Top 10 Indian Heroes and Heroines of 2012!

What’s Bollywood without charismatic heroes and heroines?! Let’s show some love for the men and women who carry the weight of a film on their shoulders.

5. (Tie) Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra in Student of the Year


Here’s a big round of applause for two of the most promising debuts since Ranveer Singh hit the scene at the end of 2010! Varun and Sid were up against a huge wall of cynicism and indifference… from me. And possibly most of the watching audience. I mean, another star kid? And a male model? How good could they be?

Well, color me charmed! It takes a lot to melt away my cynicism but as soon as Sid struts on to screen in Kukkad, I was ready to buy my DVD of Studenty of the Year and pony up cash for whatever films the two of them were doing next.

4. Akshay Kumar in Housefull 2, Rowdy Rathore, and Khiladi 786


(Akki and his fave shoes!)

Looking back on it, I think 2012 was the khiladi’s best year since 2007. (Let’s just all pretend Joker never happened.) These three films may have been “mindless entertainers” but our Akki gave them all a lot of heart… and seemed to be having a blast while doing so! For putting a smile on my face more than any other actor this year, he’s my number four of 2012.

3. Vikram in Thaandavam


(With actual blind echolocation expert Daniel Kish)

Though I enjoyed it, Thaandavam was inconsequential enough that I didn’t even bother to write a review for it. However, inconsequential as it was, Vikram was fantastic as the blind echolocation-using assassin. I really, really enjoyed his performance.

2. Emraan Hashmi in Shanghai


There were better performances this year but I’m giving this one to Emraan for giving a completely unexpectedly good performance in Shanghai. I’ve never been all that impressed with Emraan – despite his “serial kisser” tag, he’s always seemed really uptight and almost guarded on screen – like his “acting” is on the surface with no sense of the inner character. But as amateur pornographer Joginder Parmar, Emraan revealed facets of the character that I hadn’t been expected. He was human, not just a character. I hope we see more from this Emraan…

1. Surya in Maatran


As conjoined twins Vimmi and Akhi, Surya had a massive challenge. Not only did he have to create two different characters, he also had to act as conjoined twins. And he had to do all this without venturing into Stuck on You territory. Sure, there were some gags from the conjoined twin act but with Surya in the role(s), the twins were sympathetic characters who the audience could cheer for instead of a gimmick. There aren’t many actors out there who could pull this off.


5. Asin in Housefull 2 and Khiladi 786


Asin goes on my list for being a solid hitter. She may not have gone full retard or deglam or done anything showy but she deserves kudos for taking two thankless heroine roles and turning in two performances that went above and beyond the call of duty. Asin just pops on screen and she deserves kudos for showing what a real heroine can do – i.e. pull a gun like a badass on goondas who try to mess with her.

4. Sameera Reddy and Amala Paul in Vettai


These two were just really fun playing sisters in Vettai! Sameera and Amala played two strong characters and despite being “just” heroines, I think they added a lot to the film. I’ll never understand why Sameera never broke big in Bollywood – she’s gorgeous and way more talented than many of the starlets cluttering the screens up North.

3. Shruti Haasan in 3


I think I was the one person who actually really enjoyed 3. Shruti does a wonderful job as “average girl” Janani, who wasn’t spunky or manic pixie dream girly or “sexy” but just a regular girl. Janani was the kind of girl we all know but rarely see in the movies. For straddling the line between underplaying and going filmi and for letting us connect with a character who goes through some very unusual and tragic situations, Shruti makes my list this year!

2. Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukerji in Talaash


Two fabulous 30+ females in one movie? I’m surprised our brains didn’t all explode from the awesome! Bebo and Rani are not only looking better than ever but their acting has been growing better and better, too. Rani is all inner turmoil waiting to explode as neglected wife Roshni and Bebo shimmers as mysterious Rosie. It makes you shake your head at the producers always falling all over themselves to cast “unknown” models… and then wondering why they don’t deliver.

1. Vidya Balan in Kahaani


If there was one woman who was the Boss of Everything this year it was Vidya Balan in Kahaani. She held the screen like no other and as a “solo heroine” to boot!

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