The new lights of Hindi cinema

The new lights of Hindi cinema

They are the sparkling new stars of today’s galaxy and the shining beacons of tomorrow. Incredible as it may seem, even a Ranbir Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Anushka Sharma could all be called semi-veterans today, despite making their debuts less than seven years ago. In the fast lane that cinema has now become, time too, sprints!

So who are the young new turks, and how are they placed vis-à-vis the prospects of stardom in the years to come? 

Let us begin with Ranveer Singh, who as of now, leads the roster. Having made a great debut with Yash Raj Films’ Band Baaja Baaraat in December 2010, he followed it up with the same banner’s Ladies Vs. Ricky Behl. He was still considered a limited actor, and Lootera seemed to vindicate this. And then came Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Rasleela — Ram-Leela, and not only did he become a star, but also proved his acting chops.

Says Ranveer: “Bhansali-sir taught me a new approach an actor. I was a firm believer in the method school. He showed me how to be spontaneous, and made me a better actor.”

Add the huge success of the film, and this Mumbai boy is now the star attraction of this week’s release Gunday alongside Priyanka Chopra. In fact, it is Ranveer who has been bandied about as being Hrithik Roshan’s replacement in Shuddhi and as the first choice for Bhansali’s love epic Bajirao Mastani, both indicators of where he has reached. He is now doing YRF’s Kill Dil and Saif Ali Khan’s Finding Fanny Fernandes.

Ranveer’s co-star Parineeti Chopra is considered to be one of the brightest new sparks around. Ishaqzaade, Shuddh Desi Romance and now Hasee Toh Phasee have all been successful. Talk about beginner’s luck for this effervescent cousin of Priyanka Chopra, who was just a bubbly member of the YRF internal PR team before being handpicked by Aditya Chopra. 

But Parineeti does seem to have chalked out a basic and smart strategy too: she is doing roles with meat and variety that revolve around her character as much as that of the hero. Though YRF is making both her forthcoming films, Kill Dil and Daawat-e-Ishq, it is a ‘cinch’ (as the Americans put it!) that she will soon be lapped up by others too.

Shraddha Kapoor, Shakti Kapoor’s daughter and Padmini Kolhapure-Sharma’s niece, is another female actor who has cleverly planned for a great career. After a false start in Teen Patti, she showed her mettle in the Yash Raj flop Luv Ka The End. The result: the lead in Aashiqui 2, in which she delivered a solid punch. After the super-hit success of the film, Shraddha is tacitly (and tactfully) refusing films with older superstars (though she denies this). Her films on hand are Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider (opposite Shahid Kapoor) and Mohit Suri’s The Villain, opposite another promising young man, Sidharth Malhotra.

Sidharth, Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan made a mark in the Karan Johar directorial Student Of The Year (2012). The bond between the three seems almost karmic, as their second releases are simultaneous: Sidharth has just released Hasee To Phasee, Alia is set to release Imtiaz Ali’s Highway (the promos show a rare intensity just like her dad Mahesh Bhatt.) and David Dhawan’s Main Tera Hero will see Varun work under his illustrious dad. The promos fulfill the promise shown earlier by Varun: a star is set to be born.

Arjun Kapoor, the third filmmaker (Boney Kapoor)-son here, is also sure to be one of the next big things with Gunday. He is now doing 2 States and his father’s Tevar. Arjun’s tendency to underplay (even in the dual role in Aurangzeb) and a tangible element of pain (note his traumatised personal life in which he saw his parents split and later his mother pass away prematurely) in his intense eyes have, ironically, made him star material. With Salman Khan as his guide and a determined orientation towards mainstream cinema, we can see Arjun right up there.

Despite his fair success till now (Kai Po Che!, Shuddh Desi Romance and the forthcoming Peekay and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy), Sushant Singh Rajput, along with Ayushmann Khurrana (who is doing Bewakoofiyan and one more film for YRF after Vicky Donor and Nautanki Saala!) are not really star material. A better candidate for stardom, if he handles his career well and opens up to the camera, will be the hugely talented Aditya Roy Kapoor (Action Replayy, Aashiqui 2) who should shrug off his choice of loser roles. His next film Daawat-e-Ishq will decide his future to a good extent.

Nargis Fakhri (after a false start in Rockstar) made some kind of an impression in Madras Café, and Ileana D’Cruz came levels down with Phata Poster Nikhla Hero following her brilliant debut in Barfi!. As of now, both these ladies seem to be just eye-candy in their next joint project Main Tera Hero. But with the Salman Khan extravaganza Kick and Roy with Ranbir Kapoor in her kitty, the Sri Lanka-rooted Jacqueline Fernandez who had two false starts before Murder 2, Housefull 2 and an average performer Race 2 could well claim a decent starry niche.

Finally, let us not underestimate that delectable powerhouse of talent, Yammi ‘Vicky Donor’ Gautam. Playing her cards well, she is balancing the whacky comedy Total Siyappa with the masala bonanza Action Jackson.

We can all take our picks from this list, for it is from here that we shall get the Salman Khans and Deepika Padukones of tomorrow.

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