A ‘striving for success’ hero gains overnight stardom as he turns into a real life villain, lovers sworn to eternal bliss part unceremoniously etc etc.. Reality is stranger than fiction and Bollywood houses the strangest realities.
Shiney ‘maid’ mess
By far the biggest shocker of the year, Shiney Ahuja lost his sheen after he was arrested and prosecuted for raping his 19-year old housemaid. From a reel hero to a real baddie, Shiney’s defaming act spurred a nationwide debate about the morality of our screen gods. Sending shock waves, Shiney made the otherwise docile trusting wives overtly aware of their young maids. Nevertheless, right from hotshot socialites to the ‘shanta bai’, Shiney became a butt of jokes. Released from jail four moths later, Shiney Ahuja real life was juicier than any reel drama on 70 mm. Anyone wants to vouch him for the Bad Employer of the year title?
Producers-multiplexes up in arms
Next only to Shiney Ahuja, the two month long standoff between the multiplex owners and production houses over revenue sharing issue was the biggest scoop this year. Losing crores in a battle of one-upmanship, it was the producers who blinked first and agreed to a profit sharing plan proposed by the multiplexes. The deadlock resulted in losses worth over Rs 200 crore for producers, distributors as well as multiplexes. As for the movie buffs they had little choice but to watch dated films.
Khans Can: Aamir Khan-Shah Rukh patch up
While everyone from producers, multiplex owners, distributors, and not to forget the star starved fans frowned over the industry strike, it did some good by ending the years long cold war between Aamir and Shah Rukh Khan. The two Titans, driven by their own moolah motives, shared the podium to end the strike paralyzing filmdom. As for the warring Khans, Shah Rukh and Salman, the duo continued to lock horns and poke each other with sour comments.
Shilpa Shetty errr Kundra
From a scorching hot item girl to a coy bride Shilpa Shetty married her businessman fiancé Raj Kundra in a lavish wedding on 22nd November. With Tinsel Towners as her guests, the marriage saw the who’s who of filmdom blessing the newly weds. From flashing their mean gears to flaunting their designer wear, the wedding was the talk of town. And even though Akshay Kumar was given a royal miss, his memories haunted the bride as the brass band played his movie songs.
Aishwarya-Abhishek Corporation limited
Almost over a decade after it was considered the reason for Bachchans’ doom, Aishwarya Rai resurrected ABCL from the ashes. With her husband in toe, the company, which was considered jinxed and dead, once again came to life. This time round however, there have been no gambles as AB Corp is carefully and meticulously pumping in moolah on money-spinners. Looks like ‘Paa’ Amitabh Bachchan, with his able kids by his side, has no regrets after all.
Shah Rukh Khan who?
A megastar in India, Shah Rukh Khan faced identity crises aboard! So while most of us spend hours waiting for often delayed flights and go through security checks, it became a matter of national concern and pride when King Khan was interrogated at the Newark airport. Press conferences and news debates were stirred when SRK with only one film, Billu Barber, this year got his share of the limelight when he said ‘My Name is Khan’ at the US airport.
Big Blunders: Geniuses go wary
The two filmmakers who grossly disappointed this year were Ashutosh Gowarikar and Madhur Bhandarkar. After delivering blockbuster like ‘Jodhaa-Akbar’ and ‘Fashion’ last year, they gravely let down their fans with ‘What’s your Rashee’ and ‘Jail’ respectively. While ‘What’s your Rashee’ got little except a big yawn from audiences, ‘Jail’ was seen as Madhur attempt to hold fans hostage. Well, better luck next time!
Lifesavers: Directors with a vision
While big guns like Madhur Bhandarkar and Ashutosh Gowarikar disappointed this year, it was the new age directors like Anurag Kahsyap, Vishal Bhardwaj and Imtiaz Ali, who continued to weave magic. Giving age-old love stories a modern twist, Dev D, Love Aaj Kal and Kaminey summarized the commitment dilemma haunting Gen X. More humane and hence more believable, these flicks established an immediate connection with the audience and it was all owing to their contemporary appeal and cinematography. Kudos to the fresh thinkers!
Brangelina who? Abhi-Ash on Oprah
Wearing a gorgeous saree and looking her stunning self, Aishwarya with her prince charming Abhishek made for a great show at Oprah. Hailed as a couple more popular than Brangelina by the talk show queen, the Bachchans exhibited perfect poise and grace on all fronts. Be it the Cannes red carpet or the glitzy ‘Pink Panther’ premier, the dashing duo was the most coveted pair both onscreen and off screen. Bagging a throbbing Rs 25 crore for a soap ad, the couple had many go green with envy for more reasons than just a hefty bank balance.
Susanne cuts Hrithik Roshan’s Kites
When Hrithik Roshan writhed with Barbara Mori in the most exotic locales of the world, hell broke loose in his personal heaven. With his dainty wife Susanne fumingly shunning her abode for her parents place, the handsome hunk had little option but to fly cross-continents to save his marriage from going down the drain. With reports of a break-up buzzing, papa Roshan had to intervene to restore bliss into his son’s martial life. Once united, the couple lashed out at the media as they termed all splitsville reports as mere gossip.
Broke-busters of the year
From Blue, Kambkhat Ishq, Main Aur Mrs Khanna, Kidnap, London Dreams to Aladin, 2009 saw scores of big budget films sink without a splash at the Box Office. Fading without a trace, these films not only failed to justify the hullabaloo surrounding their release, they also brought a lull in cinema halls. Facing flak from critics and audiences, no one associated with these broke-busters was spared the bashing. Point being: Stop the chiggy wiggy leg shaking Kylie act and start juggling good scripts.
Money-spinners of the year
Despite the multi-starrers with a slew of a controversies and publicity antics, 2009 saw only a handful of hits. And the credit for these blockbusters goes to the contemporary filmmakers with their new vision for filmdom. Dev D, Kaminey, Love Aaj Kal, Wake Up Sid, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, Wanted, New York and Paa were some of the money-spinners this year. And besides the moolah these films earned, the other similarity was either a debutant director or a novel outlook.
Comeback kids of the year!
Besides having a similar surname, Ranbir and Shahid shared the same skyrocketing success at the Box Office this year. Applauded for their diverse performances, the two actors took filmdom by storm as they churned one hit after another. While Shahid shunned his boy next-door act for a macho makeover in ‘Kaminey’, Ranbir proved his mettle with an array of performances varying from serious roles to a rib tickling comedy.
Just talk no show
From walking the ramp to indulging in eye-popping publicity stunts, some stars did everything, except act in their films this year. Even with a series of releases this year, stars like Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor belted one flop after the other. Last year’s queen Priyanka Chopra too, along with her jinxed co-star Hurman Baweja, delivered a dud show this year in not one but twelve roles. As for Katrina, she stuck by her men and managed a hit or two.
The ‘slumdog’ moment
Anil Kapoor, AR Rahman, Freida Pinto, Dev Patel, Azhar, Rubina joined by the entire crew of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ headed by Danny Boyle on the prestigious Oscars podium was by far one of the golden moments of Indian cinema. And even as the Oscar frenzy gripped the nation and we said ‘Jai Ho’, the celebrations were cut short when Danny Boyle had to flee the country in an attempt to escape the outrageous demands Rubina and Azhar’s parents made on him. Harassed for funds, the filmmaker did more than his due when he established a trust for the kids.
It’s over: Lovebirds head to splitsville
On-screen they might have romanced one and all, but off-screen cupid was miffed with filmdom causing series of splits Except a few on and off love sparks, the grey clouds of heartache shadowed Bollywood for most part of the year. And it was not only newly minted relationships that reeled under pressure, but also long standing affairs that went kaput. From the much-publicised Preity Zinta- Ness Wadia split to the Ranbir Kapoor- Deepika Padukone saga, break-ups haunted them all. Mugdha- Mithun Purandare, Kangna-Adyanan also endured heartache as they went separate ways.
Love Me, Follow Me
In love with the paparazzi there were some couples, who kept the cameras busy both on-screen and off-screen. Taking lead here were none other than Saifeena. From award functions, film publicities to romantic vacations, the couple kept the photographers on their toes. And following suit closely was Salman, who with his dainty belle Katrina carefully dodged the marriage question. Be it their public cold spat or late night party antics, the couple’s blow hot, blow cold affair drew much attention.