New actors fail to impress in 2003

Mumbai, Dec 30 (IANS) If we're to look at one terrible failing during the year that was, it would have to be the lack of debut-making talent.

In 2002, Vivek Oberoi slammed into super-stardom with "Company". Not a single first-timer except Shahid Kapoor in Ken Ghosh's "Ishq Vishq" and John Abraham in "Jism" made a comparable impact in 2003.

The beginning of the year saw John gyrate sensuously in Bipasha Basu's inspiring company for "Jism". He quickly became the beefcake special. The must-take-his-shirt-off image took hold of John's career.

Shahid Kapoor in the campus caper "Ishq Vishq" made a huge impression on the teenybopper crowd.

Now both John and Shahid are among the busiest actors in Bollywood choosing their projects with care and intelligence. They are bound to be around for a long time.

As for the year's other male debutants, they all made a minimal impact. There was a long list -- Ritesh Deshmukh in "Tujhe Meri Kasam", Shayan Munshi in "Jhankar Beats", Aashish Chowdhary in "Qayamat", Aryan Vaid in "Market", Samir Dharmadhikari in "Satta", Zayed Khan in "Chura Liya Hai Tumne", Anuj Sawhny in "Nayee Padosan", Ashmit Patel in "Inteha", Amarr Upadhyay in "Dhund: The Fog", Suchinder Bali in "Aanch", Kiran Janjani in "Oops", Emran Hashmi in "Footpath" and cricketer Ajay Jadeja in "Khel".

Some of them are "well-connected" enough to wangle post-debut assignments in spite of disastrous debuts.

Emran Hashmi and Ashmit Patel (both closely associated with the Mukesh Bhatt camp) are doing two films each, including "Murder" where both co-star with the provocative Mallika Sherawat.

The future of the rest of the also-ran brigade seems nebulous.

Some like Atin Bhalla in "Om", Jaz Pandhar in "Indian Babu", Amitabh Dayal in "Kagaar" and Kapil Jhaveri in "Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya" have vanished quickly the same way they came.

The female debutantes made a surprisingly strong impact in 2003.

Whereas in 2002 Esha Deol and Antara Mali stood out, their impact cannot be compared with Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta in "The Hero" and "Andaaz", respectively. Within a year, the two girls are among the busiest heroines in Bollywood.

A third debutante Brande Roderick made a surprisingly favourable impact in "Out Of Control" though she's an American and the film is a flop.

Other female wannashines of 2003 are -- Bhoomika Chawla ("Tere Naam"), Vidya Mallavade ("Inteha"), Meera Vausdevan ("Rules: Pyar Ka Superhit Formula"), Katrina Kaif ("Boom"), Celina Jaitley ("Khel"), Genelia D'Souza ("Tujhe Meri Kasam"), Shenaaz Treasurewallah ("Ishq Vishq"), Masumi Makhija ("Chupke Se"), Rimi Sen ("Hungama"), Tanisha ("Shhhh"), Saloni Aswani ("Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya"), Netanya Singh ("Fun2shhh"), Anita ("Kucch To Hai"), Neha Dhupia ("Qayamat"), Diana Hayden ("Tehzeeb") and Gul Panag ("Dhoop").

All made zero impact. Some, like Celina and Neha, were hugely hyped beauty queens before release and some others (Genelia, Rimi, Shenaaz, Bhoomika) even had a hit debut to their credit.

Two actresses transformed their flop careers from the previous years emerging as all-new semi-debutante winners in 2003.

Mallika Sherawat, who played the second lead to Kareena Kapoor in "Jeena Sirrf Mere Liye" in 2002, became the hot-bod favourite after "Khwahish" in 2003. Likewise, Sameera Reddy, who had a flop launch in 2002, was re-launched this year by Ram Gopal Varma in "Darna Manaa Hai".

The year to come has several faces to watch for. Sharmila Tagore's daughter Soha, Ram Gopal Varma's two latest discoveries Mohit Alaawat and Randeep Hooda and Gayatri Joshi (who's being launched by Ashutosh Gowariker with Shah Rukh Khan in "Swades") are some of the faces that could be going places during the coming year.