In an industry that thrives on the saleability of its lead couple to the masses, Bollywood turned its powerful corridors into an amateur chemistry lab this year, eagerly experimenting with fresh new pairs for that eureka moment.
While some managed to strike box office gold, others left us cold with a mediocre lead pairing that relied on mere looks and marketing campaigns alone.
Emirates 24|7 picks the hot and the so not of 2012, hoping that the following year brings in a breath of fresh air and an on-screen chemistry that sizzles like that of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol.
Randeep Hooda and Sunny Leone
Now before you throw the book at us, take a look at this objectively.
Despite her, err, parallel on-screen career, this was adult film star Sunny Leone’s first attempt at the big leagues when she signed on for ‘Jism 2’; and it wasn’t as bad as we had predicted.
Did she resemble an asthma patient at times during all that heavy breathing in the film? Yes, we shall certainly not deny the obvious.
But with the strong, silent Randeep Hooda coming in for that kiss of life, how could we not laud Pooja Bhatt’s casting coup in bringing this weirdly odd lead pairing together, then made a voyeur out of many.
Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor
Here was a lead pairing of two zany reel characters that are just as witty off-screen; what wasn’t there to love?
Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor came together for Karan Johar’s modern-day love story, ‘Ek Main Aur Ek Tu’ and their on-screen camaraderie simply sizzled.
Albeit, this wasn’t your conventional run around the trees Bollywood romance, which, in fact, is what made the characters more relatable and real.
Can’t wait to see this pairing again in 2013 in yet another Johar production.
Salman and Sonakshi
This by no means is a fresh pairing. Plus, the whole May-December angle should make it even disturbing to an extent.
But after the duo lit up the screen two years ago with ‘Dabangg’ part one, could we deny Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha a re-entry as the hottest on-screen couple of the year? Of course not.
While the sequel is slated to release this Thursday, the promos are proof enough that the coy village belle and the dashing man in uniform still light a fire on screen.
Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif
We cannot deny that this fresh pairing just won the award for Best On-screen Romance of 2012, but in our opinion, the person who voted for this probably couldn’t look beyond the leading lady’s stunning looks.
The Shah Rukh Khan-Katrina Kaif pairing was in the news for all the wrong reasons, starting with the most obvious: the Salman Khan factor, which made him the leading man’s arch rival in real life and the lady’s former beau.
However, the audience had more hope from ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ when it released in November, giving credit to the late, great Yash Chopra, who pioneered the movement of bringing romance back into Bollywood.
But somewhere it seemed all fake.
While Katrina appeared to fluctuate between showing her best side to the cameras and competing with Anushka Sharma in the rising hemlines, Shah Rukh Khan almost appeared guilty in romancing women who were nearly two decades younger than him.
Please, retire this couple pronto.
Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor
Again, a not so fresh pairing, but still a damp squib in their second outing since ‘Delhi 6’.
This is Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor, who signed on for the best forgotten film, ‘ Players’.
However, the bulk of the blame goes to Sonam here we feel, who puts in more effort in her designer lables than romancing her dashing man on screen. Spare us, please.
Shahid Kapur and Priyanka Chopra
Here’s another rumoured off-screen couple that couldn’t live up to the hype they had created at the height of their romance in ‘Kaminey’.
Director Kunal Kohli’s ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’, which had its world premiere in Dubai, was a disastrous film, which somehow managed to make a one-time successful pairing into an ill-matched romance.
Shahid Kapur and Priyanka Chopra romance each other across three time periods in the film, but even they appeared to give up on their on-screen affair by the third segment rolled around.