Among Bollywood’s best male performers, Salman most ‘Wanted’ (2010 in Retrospect)

By Robin Bansal, IANS
Friday, December 24, 2010

NEW DELHI - The usual frontrunners like Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan and even megastar Amitabh Bachchan failed to charm audiences with their big budget outings this year except for Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn who were followed by underdogs and first-timers.

Here’s an IANS list of the top actors on the basis of their box office performances:

- Salman Khan: Nobody beats this “Bigg Boss” when it comes to pleasing audiences with his authenticity and irrevocable charm. Living up to his “Wanted” legacy, ‘Robinhood Pandey’ stood tall as the invincible king of Bollywood this year with his mofussil mazaa providing contemporary vintage corrupt cop saga “Dabangg” that flushed the debacle of his first release of the year “Veer” to obscurity.

- Ajay Devgn: Comedy, politics, action - you name it, he’s done it. Proving his mettle with the maximum releases for an actor this year in “Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?” “Raajneeti”, “Golmaal 3″, “Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai” and the forgetful “Aakrosh”, the National Award winner emerged as the most versatile and dependable actor. To top it all, he is set to close the year with the live-action animation “Toonpur Ka Superhero”.

- Ranbir Kapoor: Nobody believed that this Kapoor family scion will portray the nuances of a conniving and scheming politician with such perfection in “Raajneeti”. But this chocolate boy turned into desi Michael Corleone and surprised everyone with his immaculate performance in the political thriller that hit bull’s eye at the box office. His antics as lover boy in “Anjaana Anjaani”, however, couldn’t live up to the wickedness of the character he portrayed.

- Omkar Das Manikpuri: No six packs, no film connections and no fanfare, but still this 39-year-old native from Bhilai managed to make his place in a billion hearts with his vulnerable, suicidal and tattered appearance as soon as his modest debut “Peepli Live” hit the screens. The result - you had the common man and now he’s got a name, Natha.

5. Raghubir Yadav - “Massey Sahib” returned and how! The award-winning seasoned actor might be an irregular with his attendance on the big screen, but when it came to playing Budhia, Natha’s elder brother in “Peepli Live”, this Mungerilal just struck the right note.

6. Shah Rukh Khan: Businessman, actor - actor, businessman. The Badshah of Bollywood, a name often synonymous with larger-than-life cinema on the big screen, found it difficult to maintain his crown this year despite pulling off the role of an autistic youth in “My Name Is Khan” with aplomb. Still wondering why he’s on the list? Because he’s Khan…Shah Rukh Khan!

7. Ali Zafar: While illegal Bollywood discs run on the neighbouring nation’s home theatres with panache, the Hindi film industry got an original import in Zafar from Pakistan to produce a sleeper hit “Tere Bin Laden”. As for the singer-actor’s performance, he definitely left the fairer sex wanting for more.

8. Ranvir Singh: Again no pomp and show and no filmy father but this lad from Mumbai managed to do just the appropriate justice to his role as a Delhi munda in Yash Raj Films’ hit “Band Baaja Baaraat”. With a dream debut and a petite co-star in Anushka Sharma, he was praised for carrying both the film and the actress on his shoulders.

9. Rishi Kapoor: Now this is what you call a comeback. Not that Rishi Kapoor has not been active on the celluloid but he certainly has not been doing lead roles. “Do Dooni Char” just brought back the plump kid from “Mera Naam Joker”, in his twilight days now, to the big screen in an ovation worthy slice of cinema.

10. Ronit Roy: More than 15 years after he made his big screen debut before making a phenomenal breakthrough on the small screen, this actor just proved he has it in him to shake and not stir the audiences with his captive and powerful performance. If there are any adjectives to go by, truly the underdog.

(Robin Bansal can be contacted at

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