Total Posts: 47628
United Kingdom, United Kingdom
New Delhi, Dec 17 : After decades of domination by the three Khans (Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman), 2006 witnessed the establishment of a second generation of superstars who are set to takeover the baton.
Hrithik Roshan has clearly emerged as the next big bet in Bollywood. With two blockbusters - "Krrish" and "Dhoom 2" - within one year under his belt, the light-eyed hunk is being compared to Hollywood sensations Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.
Hrithik's superhuman act in "Krrish" has been touted as better than Hollywood's super heroes. And in "Dhoom 2", he has given a blockbuster not produced by his father.
The film has also put the stamp of successive successes on Abhishek Bachchan, whose fortunes had turned for the better with "Bunty Aur Babli" and has been shinning since then.
Abhishek's upcoming single-hero project "Guru" is likely to consolidate his position as a performer-*beep*-star.
One look at the reining films on the marquees and it seems that John Abraham is set to occupy top rankings in the tally of leading Bollywood actors in the New Year. Given that, he has no family ties with the industry, this is no easy feat.
John is featuring in two films on the marquees at the moment and both are as different as chalk and cheese.
While one is "Baabul", a true-blue Bollywood multi-starrer about widow remarriage, the other is a rare travelogue into war-torn Afghanistan titled "Kabul Express".
John is comfortable rubbing shoulders with mega stars like Salman, Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukerji as well as talented character actors like Arshad Warsi and Nana Patekar.
Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman have also had their share of success this year. But the norm that films featuring the Khans will be the biggest grosser of the year has been broken.
Box-office wise, Shah Rukh and Salman have not performed exceptionally this year. "Don - The Chase Begins" was Shah Rukh's calling card this year but it did not outshine all others. Salman's "Jaan-e-mann" fell short of the competition.
Although Salman's "Baabul" may still be a hit as it is a family oriented drama and such flicks usually take time to grow on audiences. The actor has, however, lost some of his box office draw this year.
Aamir with his policy of one project at a time will continue to be a chief attraction in the year ahead but for film trade investors investing in him is no longer a guarantee to success.
And now that Shah Rukh has signed on to do STAR's "Kaun Banega Crorepati", he will have less time for films.
Thankfully for Bollywood, a new set of stars is waiting in the wings.
Setting 2006 apart from years before was the sheer multiplicity of films coming out of the Mumbai studio-based Hindi film industry.
The seeds were sown in 2005 when "Page 3" and "Black" did well around the country. Mainstream filmmakers thought out of the box and reaped big dividends this year - from low-budget, theme-driven releases like "Dor", "Corporate" and "Khosla Ka Ghosla" to flashier yet 'experimental' star vehicles like "Rang De Basanti", "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" and "Omkara" to mainstream films with a twist like "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" and "Taxi No. 9211".
The industry is yet to get out of the mould of following the pack. We continue to see that a successful film immediately inspires a set of replicas. But all in all the year will be remembered as much for the money made as for the range and quality of the fare.
Some superstitions have also been dropped. Now we have filmmakers releasing films almost throughout the year. In fact, a series of released are slated for the year-end, a marked departure from previous years.
Trade observer Taran Adarsh says that this year's last Friday will witness the unveiling of as many as four medium-budget films: Arjun Rampal's first production "I See You", Amar Butala's chick-flick "Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamaana", Manish Jha's "Anwar" and Nazim Rizvi's "Undertrial", reportedly based on a true incident.
With Mani Ratnam's eagerly awaited "Guru" set for release in the last fortnight of 2006, it is pretty obvious that the happy trend has sustained itself for all of two years.