The year 2012 could be a critical one for leading Bollywood names like Priyanka Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt, all of whom could be angling for career makeovers courtesy forthcoming films.
Bollywood's first major release of the year - "Players" - could be a litmus test for both Bachchan and Bobby Deol, neither of whom could perform well enough in the box office last year.
The junior Bachchan and new father, is busy promoting "Players", which is scheduled to release on Jan. 6. Unfortunately, Bachchan has experienced something of a drop in popularity, post "Paa" (2009). Recent productions like "Raavan" (2010), "Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey" (2010), "Game" (2011) and "Dum Maro Dum" (2011) have been less than impressive in their collections.
The pressure is on to deliver a hit and reaffirm his position in the industry. It must, therefore, be a relief to know that another of his forthcoming films, "Bol Bachchan", has Rohit Shetty of "All the Best: Fun Begins" (2009), "Golmaal 3" (2010) and "Singham" (2011) fame at the helm.
After the release of "Yamala Pagla Deewana" in early 2011, Bobby Deol has kept something of a low profile. Indeed, he hasn't really delivered a hit in two years. Interestingly, a section of the media has claimed he has disappeared from promotional tours for "Players".
Surprisingly, 2012 must be seen as a year of recovery for actress Priyanka Chopra. After "7 Khoon Maaf" (2011), she had a rather disastrous rest of the year; mixed reviews of the ambitious "Don 2 - The King is Back" (2011) did not help. It is time for her to reclaim her status as one of the top actresses in the industry.
Sanjay Dutt took a short break from comedy films, following the failure of "Chatur Singh Two Star" (2011) and "Rascals" (2011).
His forthcoming film "Agneepath" sees him return to a genre and role that many believe is his forte - action/thrillers and negative characters; a sentiment backed by previous films like "Khalnayak" (1993) and "Vaastav: The Reality" (1999).
"Players", directed by the duo of Abbas and Mustan Burmanwalla, could constitute a turning point in Bipasha Basu's career. The actress has not delivered a hit since "All the Best: Fun Begins" (2009).
Interestingly, Bipasha who refused to wear a bikini in Rohan Sippy's "Dum Maro Dum" has agreed to do so this time, suggesting she knows how important this film could be.
An actor once considered an integral part of the industry, Akshay Kumar has slid down from the top of Bollywood's lists, following "Patiala House" (2011). His forthcoming films - "Houseful 2" (a sequel to the super-hit "Houseful" (2010)) and "Rowdy Rathore" (directed by Prabhu Deva) could give him a chance to regain his sheen as a top actor in Bollywood.