The Best Bollywood Actors Of 2015
Range. Versatility. Chutzpah. Panache. These were the class acts (listed alphabetically) that stunned us this year. Read on to find out who made the cut.
AMITABH BACHCHAN (PIKU)
It's surprising how a film that's core theme essentially, revolves around well, shit, would be as engaging as this one. Shoojit Sarcar deftly handles the plot and makes us empathise with the ultimately fractured father-daughter relationship, and unsurprisingly he's ably aided, by a stellar turn by Bachchan – who's Bengali, whiney grump must have been imminently unlikeable on paper, but add the Bachchan touch to it, and the end result always ends up being anything but. His Bhashkor was one of the most watchable characters this year – awkward fascination with bowel movements notwithstanding.
ANIL KAPOOR (DIL DHADAKNE DO)
Even thirty years into his career, Kapoor never ceases to surprise us with his versatility and dedication. Undoubtedly, the best thing about Zoya Akhtar's film about a dysfunctional family atop a cruise ship that inadvertently turns into a journey of self discovery, Kapoor, as the selfish, philandering business tycoon who seemingly places his needs above even his own family's, rocks, nailing every nuance of magnate Kamal Mehra like a pro, proving yet again that age really is no bar especially when it comes to pure unadulterated talent.
AYUSHMANN KHURRANA (DUM LAGA KE HAISHA)
Khurrana hasn't really had the most successful innings since his sleeper hit Vicky Donor several years ago, but you've got to hand it to him. He doesn't shy away from risks and this year's most charming film Dum Laga Ke Haisha was one such example. His striking act as an illiterate village idiot who marries his somewhat heavier bride out of familial pressure, was one of the more underrated performances of the year, with Khurrana in sparkling form, becoming completely one with the somewhat grey character of a small town boy who wants it all, even if things introspectively at least, are far from perfect.
RANBIR KAPOOR (TAMASHA)
It's amazing what three back to back failures can do to an actor. Once touted to be the the next big thing, Kapoor had been keeping an extremely low profile lately, probably because he wanted to knock the wind out of all his naysayers with his spectacular turn as Ved in Imtiaz Ali's moving Tamasha. Torn between escapism and idealistic love and the mundane humdrum of day to day life, Kapoor made a comeback of sorts with this film, although there doesn't seem to be much on the cards to follow that stellar act up with. Either way, give us a Tamasha over trite like Besharam any day. Welcome back Mr Kapoor.
RANVEER SINGH (DIL DHADAKNE DO, BAJIRAO MASTANI)
Whether it's playing deadpan yuppie Kabir Mehra in Zoya Akhtar's Dil Dhadakne Do, or the fearless Peshwa torn between the undying love of two gorgeous women in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani, if anyone came into his own this year it was Singh. There's undisputed talent here, volcanic potential, that Aditya Chopra saw over half a decade ago and it's only now bearing fruition. If we were to award marks based on range alone, Singh wouldn't take the cake, he'd take the entire bakery, that's how awesome he was in his contrasting roles this year.
SALMAN KHAN (BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN)
For all its pre-release hype and hysteria, Bajrangi Bhaijaan sprung somewhat of an unexpected surprise fuelled predominantly by Salman Khan's charming performance as a hapless Hanuman devotee who crosses borders for the sake of a missing Pakistani girl. Impish, earnest and endearing Khan displayed a rare kind of flair which was devoid of any hero-giri and one that will inevitably go down as his finest.
VARUN DHAWAN (BADLAPUR)
Ferocious and intense this Karan Johar protege disappeared for nearly six months to prepare for Sriram Raghavan's gritty, revenge drama Badlapur and the results were there for everyone to see. Playing a man hellbent on avenging the death of his wife and daughter, Dhawan was simply awe inspiring as Raghu, a man coming to terms with his loss while woefully blinded by his quest for vengeance. Raw, unhinged and uninhibited Dhawan wowed both critically and commercially in a performance that will inevitably go down as one of his best.
Did we miss any?