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2010 saw a super busy Bollywood.
If stars like Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Deepika Padukone hogged the year with multiple releases, others like Salman Khan rose to extraordinary prominence on the strength of that one smashing success alone. How Dabangg is that?
Kareena Kapoor indulged in some last minute Golmaal to erase the embarrassing memories of debacles like Milenge Milenge and We Are Family from public memory whereas cousin Ranbir kept the scales even with a hit (Raajneeti) and miss (Anjaana Anjaani). Co-star Priyanka Chopra wasn't so fortunate. Both her rom-coms, Pyaar Impossible and Anjaana Anjaani failed to excite.
Even with prestigious banners and promising hype, the tragic overtures (read overdose) of Hrithik Roshan (Kites, Guzaarish) and Abhishek Bachchan (Raavan, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey) could not ignite the box-office.
Sonam Kapoor took a break from churidar-clad characters to validate her fashionista tag in I Hate Luv Storys and Aisha even as Imran Khan played it safe in back-to-back date flicks (IHLS, Break Ke Baad).
Shahid Kapoor over-timed as a teacher in Chance Pe Dance and Paathshaala before he found his true calling as a con guy in Badmaash Company. Meanwhile, Katrina Kaif swung from one extreme to another as a sari-clad politician in Raajneeti to a belly-jiggling seductress in Tees Maar Khan.
*It* couple Bipasha Basu and John Abraham channeled their un-sexy side with realistic portrayals in Lamhaa and Jhootha Hi Sahi.
The usually low-profile Kajol had an unusually prolific year. The powerhouse star delivered three movies (My Name is Khan, We Are Family and Toonpur Ka Superrhero) and a baby boy (Yug).
But most of all, 2010 belonged to the baap of all celluloid gods, Rajnikanth generating some serious box-office gold with Shankar's lavish Sci-Fi offering, Robot.
Clearly though there wasn't any shortage of superstar influx, some leading names kept a conspicuously low-profile. And we missed them a whole lot. Here's who:
Image: Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Tabu, Asin, Sunny Deol
The record-breaking success of 2009's 3 Idiots continued its good run through the New Year with the Aamir Khan-led dramedy bagging all the top awards of the season.But if you discount those ingenious commercials he shows up in, Khan didn't have a single release this year. And we all know what a big event that is, considering his ever-inventive promotion strategy.
Although one got a good glimpse of the latter since his productions Peepli [Live] and Dhobi Ghaat were readied out for release and film festivals respectively.
Sweet! Still it's not the same as the resourceful actor doing his thing on the big screen.
Coming in 2011: Kiran Rao's Dhobi Ghaat (Prateik Babbar, Monica Dogra) and Reema Kagti's untitled project (Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukerji).
Image: Aamir Khan
Saif Ali Khan
Glossies are unlikely to run out of dope discussing his love life with Kareena Kapoor. But as far as silver screen appearances go, Saif Ali Khan was pretty much AWOL.
Following the critical acclaim of Omkara, Saif is consciously picky while taking on new projects. And that explains this no-show from the actor turned producer who's leaving no stone unturned to make his second venture as profitable as the first one.
Fair enough, but it's high time he came out to sell off a little more than a pack of chips. Or paint boxes.
Coming in 2011: Sriram Raghavan's Agent Vinod (Kareena Kapoor), Abbas-Mustan's Race 2 (Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone)
Image: Saif Ali Khan
Shah Rukh Khan
No movies, no tweets. What's up, SRK?
Okay, so there was My Name is Khan. Not nearly enough, no?
Barring Karan Johar's controversy-ridden drama, starring Shah Rukh Khan as a patient of Asperger's syndrome, the superstar hardly graced the screen -- unless you were among the unfortunate few to catch his extended special appearance in the dreary Dulha Mil Gaya -- concentrating most of his energy filming home-production Ra.One. The latter stars King Khan as a superhero and is expected to create new standards of SFX-led action in Bollywood.
At last, some real action. Those blah furnishing commercials with the missus were starting to get on our nerves, really.
Coming in 2011: Anubhav Sinha's Ra.One (Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal) and Farhan Akhtar's Don 2-The Chase Continues (Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Kunal Kapoor).
Image: Shah Rukh Khan
Sure, 2010 was a tad more productive than 2009. There was that odd movie. And some snazzy red carpet appearances. Some progress, huh?
Truth be told, it's almost sacrilegious that a talent and beauty of her caliber should do such few films. And it's all the more hurtful when they turn out to be of the shoddy variety, like Toh Baat Pakki.
Where's the spunk, Tabu?
Coming in 2011: Vicky Chopra's Season's Greetings (Shreyas Talpade, Sohail Khan) and Santosh Sivan's Urumi (Prithviraj, Prabhudeva, Genelia D'Souza).
There's something seasoned and distinct about Asin that makes you forget that she's only two films old in Bollywood.
Following the blockbuster Ghajini (2008) and disaster London Dreams (2009), Asin skipped 2010 altogether in Hindi cinema to concentrate on her on-going assignments. Other than movies, the 25-year old isn't much of a social bird and so her absence was all the more noticeable.
No sweat, the coming year appears to be full of promise with a handful of biggies in her kitty.
Coming in 2011: Anees Bazmee's Ready (Salman Khan), Anurag Basu's Barfee (Ranbir Kapoor) Ravi Chopra's Pocketmaar (Neil Nitin Mukesh)
We missed the sounds and the fury of a certain Deol for a good part of this year. After a decade full of spirited threats and tough-guy bashing, the Ghayal hero appears to be taking it easy. Though he had a release in Right Yaaa Wrong, no points for guessing what the verdict on that one turned out to be.
Common consensus is that, unlike his colleagues Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt, Dharmendra's eldest puttar is much too shy and complacent to go for the kill. Hopefully, Yamla Pagla Deewana will change all that and catapult this dialogue-spewing muscleman back in the reckoning.
Coming in 2011: Sameer Karnik's Yamla Pagla Deewana (Dharmendra, Bobby Deol).
Image: Sunny Deol