The year was one of nostalgia for all millennials whose childhood stars reigned over the industry and owned it like bosses.
After a long, dry year, 2023 finally came with showers for Bollywood. Just when the entire country was starting to lose hope in Hindi cinema and trolls were asking to #BoycottBollywood, the stars, filmmakers, and industry stood tall to give us some of the most enjoyable and successful movies ever. The year 2023 can be called the year Bollywood re-established itself. While it was also a year of new and interesting voices, the dominance was that of the OGs.
Yes, if you look at it, this year was predominantly one of nostalgia. A hit action film (Pathaan) kicked off the year and set the box office ringing like never before. An out-and-out commercial Karan Johar movie (Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani) was being praised and adored by critics and audiences alike. A sequel to a hit franchise from two decades ago (Gadar 2) took the world by storm. And that is not where it ends.
The year belonged to veterans and supreheroes who have reigned over Bollywood for years. And it took them to save the industry from an unplesant label. So, today we list all the OGs who made a dent in pop culture this year and proved that they are here to stay and rule.
Shah Rukh Khan
After what felt like ages since we last saw King Khan on the big screen, everyone was waiting for Shah Rukh Khan's return to the big screen. He decided to come back with not one but three films this year, and two have turned out to be massive blockbusters. It was almost like Shah Rukh decided to give the kids a lesson on his brand of romance and action with Pathaan, Jawan, and Dunki.
The year has also brought Salman Khan back on the map. After a series of duds, with one this year itself (Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan), Salman needed a hit film. Enter Tiger 3. A franchise film that also stars Katrina Kaif in the lead, the threequel turned out to be a game changer for Bhai and it turns out the cinema halls now look like they did half a decade ago when Salman films were released.
A sequel to a movie that had shattered every box office record, Gadar 2 transported us back in time. While the content wasn’t as pleasant and top-notch as expected, the enigma of Sunny Deol pulling out that hand pump worked all the magic, and the audience got to relive the moment that was part of pop culture growing up.
Rani Mukerji is one of the most versatile and experimental actors we have. For someone who has always tried her hands at complex characters and not always in the commercial space, Rani finally got her due when playing a mother fighting for her children in Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway. Michelle from Black must be happy to see Rani get recognition for the work she did with all her heart.
Who could have thought that in a movie with Ranveer Singh in all his chiselled glory and Alia Bhatt in her saree elegance, we would actually be rooting for Dharmendra romancing Shabana Azmi? It was a storm of cuteness and one we want to be in the centre of always. The larger-than-life aura of Dharmendra, even at 88, came alive on the big screen with Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, leaving us all clean bowled.
Apart from being angry with the paparazzi and schooling them, Jaya Bachchan’s absence from the big screen for a long time was felt strongly when she appeared in Karan Johar's Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. What an actor she is, proving once again why she will always be relevant, no matter what. She played the part of Ranveer’s grandmother with such ease that one could barely call that acting; she lived the part. There was comedy, emotions, entertainment, and everything else that made it a brilliant performance.
Oh yes, this is also the year Lord Bobby bounced back to the popular consciousness with a role no one could have imagined him doing. A 15-minute dark character in Ranbir Kapoor’s Animal and a viral dance later, Bobby Deol is the talk of town and Instagram. He is a trend and probably a sought-after villain post this.
Amid all the commercial buzz, there was a film made with a lot of heart and love. Gulmohar is a family drama that spoke to hearts in many ways and Sharmila Tagore, the matriarch holding a secret about her loved son Manoj Bajpayee, stole the show. It was an incredible performance backed by a brilliant story.
Stay tuned to OTTplay for more.