Planet Bollywood
Bollywood´s Most Improved in 2004
- Shruti Bhasin           Let us know what you think about this feature article

Drum Roll Please . . . The Most Improved Star of 2004 is . . .

With the awards season close by, its important to not only the outstanding acting of the stars from 2004, but also recognize the growth of an actor. Drum roll please . . .

He is associated to the most prominent star parents one could hope for. This star is finally getting the recognition he deserves and coming out of the shadow of his famous parents. He has been linked romantically with Karishma Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, and Preity Zinta. He has already begun getting nominations for his roles in 2004.

Yes, you guessed right, its Abhishek Bachchan. Not only, did he have to live up to great expectations from the beginning of his career, he had to begin acting well in order to stop comparisons to Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri.

The year 2004 was filled with surprise performances. This included stars doing roles that were more complex or completely different from the image we are used to. Other nominees in this category would include: Kareena Kapoor in Chameli and Dev, Aishwarya Rai in Chokher Bali and Raincoat, Sushmita Sen in Main Hoon Naa and Vaastu Shastra, Shilpa Shetty playing a working class woman with AIDS in Phir Milenge, and Saif Ali Khan playing a villain in Ek Hasina Thi. There are definitely more people in this category, nonetheless, the winner is Bachchan jr.

Yes, the most improved star of 2004 was Abhishek Bachchan. Let´s take a look at his eventful year. At the box office, he experienced his first hit with Dhoom, but it was not the movies, but the roles he played that makes him deserve top marks.

His year began with the forgetful RUN. It was a below average film, but his role got him a chance to play a seriously dramatic role as a lover trying to free his grilfriend, Bhumika Chawla, from her deranged brother.

Next we saw him in YUVA. It would be an understatement to say it was one the best roles of the year. It was actually one the best performance of his career so far. I can guarantee he will get a nomination for BEST VILLAIN or BEST ACTOR, and he certainly deserves the award for his portrayal of Lallan (a petty criminal who attempts the assassination of Ajay Devgan on a bridge).

He also made a special apperance in one of year’s biggest hits: HUM TUM, where he played Rani Mukheji’s husband.

The summer had him in 2 films that are definitely in my top 20. The first being PHIR MILENGE where he played a young lawyer defending Shilpa Shetty to get her job back. The movie itself, was not as popular, however, all the performances were appreciated. He was an outstanding supporting role. His scenes in the courtroom are worth watching twice.

Ah, the hit of his career, DHOOM. This film was not only entertaining, it had fun, excitement, drama, suspense, and good chemistry among the cast. He played a ruthless cop, Jai, trying to stop a group of bandit bikers on killer wheels with the aid of a bumbling sidekick. Well, it was quite the year for Abhishek and the success of Dhoom got him some important roles in the upcoming year.

He made a special apperance in a blink-and-miss role in RAKHT as Bipasha’s love interest and the foot-tapping dance song: “ONE LOVE”.

Finally, we had the average Diwali release NAACH. The movie was one of the biggest losers at the box office and got mixed reviews; Abhishek played his character of an over-ambitious actor with ease.

With all these diversified roles, he is definitely the most improved actor of the year. Its not the quantity of films you make, its the quality of the role you play on the screen. If the character itself makes the audience relate to them, then the actor/actress has succeeded in emoting the right response from us. In 2004, he definitely showed he does not need to stay in his parent´s shadow to have a good performance.

His acting journey began with Refugee (2000). While Kareena Kapoor walked away with all the good reviews, Abhishek struggled to stop dancing like his father. This was the only comparison being made in 2000 (from what I could remember). He worked in some disastrous films like Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya and Dhai Akhshar Prem Ke; his relationship with Karishma Kapoor came to light, unfortunately, things did not work out for the families for this love to last.

He had a quiet 2001 and 2002 with a few releases. He finally showcased some talent in Om, Jai, Jagdish, where he played a brat. 2003 was a good year for him: he was the only character you could tolerate in Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon; he had a good cop role in Zameen; he played a decent man wanted to marry an already married woman in Kuch Naa Kaho; however, he really stole the show in the long LOC: Kargil. This film was dreadfully tedious, but Abhishek’s storyline was among the best.

Overall, Abhishek has improved his look, style, dancing, acting, expressions to become a sought after star. 2005 will be a another big year for him. He will be seen on the big screen in an adaptation of the “Godfather” in SARKAAR with his father Amitabh. Other films include: Mukul Anand’s incomplete DUS; Shaad Ali’s BUNTY AUR BUBLI; and he will begin shooting for a film called AUTOGRAPH.

Well, here is wishing Abhishek the best of luck for 2005 and winning awards for 2004


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