Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Filmi Girl's Top 10 Scene Stealers of 2012

Some people love strong heroes, some people love plucky heroines, but I love a good scene stealer. Those unsung actors and actresses who can take a three line role and turn it into the most memorable part of film. Those actors and actresses whose names rarely appear in awards shows but without whom, Bollywood would become a much more boring place.

Here is my tribute to my favorite mothers, sisters, brothers, villains, comedians, and best friends of 2012!


5. Helen in Jodi Breakers

Though I never saw this film nor do I feel any reason to, I did enjoy all the promotions for one reason: HELEN. Helen remains a pure delight on screen, whether she’s graciously accepting praise on Dance India Dance or just posing in front of a signboard. There is nobody quite like Helen. You can’t take your eyes off of her.

4. Bharti Singh in Khiladi 786

It takes a formidable actress to stand up to the screen presence of Akshay Kumar but Bharti Singh was up to the challenge in Khiladi 786! Her turn as the saucy maid who is annoyed at the unwanted affections of Gurpreet Ghuggi was one of the many small delights hidden in Khiladi 786 and I hope we see more of Bharti in Bollywood in the future!

3. Dolly Ahluwalia and Kamlesh Gill in Vicky Donor

As a middlebrow “Hindie” film, Vicky Donor was entertaining enough. From an American standpoint at least, the subject matter didn’t seem terribly shocking, and though as “Vicky” Ayushmann Khurrana was quite charming, I wasn’t all that impressed with the romance track or Yami Gautam. What is worth remembering from this film are Vicky’s mum and grandmother and their evenings spent drinking whiskey and bonding. Dolly Ahluwalia and Kamlesh Gill were magic on screen and the two of them deserve to be recognized!

2. Sheeba Chaddha in Talaash

Talaash was a film just packed with outstanding performances but Sheeba Chaddha’s mini-arc as the world-weary prostitute who takes a chance on human nature was one of the highlights. Sheeba made the most of her screen time and proved true the old adage that there are no small roles, just small actors. Sheeba’s eyes made as much an impression on me as Bebo’s - and that’s saying something.

1. Kanika Tiwari in Agneepath

Young Kanika Tiwari had a tough job in Agneepath. Hrithik Roshan is an intense actor who commits 100% to a role and if his co-star doesn’t share his intensity, it leads to really dreadful scenes - like Priyanka Chopra’s shill romantic comedy act opposite Hrithik’s dreamboat persona in Krrish or Priyanka Chopra’s shrill romantic comedy act opposite Hrithik’s brooding hunk in Agneepath.

But as Hrithik’s younger sister in the film, Kanika hits the perfect notes of quiet girlish innocence backed by a firm resolve. She acts with Hrithik instead of against him and the two really seem like siblings on screen. It was a wonderful performance and one of the most impressive from a young actress this year.


5. Kiccha Sudeep in Eega

I probably should have saved this for my list of leading roles because Kiccha Sudeep has more screentime than anybody else in Eega but technically he isn’t the hero so I’m putting him here. Acting opposite a green screen or an invisible co-star is hard work - just ask any of the actors who crashed and burned in George Lucas’s Star Wars prequels. Kiccha Sudeep doesn’t just act with a CGI fly, he essentially creates the idea a murderous housefly for the audience purely through his reaction to it. The CGI is just a gimmick, Kiccha Sudeep is the real special effect.

4. Deepak Dobriyal in Dabangg 2

Deepak is one of those talented and charismatic actors who, for some mind boggling reasons, isn’t cast nearly as often nor given a wide a variety of roles as he should be. So when his name popped up in the credits for Dabangg 2 I was really happy and when he meets an early and untimely demise in the film I was really sad. His character contained about 90% of the driving force in Dabangg 2 and when he kicks it, most of my interest in the film died too.

3. Pitobash in Shanghai

Yet another talented and charismatic actor who deserves more and bigger roles is Pitobash. I had some issues with the scolding limousine liberal messages put across in Shanghai but not with party worker Bhagu as played by Pito. It was a role that could easily have been a straw man or caricature but Pito puts a heavy dose of humanity behind his deeds and even though he doesn’t have much screen time or explanitory dialogue, you really understand why he does the things he does and feel empathy for his situation.

2. Shreyas Talepade in Joker

Shreyas was handed a difficult but thankless role in a film that nobody saw but everybody hated and he fucking nails it. As Akshay sleepwalks through sequence after sequence, Shreyas is there with the charisma of a thousand burning suns, carrying the film on his bronzed, golden shoulders like a jibberish spouting Adonis.

It was a truly memorable performance and it blows my mind that Shreyas doesn’t get more work.

1. Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Kahaani, Talaash, and Patang (and those are just the films I saw)

If there is one man who deserves to be crowned the Debutant of 2012, it is Nawazuddin Siddiqui. He burst onto the scene with a memorable performance in Kahaani and followed it up with a whole string of memorable performances in series of films that just happened to get released all in a row, ending the year with Talaash. It will be interesting to see what 2013 has in store for him and how he uses this newfound recognition... and how he ends up straddling the divide between art house and commercial film.

1 comment:

Stuart Martin said...

"His character contained about 90% of the driving force in Dabangg 2 and when he kicks it, most of my interest in the film died too" - I definitely agree with that. For me, this was his second theft of a movie - I found myself much more interested in his character in Tanu Weds Manu than was intended. He does supportive best friend superbly, 2nd-fiddle baddie so well it's beneath him, when does he get the films he deserves?

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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