Mumbai: 2008 saw many impressive debutant acts - be it Imran Khan's boy next door role in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na or Farhan Akhtar's rockstar act in Rock On with the promising Prachi Desai for company. Anushka Sharma might have opened with a bang in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi but giving her stiff competition is Asin who made her bollywood debut with Aamir Khan starrer Ghajini.
Prateik Babbar and Shahana Goswami might not have got the plum lead roles but they didn't need it to prove their acting prowess. So which of one these star debutantes was the show stealer of 2008 and will be a force to reckon with in 2009?
Entertainment Editor Mumbai Mirror, Indu Mirani says, "I would say it would be Imran Khan. He brought in this whole new casual look to the screen."
Filmmaker Farah Khan adds, "I think Imran was very very sweet and endering and he has the looks and the youth to appeal to a new generation of cinegoers."
But it was Farhan Akhtar who really shocked and rocked with his performance in Rock On. Farhan proved to be truly multifaceted not only can he direct but he can act and sing as well.
Film critic Mayank Shekher says, "I think Farhan would be the dark horse of the year. If one would really look at somebody who truly entered urban public imagination as a actor, as now as a TV host and as a filmmaker."
Meanwhile on the debutante director's front there were Neeraj Pandey who made a daring attempt with A Wednesday a film with no stars and no songs; the man behind the gripping thriller Aamir, Rajkumar Gupta; director of the star studded entertainer Dostana, Tarun Mansukhani and script writer Abbas Tyerwala who turned director with the very refreshing Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. It was a close call between V Shantaram winner Pandey and Tyrewala who came a close second.
Farah Khan says, "Neeraj Pandey who directed A Wednesday he is some dark horse. I don't know what he looks like but I called up Anupam and said, so Neeraj if you are listning to me, I feel you did a phenomenal job in A Wednesday and all my votes go to you."
Filmmaker Raj Kumar Santoshi says, "A lot of new directors and writers have come up. Some are very impressive like Neeraj Pandey with A Wednesday. Very impressive."
Now we hope to see these promising debutantes churn some promising films in 2009.