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Rediff.com  » Movies » Class of '92: 25 years of SRK, Kajol, Suniel Shetty...

Class of '92: 25 years of SRK, Kajol, Suniel Shetty...

Last updated on: June 08, 2017 16:36 IST

Sukanya Verma looks at the debutants of that year and how they've fared since.

Amitabh Bachchan proved he's still the boss in Khuda Gawah.

Madhuri Dixit's Dhak Dhak in Beta set countless hearts palpitating.

Akshay Kumar had his first taste of Khiladi even as Aamir Khan discovered his flair for sports-themed dramas with Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar.

Salman Khan's career hit an all-time low with back-to-back duds like Nishchay, Jaagruti and Suryavanshi whereas Govinda and Juhi Chawla delivered one of the biggest flops of their career, Radha Ka Sangam.

Revathy's creepy gaze scared the bejesus out of the audience in Raat while Rahul Roy's transformed into a growling tiger for Junoon.

A teenaged Divya Bharti made an instant splash following her Hindi debut Vishwatma and spate of releases -- Shola Aur Shabnam, Balwaan, Jaan Se Pyaara, Deewana, Dil Aashna Hai, Dil Hi To Hai, Dil Ka Kya Kasoor and Geet.

A year later, the rising star passed away under tragic circumstances.

1992 was a mixed bag for Bollywood, but it did give us some of our biggest and most beloved stars.

On the 25th anniversary of these events, Sukanya Verma looks at the debutants of that year and how they've fared since.

Shah Rukh Khan

After making a charming first impression in and as Fauji on the small screen, Shah Rukh Khan decided it was time to make the all-important switch to the silver screen with Hema Malini's Dil Aashna Hai.

Except his first release would be Raj Kanwar's Deewana co-starring Rishi Kapoor and Divya Bharti.

Although he shows up only in the second half of the latter, the love triangle was a box-office smash and established him as a force to reckon with.

The audience lapped up his nervous energy and thrilling intensity both as an underdog and antagonist.

Where most actors would be permanently typecast for playing remorseless villains in films like Darr and Baazigar, SRK enjoyed uninterrupted success and was hailed as the King of Romance for his passionate portrayals of Raj and Rahul in confection like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai and its ilk.

Just when the superstar appeared to be stagnating in lovey-dovey characters or roles that relied blindly on his larger-than-life persona, he made conscious efforts to focus on his range as a performer (Swades, Chak De! India, My Name is Khan, Fan, Raaes) and producer (Asoka, Paheli, Om Shanti Om, Ra.One, Dear Zindagi).

Whether these endeavours work or backfire, SRK's superstardom remains unquestioned.

If anything, the actor's career has not looked this exciting in a long time.

Kajol

Being Shobhana Samarth's granddaughter, Tanuja's daughter and Nutan's niece meant Kajol has quite a legacy to contend with.

A challenge she more than lived up to eventually, if not in her introduction film.

Everyone took note of the hazel-eyed beauty's natural talent in front of the camera in Rahul Rawail's wishy-washy Bekhudi, which also introduced filmmaker Brij Sadanah's son Kamal, but the launchpad itself was a complete washout.

Unlike most of her contemporaries content to play the hero's arm candy, spunky Kajol stood her ground in Udhar Ki Zindagi, Baazigar and Yeh Dillagi.

If blockbusters like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai highlighted her scene-stealing capabilities and extraordinary chemistry with SRK, projects like Gupt and Dushman showed a willingness to attempt something edgy.

Marriage and motherhood may have voluntarily slowed her down, but Kajol's love affair with cinema is far from over.

Her last release Dilwale was an unsalvageable mess, but an upcoming Tamil project directed by Soundarya Rajnikanth brims with promise.

Suniel Shetty

Entrepreneur Suniel Shetty was already in his 30s when he first flashed those famous biceps for a low-budget action vehicle named Balwaan.

The film's modest success and Shetty's dedication to daredevilry completed the action hero triumvirate alongside Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn.

Shetty's limitations as an actor remained a sore point for critics, but fans had little to complain, as he knocked down a slew of baddies with guns and gusto in box-office friendly fare like Mohra, Anth, Dilwale, Bhai and Gopi Kishan.

Over time Shetty realised he needed to flex a little more than muscle to increase his shelf life in the business, resulting in sincere efforts across genres like Border, Hu Tu Tu, Hera Pheri and Dhadkan.

Along the way, his career simply lost steam.

But the actor seems content taking care of his other businesses, playing supporting parts in an occasional film, hosting a reality television show and watching his kids Athiya and Ahan make their mark in Bollywood.

Mamta Kulkarni

She made her entry into films in the eminently forgettable Mera Dil Tere Liye. But Mamta Kulkarni's claim to fame would be her pompous interviews and eagerness to make it as Bollywood's hottest sex symbol.

Being a paper tiger has its perks, but Kulkarni realised she needs to be part of hits not controversies to be deemed as a real success.

Films opposite Aamir Khan (Baazi), Salman Khan (Karan Arjun) and Akshay Kumar (Sabse Bada Khiladi) did a fair bit for the showgirl of the 1990s.

Best remembered for her glamour quotient, Kulkarni vanished from the movie scene mysteriously to emerge years later for her alleged involvement in a drug racket.

Ronit Roy

Ronit Roy immediately caught our attention when he gatecrashes his girlfriend's wedding in a bandwallah's costume during the title track of Jaan Tere Naam.

Catchy songs and Roy's breezy screen presence ensured the confection was a runaway hit.

But with nothing significant happening on the movie front, Roy moved to television for greener pastures.

Working in Ekta Kapoor's soaps and legal drama Adalat proved fruitful for the actor and he was heralded as the superstar of small screen.

Roy's return to the big screen -- this time in character roles -- in Udaan, 2 States, Ugly or Kaabil has met with critical acclaim.

Armaan Kohli

Before making his long forgotten adult debut in director daddy Rajkumar Kohli's Virodhi, Armaan acted in his father's productions Badle Ki Aag and Raaj Tilak.

Of all the mindless damp squibs Kohli has worked in, Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani -- yet another home-production to re-launch him -- is his most recognised film but only because it's so bad, it's good.

Kohli made most news for his proximity to co-participant Tanisha Mukherji during the seventh season of Bigg Boss.

The 45 year old was last seen in a villainous avatar in the Salman Khan vehicle Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo.

Farheen

Dubbed as a Madhuri Dixit lookalike by the media, Ronit Roy's co-star in Jaan Tere Naam lacked the ambition to go beyond a handful films in Bollywood and regional cinema.

Distracted by her affection for cricketer Manoj Prabhakar, Farheen's turbulent personal life took clear precedence over her career.

Despite the obstacles, the duo wed and now live with their two sons in Delhi.

Pratibha Sinha

Mala Sinha's beti may have inherited her mother's looks, but definitely not her career.

Pratibha made her debut opposite Joy Mukerjee's son Sujoy in the Heer Ranjha romance, Mehboob Mere Mehboob.

The costume drama sank without a trace as did her numerous attempts to do well like her mom.

Best remembered for her item song Pardesi in Raja Hindustani, the star daughter quit acting more than a decade ago and has expressed no desire to be part of Bollywood's constant scrutiny.

Ayub Khan

Despite the chocolate hero looks and lineage, Dilip Kumar's nephew, who made his debut romancing Ayesha Jhulka in Mashooq, couldn't quite make the cut.

Khan settled for arrogant, chauvinistic portrayals in films like Mrityudand and Dil Chahta Hai, but fared more favourably on television through serials like Uttaran.

Rajit Kapoor

Before his iconic portrayal as detective Byomkesh Bakshi in Basu Chatterjee's telly series for Doordarshan, Rajit Kapoor used his experience in theatre to craft a nuanced performance in Shyam Benegal's riveting Suraj Ka Satwan Ghoda.

Kapoor's first love continues to be a theatre in a career marked by artistic gratification (The Making of the Mahatma, Zubeidaa, Hari Bhari, Train to Pakistan) as well as commercial compulsions (Ghulam, Ki & Ka, Baar Baar Dekho, Begum Jaan).

Mamik Singh

Mamik endeared viewers as Aamir Khan's responsible big brother in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar.

After a considerable gap, he surfaced again to play Preity Zinta's responsible big brother in Kya Kehna.

Mostly though, the low-key actor has stuck to doing television gigs.

Prithvi

Divya Bharti's light-eyed love interest crooned his Dil, Jigar, Nazar out in the soppy melodrama Dil Ka Kya Kasoor.

It didn't set the box-office on fire. But then pretty much nothing he worked on as hero did.

Sukanya Verma