An overview of how 2023 has been a game changer for some Bollywood heroes

From Shah Rukh Khan and Sunny Deol to Ranveer Singh, these Bollywood actors made a comeback of sorts in the current calendar year.

2023 has been a remarkable year for Bollywood in more ways than one. The success rate of films is much higher than last year.

Additionally, some of the major stars have made a smashing comeback after a series of duds — be it Shah Rukh Khan with Pathaan and Jawan, or Sunny Deol with Gadar 2.

Shah Rukh in Pathaan and Jawan

There was a period when Shah Rukh Khan was struggling to deliver solid box-office hits. Films like Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017), Fan (2016), and Zero (2018) are major examples of this.

Rahul Dholakia’s Raees (2017) was a box office success but it was nowhere close to what Aamir and Salman were delivering with 3 Idiots (2009), Dangal (2016), PK (2014), and Sultan (2016).

In between, Shah Rukh played an adorable shrink in Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi (2016) which was a moderate success. But it was only a relief considering how the aforementioned films went.

Of course, he was appreciated for playing a supporting role in a female-centric movie headlined by Alia Bhatt.

After Zero, the actor took time to sign his next films as a leading man and the wait has certainly paid off.

Reinventing himself

At the age of 57, Shah Rukh Khan reinvented himself as an action star in both Pathaan (2023) and Jawan (2023). On the surface, both are masala flicks, but the presentation of Siddharth Anand and Atlee are as different as chalk and cheese.

In Pathaan, Shah Rukh was in equal parts charming and rugged. The actor didn’t disappoint one bit — whether it was in the high-octane action sequences or in the more intense bits like the confrontation scenes with John Abraham.

In Jawan, the Bollywood Badshah further pushed the envelope with his double role. And within that double role, there were a lot of variations.

For example, he is a vigilante who uses unconventional ways to speed up societal changes. He is also a military officer who has been accused of cheating the nation and suffers from partial memory loss.

Jawan can be described as a South Indian thali (meal) with a North Indian flavour. Shah Rukh got the pitch of the film perfectly and delivered a thunderous performance, particularly in the father’s role.

There is also Dunki coming up in December and it is expected to rake in good box office numbers, considering the directorial skills of Rajkumar Hirani along with Shah Rukh Khan’s star power.

Sunny Deol in Gadar 2

When the trailer of Gadar 2 was released, it was dismissed as outdated with not many giving it a chance. But the film’s collections surprised many trade analysts.

The nostalgia associated with Gadar (2001) definitely played a part in making it a box-office hit. But more than that, it is Sunny Deol as Tara Singh who sold the movie with his intense performance. Even at the age of 65, Sunny has a commanding presence that resonates well with the audience.

After a series of disasters like Bhaiaji Superhit (2018), Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se (2018), and Mohalla Assi (2018), the Bollywood actor is back with a bang with Gadar 2.

His performance particularly stands out in the emotional scenes that Tara Singh shares with his son Jeetay (Utkarsh Sharma). The action scenes are deliberately over the top but Sunny Deol sells them with his conviction.

Ranveer Singh in Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani

Before the pandemic, Ranveer was having an absolute dream run with his varied characters. Whether it was the despicable Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat (2018), the masala cop in Rohit Shetty’s Simmba (2018), or the young Muslim boy who has a fascination for rap in Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy (2019).

In all these movies, the Bollywood actor got critical acclaim as well as box office success. But post-pandemic, things started going downhill for the actor.

It started with Kabir Khan’s 83 (2021). Ranveer won rave reviews for his portrayal of Kapil Dev and so did the film. And yet, it didn’t achieve its full potential. The sudden hurricane of Pushpa: The Rise (2021) definitely played a spoilsport for this Ranveer Singh-starrer.

His next release Jayeshbhai Jordaar (2022) was directed by a new director Divyang Thakur. The flick didn’t do well at the box in spite of tackling a socially relevant subject.

Much was expected from Rohit Shetty’s Cirkus (2022) but neither the director nor the actor could recreate the success of Simmba (2018).

A flamboyant Punjabi

The situation was looking grim for Ranveer too. But this year has been good for the actor, thanks to Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani directed by Karan Johar.

Ranveer’s Rocky is a flamboyant Punjabi guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. He is someone who is neither politically nor culturally sophisticated.

His life undergoes a metamorphosis after falling in love with a fiercely opinionated Bengali journalist Rani Chatterjee (Alia Bhatt).

The role of Rocky gave Ranveer ample scope to display both his comic and dramatic skills.

On many occasions, Ranveer brought the house down with his broken English. A good example of this is when Rocky attempts poetry to flatter Rani who is very amused.

On the other hand, he was also equally effective while displaying the fragile side of Rocky. For example, there is a brilliant dramatic scene where he apologises to Rani’s onscreen dad (Tota Roy Chowdhury).

Rocky gives a heartfelt monologue about how he has been conditioned to think in a certain manner from childhood. He also talks about the Cancel Culture and how none of us will learn anything if we keep on cancelling each other.

Ranveer also surprised one and all with his Kathak performance on the famous number “Dhole Re Dhola.” His sizzling chemistry with Alia was an icing on the cake.

Ayushmann Khurrana in Dream Girl 2

Ayushmann Khurrana already proved his credentials as a good actor in different genres. Whether it is Sriram Raghavan’s thriller Andhadhun (2018) or Anubhav Sinha’s social drama Article 15 (2019), he gave a series of hits before the pandemic.

However, post-pandemic, Ayushmann’s brand of cinema stopped working; they were not just outright disasters, none of them took a good opening either.

As a result, the Bollywood actor took the route of a masala comedy with the film Dream Girl 2 (2023). Dream Girl 2 definitely had the sequel advantage.

Dream Girl (2019) remains Ayushmann’s highest-grosser to date. Dream Girl 2‘s critical response was mixed but Ayushmann’s performance, particularly as Pooja, did receive a good response.

Dream Girl 2 earned over ₹100 crore at the domestic box office.

John Abraham in Pathaan

In the last few years, John Abraham has been following the route of Akshay Kumar — either playing a patriotic hero or doing slapstick comedies.

The likes of Pagalpanti (2019) and Satyameva Jayate-2 (2021) were disasters both critically and commercially. But, with Pathaan, John more than made up for his previous lacklustre outings.

His role as Jim was not just about being a dashing villain, there is also an emotional back-story about why he does what he does. As viewers, you might not agree with his actions but you do understand his resentment with RAW (Research and analysis wing).

There are certain moments where John Abraham expresses the angst of his character and he did a good job.

Akshay Kumar in OMG 2

Unlike the above-mentioned actors Akshay Kumar is not the leading man of OMG 2 (2023), nor is it a major supporting role. In OMG 2, he had only an extended cameo as the messenger of Lord Shiva in Human form.

Though there was not much scope for performance, Akshay still brought the right amount of divinity to his part. It is easily his most relaxed performance in the recent past.

Akshay Kumar also pulled off a Shiv Tandav with ease. After the debacle of Samrat Prithviraj (2022) and Raksha Bandhan (2022), OMG 2 must have been a much-needed relief for him.

Follow Me

Subscribe for Updates
Copyright © 2024 Rigoberthareviews | All Rights Reserved. | Designed By Nagendra 9030706987