Report Card, 2012: How Kat, Kareena, Deepika performed
Let's get this straight, this is not about reviews. Or about how good these particular actresses are as, well, actresses. This is a rating based on the 10 most bankable women in the country and how bankable they've remained after 2012. This is about box office, yes, but also about public perception and image.
Here, then, are the women making the megabudgets possible:
We only saw Sharma in one film this year, the much-hyped and highly successful Jab Tak Hai Jaan. However, the film will undoubtedly be remembered more for being Yash Chopra's swansong than for its own merits, and Sharma -- in a role that dialed her natural effervescence up to shrieky levels -- didn't really make much of an impact.
Image: Anushka Sharma in Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Still, like Katrina Kaif was a few years ago, Asin is considered lucky by the producers, and that should keep her career on the upswing. Despite the flaccidity of Khiladi 786's box office performance.
Image: Asin in Housefull 2
Padukone had the one release this year, Cocktail, which performed adequately at the box office, but earned her lots of critical raves. I'm not one who agrees, but clearly Padukone -- who is admittedly taking risks with her choice of films, relatively speaking -- is being heralded as a stunning girl who can also act.Grade: A
Image: Deepika Padukone in Cocktail
Kareena's had a sensational year, with hits in Ek Main Aur Ek Tu and Talaash, an item number in Dabanng 2 (that invariably went viral) and the industry's biggest wedding, with her Agent Vinod co-star Saif Ali Khan.
Clearly the actress is in the mood to dazzle, and she's won both critical plaudits and distributor raves. If she gallops on like this, she'll put an end to the sad but true married-heroine archetype.
Image: Kareena Kapoor in Dabangg 2
She's been pretty solid too. Ek Tha Tiger, opposite Salman Khan, was one of the year's biggest hits, as was Jab Tak Hai Jaan, where she starred opposite Shah Rukh. Then there was Agneepath, the year's first hit, in which more people remembered her Chikni Chameli than the heroine. With Dhoom 3 next year, where she stars opposite Aamir, Kat is likely to stay our most bankable woman.
Image: Katrina Kaif in Ek Tha Tiger
Ishaqzaade was a regressive mess and is unanimously looked on as a letdown after a crackling first half, but young Chopra proved herself defiantly and impressively in the film as a firebrand character with rustic authenticity.
As a follow-up to a highly praised first performance in a bad film, this girl seems to be on the right track.
Image: Parineeti Chopra in Ishaqzaade
But then came Barfi, a runaway hit and one where several people seem to have genuinely loved and been impressed by Priyanka's performance.
She's also had a very generic sounding song released, but let's wait and watch if she turns into Mariah or Whitney.
Image: Priyanka Chopra in Agneepath
It's been a while since Mukherji has had two releases in the same year, and while her striking, understated and raw performance in Talaash is enough to win her several rounds of applause, her choice to have signed on a film as daft as Aiyyaa pulls her down several, several notches.
It's going to take a while for us to forget that monstrosity, Miss Mukherji.
Image: Rani Mukherji in Talaash
Sinha starred in one of the year's biggest flops, Joker, but soon regained her hit-only status with blockbusters like Son Of Sardaar and Dabanng 2. Like Asin, she's a heroine looked on as big-movie filler, but that should serve her well enough.
Image: Sonakshi Sinha in Dabangg 2
The indefatigable Vidya had but one release this year, and what a release it was. The only heroine-driven film in Hindi cinema history to ever breach the 100-crore ribbon, Kahaani was all Vidya, all the way.
Audiences love her, critics love her and judging by how tastefully she handled her wedding, we're justified in doing so. A class act, this.
Image: Vidya Balan in Kahaani