The good news is that mainstream and offbeat Hindi cinema in 2013 threw up so many excellent performances from our leading men that I started out with a list of 20 nominations (my choices) that I struggled to whittle down to 15.
There was a certain poignance to the process and some joy. Poignance because the list includes the great Farooque Shaikh in Club 60 that was released shortly before he passed away. Joy because there were two excellent performances worth nominating from a sparkling young actor whose talent I fell in love with when he made his debut in Band Baaja Baaraat and enjoyed even when others felt he was repeating himself in Ladies vs Ricky Bahl.
The question I asked in this poll was:
FROM THE FOLLOWING PERFORMANCES (LISTED IN RANDOM ORDER), WHO WOULD YOU PICK FOR BEST ACTOR (MALE) FROM BOLLYWOOD IN 2013?
Here’s how you voted:
The winner by a mile: 26.42% of you chose Farhan Akhtar playing the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
The runner-up in this poll is Ranveer Singh in Ram-leela with 18.86% of the votes – yes, this is a reminder that I asked you to vote for individual performances, not for individual actors or their track records or the sum total of the performances they delivered in a single year. I’m specifying this because in the Best Actress poll that is now running, I’ve been badgered by one person on Twitter for nominating Sonakshi Sinha’s performance in Lootera. This reader says that since Sonakshi was the leading lady in the duds R…Rajkumar and Bullet Raja, she doesn’t deserve to get nominated for Lootera. I find that argument absurd of course. So should we never nominate Irrfan for any award since he embarrassed himself by starring with Mallika Sherawat in that travesty of a film called Hisss?
14.15% of you selected Irrfan Khan’s performance in The Lunchbox
11.32% voted for Raj Kumar Rao (formerly known as Raj Kumar Yadav) with his take on real-life human-rights lawyer Shahid Azmi in Shahid
Ranbir Kapoor in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani got 10.38% of the votes
9.45% of the votes went to Dhanush in Raanjhanaa
5.66% of you picked Ranveer Singh’s performance in Lootera
1.88% - Hrithik Roshan in Krrish3
Akshay Kumar in Special 26 and Sushant Singh Rajput in Kai Po Che earned 0.94% each of the vote
0% of you picked Farooque Shaikh in Club 60, a vote that underlines my conviction that there’s no point in making a good film with great performances if you don’t market it. How can you blame people for not watching a film when they didn’t know it was out there in the first place?
Again, 0% picked Chandan Roy Sanyal in Prague (and again, I make the point already made about Farooque Shaikh and Club 60).
Others who got 0% of the vote: Rishi Kapoor in Aurangzeb, Ayushmann Khurrana in Nautanki Saala and Arshad Warsi in Jolly LLB.
Since I’ll be filing a separate blog on my choice of Best Actor 2013, I won’t tell you here who I voted for. This much I will say: much as I found Farhan in BMB extremely impressive, my vote for the best of the year does not go to him. Do look out for that blog post.
Until then, hope you’ve noticed that the next poll is already up and running. Question: From the following performances (listed in alphabetical order), who would you pick as Bollywood's best actress of 2013?
Photographs courtesy: The Wikipedia pages of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Shahid, Lootera, The Lunchbox and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani