One more year came and went by with a slew of hot-bodied actresses sweeping us off our feet with their glamour, beauty and awe-evoking performances. In between, we also had a taste of some insipid dialogue deliveries and horrific acting (or rather the lack of it) but more on that some other time. This article highlights some of the high points of Bollywood cinema as actresses (young and old alike) wooed us, charmed us, entertained us and even titillated us.
Here are the top 10 Bollywood actresses of 2011:
1. Vidya Balan
The actress with a difference left no stone unturned to carve out a delicious performance in ‘The Dirty Picture’ where her brilliant portrayal of Silk Smitha made even the harshest of film critics stand up and applaud. Vidya put on weight for the role, used suggestive gestures to tickle the audience and by the time she was through she had already mastered the art of seduction and sensuality. Her bombastic performance complemented with those cleavage-baring outfits, wobbling belly and luscious red lips, simply, made us go ‘Oooh la la’.
Though Vidya’s Dirty act overshadowed her own previous performances, her contrasting character of a gritty woman in ‘No One Killed Jessica’ warrants another standing applause. Undoubtedly, the lady who will take home all the trophies this year!
Rating: 10 out of 10
2. Rani Mukherjee
Rani, the Queen of Bollywood, has had a silent couple of years with new, younger actresses stealing all the limelight and leaving her obscured in a sole corner. However, the lioness roared right at the beginning of 2011 in the garbs of a fiery, outspoken journalist in the critically acclaimed film ‘No One Killed Jessica’. Rani silenced all those who had written her off as she essayed a very bold character with complete control and ease. Her random use of expletives and inhibition-free smoking lent her character a golden touch and her performance was considered one of her greatest.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
3. Kareena Kapoor
Kareena may not have had played a woman-centric character as opposed to Vidya, but she was definitely in the mix of things this year as she scored on the box office count. Her films ‘Bodyguard’ and ‘Ra One’ opposite the big boys of Bollywood (Salman and Shahrukh, if you didn’t know) harvested over Rs 100 crore each in cash counters. Her sizzling moment came in a flame red sari as the sexy bombshell waltzed to ‘Chammak Challo’.
Rating: 9 out of 10
4. Katrina Kaif
Charm and elegance comes so effortlessly to this young lady! Her killer moves, her sheer grit, her dazzling beauty and terrific screen presence has ensured that she no longer needs her ex to play her ‘Bodyguard’. With the entire nation grooving to her item number and half the male population sunk in her thoughts (Always), Katrina has become the most bankable actress in the recent times. No matter whom she is paired with, she delivers a hit one after another. As an effervescent girl in ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’, she shone and as a vivacious lasso in ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ she basked. She shoots her dialogues perfectly (despite being from a non-Hindi background) and lightens up the screen every time she is around. And yes, she even showed a Mr. Roshan how to lock lips on the middle of a highway!
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
5. Kalki Koechlin
Kalki may not be the princess of popcorn but she is slowly building up a niche fan following. Doing meaningful and diverse roles in a slew of films, she is seizing the critic’s attention and demanding his admiration. 2011 saw her spreading her wings further as she flashed her caliber in flicks like ‘Shaitan’, ‘That Girl in Yellow Boots’, ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ and ‘My Friend Pinto’.
Her depictions of challenging characters have been pretty effortless and quintessential. Be it the role of a girlfriend or of a maiden looking for her lost father or of a mentally challenged woman or of a struggling young girl, Kalki has reveled and relished every character of hers with enviable ease and panache. Her doll-like look and tender age makes her the girl to watch out for in the forthcoming years.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
6. Mahie Gill
Mahie Gill showed great promise with her debut film ‘Dev D’ sometime back. However, in 2011, she couldn’t take that giant leap from mediocrity to popularity. Her films ‘Utt Patang’, ‘Not a Love Story’ and ‘Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster’ licked dust at the box office owing to lack of star power. But that didn’t take the sheen off her incredible performance as she, despite being inconsistent, wowed critics and her fan following with stupendous performances. Like Kalki Koechlin, she has taken the less trodden path but fame & spotlight will soon greet her. Her bold decisions and brave performances remind us of an inspiring line mouthed by Aamir Khan in that cult ‘Lagaan’, “Sach aur saahas hai jiske mann mein, ant mein jeet usi ki hai….”
Rating: 8 out of 10
7. Priyanka Chopra
Piggy Chops tried her hands (or rather, fangs……. Ah, the jungle billi) on films like ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ and ‘Don 2’. Vishal Bharadwaj’s ‘7 Khoon Maaf’, based on a Ruskin Bond short story, gave her enormous platform to explore various shades of her character and she did a pretty commendable job. However, the film bombed and was slashed brutally by the blood-monger critics.
Then came ‘Don 2’ where the leggy lasso kicked butts and jumped off rooftops & cliffs beside the Badshah. However, her performance was largely overshadowed by SRK’s and she will best remember the film for the ‘hit’ tag it lent to her CV.
Rating: 8 out of 10
8. Anushka Sharma
Anushka may not have delivered big hits but her vivacity was omnipresent. Her bubbly presence and a flair for dancing won her all eyeballs in both her releases ‘Patiala House’ and ‘Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl’. Both the films did average business but her image only got bolstered as men noticed her megawatt smile and wet, bikini body screaming loud from the film posters. With another Shahrukh Khan film lined up for 2012, her share prices are only going to get higher in the Bollywood bazaar.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
9. Kangana Ranaut
Kangana has had a mixed year with both hits & flops falling in her kitty. Even the critics have had mixed words for her as she received admiration from some quarter and flak from the other. Though her comedy films ‘Double Dhamaal’ and ‘Rascal’ were written off as tasteless cheap flicks, her rom-com ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ was a runaway hit and salvaged some pride for her. In fact, her performance of a fast-forward modern rebel girl opposite a demure Madhavan brought her some serious laurels. Kangana also notched up decent performances in ‘Game’ and ‘Miley Naa Miley Hum’ but both the films sailed into obscurity.
Rating: 7 out of 10
10. Deepika Padukone
Deepika, as always is the case with her, grabbed more headlines for her off-screen performance than her on-screen ones. Her not-so-delightful remarks about ex flame Ranbir Kapoor’s incontrollable libido made for an exciting Koffee gossip and her cozy moments with her current boyfriend (son of a alcohol baron) were splashed all over the newspapers. On reel, she was not as effective since both her films ‘Aarakshan’ and ‘Desi Boyz’ didn’t bring her much box office success. Though ‘Aarakshan’ flopped, Deepika’s strong character in the film did create a buzz.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10