Ayushmann Khurrana, Vicky Kaushal and Rajkummar Rao are the new age actors who have performed extremely well in 2018, with Ayushmann Khurrana having the kind of a year that most actors in Bollywood dream about – winning over audiences and critics with back-to-back successes.
For the longest time, Bollywood had a fixed formula for success – star power and dance numbers. Even with poor script movies with the same old tropes were working and earning billions. The tide has been turning for the last couple of years now. This year too saw a fresh wave of good content films that not only swayed the audience but also did commercially well. Besides these films, actors who have proved their mettle with their performances were no Khans or Kapoors, but Khurrana and Kaushal.
The current lot comprising of Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, Vicky Kaushal is not only popular, but is also rewriting the mainstream movie topography by giving us truly enjoyable cinema. Their honest attempt to work in content with calibre has resulted in Bareilly Ki Barfi, Stree, AndhaDhun, Badhaai Ho and Manmarziyaan. It has come to a stage where Ayushmann is competing only with himself. As of today, the two movies that are being discussed in almost every nook and corner of the country are AndhaDhun and Badhaai Ho. The other big films of the year which were expected to have a good run like Thugs of Hindostan starring Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, Race 3 starring Salman Khan, Batti Gul Metre Chaalu starring Shahid Kapoor failed to impress the audience and have bombed miserably at the Box Office.
Whenever Ayushmann has shown up in a risque, guffaw-inducing drama, he’s scored a hit. Right from his debut Vicky Donor six years ago to the recently-released, surprise hit of the year Badhaai Ho, Ayushmann has been setting a benchmark when it comes to doing films which depend on a good storyline.
The disarmingly charming and dimpled 34-year-old actor, essayed a blind musician in his other success of 2018 AndhaDhun, without his trademark, off-the-cuff brand of comedy. Far more restrained and nuanced in this diabolical thriller, he has indicated that he could be capable of versatility.
From a small town boy in the award-winning film Masaan to a drug addict cop in the critically acclaimed Raman Raghav 2.0, Vicky Kaushal, the engineer turned actor has impressed critics and fans alike.
This year, he made his way into the mainstream cinema with films like Raazi, Sanju and the more recent Marmarziyaan. All completely different characters – a Pakistani Army man in Raazi, a Gujarati businessman living in America in the movie Sanju and a carefree Punjabi dude in Manmarziyan – neither of the films saw him as the protagonist but nonetheless, he managed to vow the audiences and critics with his bold and fearless performances.
Rajkumar Rao had six releases in 2017 of which five did decent business. He bagged the Asia Pacific Screen Award in Australia for Newton—which was India’s official entry to the Oscars, but failed to make the cut. The film deals with the experience of an honest and upright electoral officer determined to conduct free and fair polls in a Naxal-controlled area. While this year he had comparatively fewer releases, he added his name to the hundred crores club with his horror-comedy film Stree.
The list does not end here as on the future work front as well, these men have their hands full with more interesting scripts- while Vicky is working on Uri, Rajkummar has projects like Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, Mental Hai Kya and Ayushmann recently announced his upcoming film Dream Girl.