2017, the year that heard words like “Nepotism” and “Eugenics” in ways unimaginable and still make headlines, even though the controversy is long gone.
Speaking of nepotism, let’s talk about the newest kids on the block. The year 2017 saw some ups and downs in Bollywood, with Salman Khan’s Tubelight failing to light up the big screens, and Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees not impressing much. With the old guard not much in form, who are the promising newcomers?
We’ve put together a list of the best Bollywood debuts this year, basically newcomers that managed to make an impact. Go ahead and see if your favourite actor fares in this list or not!
Mehreen Pirzada - Phillauri
Mehreen Pirzada is a model and Telugu actor who put her best foot forward in Phillauri as a supporting actor. With Anushka Sharma and Diljit Dosanjh as lead actors, the film didn’t make much of an impact at the box office, however, it was a refreshing change as we saw a lead actor, like Anushka Sharma, play the unconventional role of a ghost living in the tree! Phillauri is the only Bollywood film Mehreen Pirzada has been seen in, but we can’t wait to see more of her.
"“The present day relationship, enacted nicely by Suraj Sharma and Mehreen Pirzada, also has emotional depth.”" - Anupama Chopra
Suraj Sharma - Phillauri
Now, you may know him from Life of Pi, but in Bollywood, Suraj Sharma debuted in the Anushka Sharma - Diljit Dosanjh starrer Phillauri. He was cast opposite Mehreen as a newly wedded groom who encounters a ghost. Well, what can I say, that Suraj is clearly going places, but we all knew that when we saw Life of Pi, didn’t we? The Ang Lee film even earned him a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination.
"“All four leads put in strong performances, but Suraj Sharma’s flair for physical comedy is a refreshing revelation...”" - Rajeev Masand
Saba Qamar - Hindi Medium
Pakistani actor Saba Qamar could not have asked for a better film, and co-star, to make her debut in Bollywood with. Saba already had quite a successful career in her home country, but that wasn’t enough for this talented and hardworking actor. Playing the female lead in the cheeky film about overtly ambitious parents, Hindi Medium, Saba proved that she is a force to reckon with having managed to compete with none other than Irrfan Khan.
"“Qamar is a beauty. Between her and Fawad Khan, they might convince Hindi film audiences that Pakistan has cornered a majority share of the world’s hotness. Though her character is often hyper, her acting never is – that is a fine line to tread, and she pulls it off.”" - Anna MM Vetticad
Fun Fact: Saba Qamar holds a Pride of Performance - an award bestowed by the Government of Pakistan on Pakistani civilians in recognition of distinguished meritorious work in the fields of literature, arts, sports, medicine, and science.
Kanan Gill - Noor
After Pretentious Movie Reviews, with Biswa Kalyan Rath, Kanan Gill found himself starring in Noor, with Sonakshi Sinha. Kanan Gill is already well known in comedy circles and is an internet celebrity with quite the fan following. The only flaw in the man? He cannot dance. In an interview to Abish Mathew, on Son of Abish, the comic claimed that he just cannot dance, and even the filmmakers thought the same. But hey, his cynical wit more than makes up for his lack of dance skills.
"“Stand-up comic Kanan Gill in the role of Noor’s best friend Saad, imbues the character with a refreshing everyman quality.”" - Rajeev Masand
Aadar Jain - Qaidi Band
Qaidi Band. Finally a film where someone other than Farhan Akhtar is forming a band. A bold choice for making a debut in Bollywood is when you don’t opt for the same old rom-com, and Aadar Jain did just that. Aditya Chopra’s Qaidi Band saw a raw and edgy Aadar singing to secure his release from a prison of under-trials. Now, Aadar does resemble his cousin, Ranbir Kapoor, and the genre is very similar to Ranbir’s Rockstar, however, Jain’s choice for a debut must be appreciated, if not applauded.
"“Aadar Jain is competent in his debut performance.”" - Nandini Ramnath
Mahira Khan - Raees
The moment Mahira Khan uttered the words “battery saala” was the moment we knew that she will turn some heads. Mahira is reportedly one of the highest paid actors in Pakistan and her Bollywood debut in a Shah Rukh Khan-starrer only added feathers to her already well-feathered cap. Mahira Khan is the first Pakistani female actor that has joined Bollywood’s 100-crore club.
"“Mahira Khan – a star in Pakistan, a debutant here – is naturally easy before the camera playing Raees’ girlfriend and later his wife.”" - Anna MM Vetticad
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. Read more on Bollywood by The Quint.Take a Look at the Newcomers Who Made a Mark In 2017“We Hold Manmohan Singh in High Esteem,” Says Arun Jaitley in RS . Read more on Bollywood by The Quint.