Cut to: The long and short of 2012

Harneet Singh

It's that time of the year again, the award season when experts will dole out their honours as they deem fit. A look back on the performers that stood out.

2012 has been a year where high concept got its due. The first half of the year was all about the big-idea, be it Kahaani, Vicky Donor, Paan Singh Tomar, OMG: Oh My God! or Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. It was a year of big surprises in the form of Sridevi's return to top with English Vinglish and Anurag Basu's Barfi! going on to win hearts as well as the box office. It was also the year when desi cool got its double due with Gangs of Wasseypur. And then, of course, there were the big star spangled commercial fares in the 100 crore club like Agneepath, Rowdy Rathore, Ek Tha Tiger, Housefull 2. Diwali releases. Son of Sardaar and Jab Tak Hai Jaan added controversy as well as firepower. This was a year when newbies stood out— Arjun Kapoor, Siddharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan, Huma Qureshi, Alia Bhatt, Ayushmaan Khurrana, Yami Gautam, Diana Penty created waves with their first outing. And no, I haven't forgotten Nawazuddin Siddiqui who can safely term 2012 as his Big Breakthrough Year.

This year we were treated to some really fine acting. Manoj Bajpayee in Gangs of Wasseypur was funny in a lethal sort of way, Nawaz was spectacular in the film too. Aamir Khan in Talaash spoke with his silences and his gaze. Irrfan was just supreme as Paan Singh Tomar (and also Life of Pi, though it's a veritable Hollywood film). Shah Rukh Khan brought sexy back in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Paresh Rawal once again gave testimony of his talent in OMG: Oh My God! Ranbir Kapoor was so brilliant as the deaf and mute in Barfi! that one did not even realise that he had not spoken a single word in the film! Hrithik Roshan was fire and steel in Agneepath.

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