The Most Notable Bollywood Debuts of 2011
It's always nice to see fresh faces and bubbling talent surface in Bollywood. 2011, however, turned out to be particularly dull for newcomers.
While the performances ranged from meh to marvelous, the wow factor was clearly missing. For all its worth, here's a look at some of the more talked-about debuts of the year.
Of Czech-Pakistani origins, the US-based Nargis Fakhri is quite a face. Clearly, that was enough to impress director Imtiaz Ali who cast the model-turned-Bollywood hopeful as Ranbir Kapoor's darling in Rockstar.
The stunner, best-known for her alleged romance with RK Jr, received a lot of flak for her feeble performance in an otherwise fine film.
Image: Nargis Fakhri
Showbiz isn't new to the actress considering her successful career in the South Indian film industry.
If you discount her blink & miss role in Kyun...! Ho Gaya Na, Kajal makes her Hindi film debut as leading lady in Rohit Shetty's superhit, Singham.
And while the cop drama is a full-on Ajay Devgan vehicle, Kajal worked her way as pure eye candy.
Image: Kajal Agarwal
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani
After a successful debut in Telugu films, Rana was roped in to play a sympathetic Goan singer in Rohan Sippy's narcotics drama, Dum Maaro Dum.
Perhaps he'd be more effective if his smashing screen presence wasn't crippled by a half-baked character of a sleek yet flawed movie. He's got another chance to prove himself with Ram Gopal Varma's Department.
Image: Rana Daggubati
Unlike cousin Priyanka, Parineeti Chopra didn't have any beauty queen title to tom-tom.
And still, Parineeti shows great promise, despite playing a secondary character in the rather mediocre Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl, which stars three other girls, all Sharmas -- Anushka, Aditi and Dipannita.
Here's hoping her solo outing as Arjun Kapoor's love interest in Ishqzaada continues the impressive streak.
Image: Parineeti Chopra
Sarah Jane Dias
With Game, Bollywood witnessed yet another model take to acting.
Even though Sarah Jane Dias has precious little to do other than occupy Abhishek Bachchan's soft spot, the wide-eyed hottie flaunts shows some serious moves in the burlesque club dance, Mehki Mehki.
Image: Sarah Jane Dias
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
Playing a real-life character requires a certain level of responsibility and restrain.
And for a first-timer, Myra Karn achieved that remarkably.
As the eponymous protagonist of No One Killed Jessica, Raj Kumar Gupta's screen adaptation of the Jessica Lal murder case, Myra is a picture of spirit and spontaneity, spawning concern for her character's tragic fate.
Image: Myra Karn
From US to Dhobi Ghat, singer/composer Monica Dogra is all about interesting choices.
Other than collaborating on her electro-funk group, Shaa'ir and Func and hosting the music-based TV series, The Dewarists, Monica starred as Shai in Kiran Rao's directorial debut about a handful of people and their interconnected lives in the magnetic city of Mumbai.
Image: Monica Dogra
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
After helming a beautiful script around child actor Darsheel Safary, writer/filmmaker Amol Gupte employed his original muse and son, Partho to play the titular role in Stanley Ka Dabba.
In this heartfelt story starring the father-son duo, Partho embodies the struggle and spirit of a destitute school boy against a tyrant, tiffin-hogging teacher.
And while he didn't generate the same buzz as Darsheel, Partho's confidence is unmistakable.
Image: Partho Gupte
To make any impression in a film that already stars Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor is laudable enough.
British beauty Hazel Keech achieves that and more in her bespectacled avatar as Bebo's constant companion.
Image: Hazel Keech
2011 saw a lot of American imports on desi shores.
Los Angeles-based Poorna Jagannathan, best known for her guest role as Saya Katdare in TV series Royal Pains, too turned quite a few heads as Imran Khan's keyed up colleague in Abhinay Deo's quirky comedy, Delhi Belly.
Image: A scene from Delhi Belly