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Sukanya Verma

They flexed their muscles, swept the heroines off their dainty feet, punched villains and conquered the Box Office. Ah, what are films without heroes?
We asked you (in the Rediff Movies Poll), you came back with your votes for best heroes.

So here's a look at 2001's machoest!


Aamir Khan

In 2001: Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai
Bullseye: 2
Misses: Nil

Performance: If the Millennium year saw him with turkeys like Mela, 2001 was a clean sweep Aamir Khan.

For one, his faith in director Ashutosh Gowariker's vision of Lagaan worked to his favour. Lagaan is now considered a landmark in Aamir's career. He gave full reign to his histrionic abilities in the film. He also ensured equal footage to his team of costars.

In complete contrast to his rural appearance and Avadhi and Brij dialect of Lagaan was his hip, contemporary and attitude-packed Dil Chahta Hai.

It has to be said -- the man is versatile.

Up next: John Matthew Mathan's next, Mansoor Khan's Happy Diwali.

Amitabh Bachchan

In 2001: Ek Rishtaa - A Bond of love, Aks, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
Bullseye: 2
Misses: 1

Performance: Big B has reached a point where hits and flops are of no consequence. Yet, last year he made waves with Mohabbatein and his game show Kaun Banega Crorepati.

This year, too, he was the showstopper in multi starrers like Ek Rishtaa and K3G. Never mind that both these family tearjerkers projected him as the unrelenting patriarch.

Then again, there was Aks - The Reflection. Unabashedly dark and mysterious, Amitabh was sheer magic in this imaginative Face-Off inspiration. Aks was rejected but everyone agreed that Amitabh is simply invincible.

Up next: Aankhen(Akshay Kumar, Arjun Rampal, Sushmita Sen), Kaante (Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Lucky Ali, Mahesh Manjrekar), Agni Varsha (Jackie Shroff, Raveena Tandon).


Hrithik Roshan

In 2001: Yaadein, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
Bullseye: 1
Misses: 1

Performance: 2000 was undoubtedly Hrithik's year with the super success of Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. This year, his much-touted Yaadein was a nonstarter. His only other release Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham opened to mixed response critically, but was a sound proposition at the Box Office.

Hrithik cannot be blamed for the failure of Yaadein; he isn't responsible for K3G's success either. But he has yet to deliver a solid solo hit like Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. Wait and watch -- he just might have a few aces up his sleeve.

Up next: Aap Mujhe Achhe Lagne Lage (Amisha Patel), Na Tum Jaano Na Hum (Saif Ali Khan, Esha Deol), Main Prem Ki Deewaani Hoon (Kareena Kapoor), Koi Mil Gaya (Preity Zinta), Dil Ne Kaha (Aishwarya Rai).


Arjun Rampal

In 2001: Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat, Moksha, Deewaanapan
Bullseye: Nil
Misses: 3

Performance: Surprise, surprise! Arjun Rampal outdid Shah Rukh Khan to find himself in top five actors of 2001.

Moksha was to mark his debut, but due to unforseen delays, Rajiv Rai's attempt at romance--Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat came out first. His next, Deewaanapan too, stuck out like sore thumb.

Although none of Arjun's films performed well at the BO, his electrifying screen presence and credibility as an actor proved his mettle. A huge following of die hard female fans, nonwithstanding.

Up next: Dil Hai Tumhara (Preity Zinta, Mahima Chaudhary), Aankhen (Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Sushmita Sen).


Sunny Deol

In 2001: Farz, Gadar - Ek Prem Katha, Indian
Bullseye: 2
Misses: 1

Performance: Sunny Deol had a fabulous year. It began with the eminently forgettable Farz, followed by his biggest blockbuster ever Gadar, topped with the runaway hit Indian.

Farz and Indian saw Sunny bash up the goons and wreck a few cars. Gadar was more challenging with Sunny playing lovelorn patriot to the hilt, mouthing anti-Pakistan dialogues, bashing hundreds of baddies, saving the day and emerging the hero in this Partition drama.

Up next: Maa Tujhe Salaam (Tabu, Arbaaz Khan)