, to Gunday, all with good strong characters and interesting scripts. This year should be a good one for him.
|“She is a natural drama queen”
||“Everyone wants to love her”|
Born and brought up in Ambala in Haryana, Chopra was studying to be an investment banker in England when the downturn hit and she returned to India.
The fact that her first cousin, actress Priyanka Chopra, was a part of Bollywood didn’t stop Chopra from laughing at the “frivolous” world of movies, till one day when she accompanied Priyanka to Yash Raj Studios.
She liked the sharp marketing strategies that went into making a film a success and took up a job in the marketing division of YRF.
It was here that Maneesh Sharma, director of Band Baaja Baaraat, spotted Chopra and signed her for Ladies vs Ricky Bahl.
Her spunky, bindaas Delhi Punjabi girl act drew much applause and many awards.
Her next film, Ishaqzaade, in which she played a bubbly but gutsy, revolver-wielding girl from the badlands of UP, established Chopra as an actress. “She is a natural drama queen,” says Sharma. Adds film trade analyst Komal Nahta, “Her films Hasee Toh Phasee and Daawat-E-Ishq are eagerly awaited.”
|She has the acting finesse of her mother, actress Soni Razdan and the fire of her dad Mahesh Bhatt. |
But in looks and temperament, Bhatt is nothing like either of them. As director-producer Karan Johar, (who also launched her in Bollywood) puts it, “Alia Bhatt is a star, naturally.”
Bhatt was still studying in junior college in Mumbai when Johar spotted her and signed her up for Student of the Year (SOTY).
She created quite a flutter with her first film. Bhatt seemed to be a perfect fit for her character in SOTY: a cute, super-rich kid with loads of attitude. As director-producer Vikas Bahl says, “She is cute and sexy. Everyone wants to love her.”
Pundits are putting their money on her as the ‘hottest young thing’ in Bollywood. And with Imtiaz Ali’s Highway and Two States, produced by Karan Johar, to be released early next year, 2014 looks like a game-changing year for Bhatt.
|Claim to fame
Audience appeal: The fans love Chopra’s bindaas, vivacious, in-your-face lovable girl-next-door persona.
Best performance: Ladies vs Ricky Bahl in 2011.
She won all the Best Debut and Best Supporting Actress awards that year.
Chopra’s next, Ishaqzaade, got her a special mention at the National Awards.
|Claim to fame|
Audience appeal: Her fresh, innocent, Barbie-doll looks are an instant hit with the boys.
Add to it oodles of chutzpah, sex appeal and glamour.
Best performance: Bhatt won most of the Best Debut awards for her performance as the super-rich, classy but clueless Shanaya (her character) in Student Of The Year.
|Aditya Roy Kapur
|“He’s a force to reckon with”
||“A man among the boys”|
|With his cheeky wit, Kapur was a hit as a Channel [V] jockey. He made his debut in Bollywood in 2009 with Vipul Shah’s London Dreams, but couldn’t make much of an impact. Next, Kapur did bit roles in Action Replayy and Guzaarish, and got his first starring role in Aashiqui 2. This ‘sleeper hit’ brought Kapur to the forefront, thanks to his portrayal of a self-destructive, alcoholic singer. His next, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, made people start taking him seriously. These films also brought Kapur out of the shadow of his brothers, Disney UTV CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur and Delhi Belly actor Kunal Roy Kapur.
Trade analyst Komal Nahta says that after Aashiqui 2 and Yeh Jawaani..., Kapur is a man to watch out for. His 2014 release, Fitoor, could make him a force to be reckoned with.
|He is the quintessential ‘baba’ of the film world, the son of producer Boney Kapoor and his deceased first wife. He grew up breathing and living films, but Kapoor never thought of getting in front of the camera with his 140-kg body until Salman Khan took him under his wing and got him to lose weight. Unlike many star sons, Kapoor didn’t wait for his father to launch him. He put up his pictures on Facebook and auditioned nearly five times before he was finally selected by Habib Faisal for his debut film Ishaqzaade in 2012. Kapoor metamorphosed from a big-city Mumbai lad to the rugged, rural vagabond Parma. |
The film marked the arrival of what Vikas Bahl calls “the man amongst the boys.” With his next film Aurangzeb, where he played a stylish, bad boy, Kapoor reinforced his macho persona. With Two States and Gunday lined up next year, 2014 appears to be another hot year for the cool Ka
|Claim to fame
Audience appeal: His super sensitive persona and eyes that speak volumes make girls go weak at the knees.
Best performance: Critics and audiences first took serious note of Kapur for his performance in Guzaarish. With a stellar act in Aashiqui 2, he is hot property again.
|Claim to fame|
Audience appeal: His uninhibited flamboyance on screen. Not a ‘hero-type’ looker, Kapoor, with his mischievous laugh and haughty attitude, fills the screen with his big presence.
From HT Brunch, December 31
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