Choosing unconventional films minus any glamour and ‘masala’ worked in the favour of newcomers like Tahir Raj Bhasin, Patralekha and Darshan Kumar, who impressed the audience and critics alike with their debut performances this year.
Most debutantes in 2014 broke the norm of making the big-budget, lavish entry into Bollywood and rather let their acting chops do all the talking.
Tahir Bhasin may be arguably called the dark horse of the 2014 lot as he surprised everyone with his effortlessly- cool antagonist act in ‘Mardaani’ as a young and ruthless mafia kingpin. At 27, the actor held his own in presence of Rani Mukerji.
His act is also regarded as one of the best negative performances of the year.
Very few debutantes would have chosen ‘Citylights’ as their ticket to Bollywood but Patralekhaa made a brilliant debut with the film, in which she essayed the role of a migrant who goes through hardships. Her performance was praised by the likes of Shabana Azmi and Vidya Balan.
Freddy Daruwala’s villainous act in ‘Holiday’ may have paved the way for women dumping the typical romantic heroes and worship men with grey shades.
Darshan Kumar in his debut shared the screen with a powerhouse performer like Priyanka Chopra in biopic ‘Mary Kom’ and yet managed to stand out. Darshan essayed the role of Mary Kom’s husband with remarkable ease and confidence and his act was a appreciated by Mary Kom’s husband, Onler, himself.
There was also an ample influx of talent from Pakistan in Bollywood with the arrival of Fawad Khan, Imraan Abbas and Hummaina Mallik.
But it was Fawad, who stood tall among the three and delivered a top-notch performance in ‘Khoobsurat’ opposite Sonam Kapoor, adding to the list of his ever-increasing female followers.
Humaima, who starred opposite Emraan Hashmi in ‘Raja Natwarlal’ could not do anything for her Bollywood career.
Imran did have the looks of a Bollywood romantic hero but his maiden Bollywodo film ‘Creature 3D’ did not find an audience base.
There were also a number of debutantes — Tiger Shroff, Kirti Sannon, Daisy Shah and Sidharth Shukla, who chose the usual route to mark their entry into Bollywood.
Jackie Shroff’s son Tiger decided to begin his Bollywood journey with ‘Heropanti’ dancing to the famous tunes of his father’s hit song from ‘Hero’.
Ahead of the movie’s release, Tiger had become the butt of online jokes thanks to his unusual name, but the young actor managed to leave a mark with his dancing and an enviable physique in the romantic action comedy.
Tiger’s co-star Kriti Sanon, an outsider seems to have hit the bull’s eye with her debut film and has replaced Kareena Kapoor in ‘Singh Is Bling’ opposite Akshay Kumar.
Indian cinema’s showman Raj Kapoor’s grandson, Armaan Jain entered B-Town with ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’. Although the movie bombed at the box office, the actor was praised for his boy-next-door act.
Priyanka and Parineeti Chopra’s cousin made her debut with ‘Zid’ but the film tanked.
Young actress Mishti had to carry ‘Kaanchi’ on her shoulder since it was a woman-oriented but her debut venture did not do well at the box-office.
Deeksha Seth, an import from south film industry, starred in ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’.
Daisy Shah, a background dancer, got her big break in ‘Jai Ho’ opposite Salman Khan.
‘Fugly’ actors Mohit Marwah, Kiara Advani and boxer Vijender Singh didn’t create any buzz at the box-office with their debut film.
Several television stars announced their arrival on the silver screen this year. Surveen Chawla chose erotic thriller ‘Hate Story 2’ as her debut vehicle and made sure that the film was a crowd-puller thanks to her bold avatar.
Besides Surveen, the film marked the debut of another TV star, Jay Bhanushali. Though the actor didn’t have a major role in the film, he showed great screen presence. Bhanushali has bagged a film opposite Sunny Leone.
Known for his good boy image on TV, Sidharth Shukla made his debut with ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’. Sidharth did not have much to do in the movie, which saw Varun Dhawan in the role of the male lead, but still managed to make his presence felt on the big screen.
Actor-presenter Karan Vahi had a small role in Habib Faisal’s ‘Daawat-e-Ishq’ and did full justice to it.