Recap 2023: Oscars, Met Gala, Cannes – Celebs Took India Global

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The year 2023 has been phenomenal for Indian cinema. From RRR‘s stupendous show at the global box office with its larger-than-life cinematic experience to Alia Bhatt casting a spell with her first Met Gala appearance, the Indian film industry made a mark on the world map. Not many would disagree that it was one of the grandest days for fans when RRR’s Naatu Naatu won the Best Original Song award at the Oscars in March. It was none other than Bollywood icon Deepika Padukone who introduced the track at the world’s biggest awards show. Now, let us take a look at the stars who made India proud on the global platform.

RRR at Golden Globe Awards – January

SS Rajamouli’s RRR was nominated in two categories – Best Orginal Song and Best Non-English Language Film.  The film was represented at the Golden Globe Awards by SS Rajamouli, Jr NTR and Ram Charan, who was accompanied by his wife Upasana Kamineni.

Best Orginal Song

Naatu Naatu, the electrifying track featuring Ram Charan and Jr NTR, won Best Original Song. It also became the first Asian song to win a Golden Globe. 

MM Keeravani, in his acceptance speech, thanked the team of RRR and his wife MM Srivalli. He said, “Thank you very much HFPA [Hollywood Foreign Press Association] for this prestigious award, Golden Globe. I am very much overwhelmed with this great moment happening and I am very happy to share this excitement with my wife, who is sitting right there.”

Best Non-English Language Film 

RRR missed out in this category to Argentina, 1985 from Argentina. Other nominees in the category included All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany), Close (Belgium), and Decision to Leave, (South Korea).

95th Academy Awards – March

It was a gloRRRious year for India at the Academy Awards.

1. Naatu Naatu

The electrifying number from SS Rajamouli’s RRR won an Oscar in the Best Original Song category. The crazy viral track, which made everyone groove, was composed by MM Keeravani.  Singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava also performed live at the prestigious award night. The performance received a standing ovation from the audience. An Oscar-worthy show, indeed.

Oh, and, how can we not talk about Deepika Padukone, who presented the song? She became the third Indian to present at the Oscars after Persis Khambatta and Priyanka Chopra. 

At the time of introducing Naatu Naatu, Deepika Padukone said, “An irresistibly catchy chorus, electrifying beats and killer dance moves to match have made this song a global sensation.” 

2. The Elephant Whisperers

The Elephant Whisperers, directed by Kartiki Gonsalves, roared in the Best Documentary Short Subject category. Backed by Guneet Monga, it became the first Indian film to win an Oscar in this category and the third to be nominated.

Cannes 2023 – May 

Bollywood celebrities added stardust to the French Riviera and how. Sara Ali Khan, Mrunal Thakur, Anushka Sharma and Manushi Chhillar made their red carpet debuts. They were joined by Vijay Varma, who made a comeback in the coveted event. Of course, there was Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The actress, who is a bonafide regular, turned heads in her silver hooded gown.  

Aditi Rao Hydari, Esha Gupta, Diana Penty, Surveen Chawla, Sunny Leone, Urvashi Rautela, Mouni Roy, Kusha Kapila and Dolly Singh were also part of the Indian contingent at Cannes 2023.

Met Gala 2023 – May 

The biggest fashion spectacle of the year paid tribute to the legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld. The theme was – Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty. 

1. Alia Bhatt – her first Met Gala

Alia Bhatt looked straight out of a fairy tale in her customised pearl gown. It was Alia’s debut and she nailed the Chanel bride look with her beauty and grace. The outfit featured 1,00,000 pearls. 

2. Natasha Poonawalla

Style icon Natasha Poonawalla honoured Lagerfeld by staying loyal to her bold and out-of-the-box fashion choices. Natasha’s outfit was (almost) as iconic as Karl Lagerfeld himself.

3. Priyanka Chopra 

There is a reason why we call Priyanka Chopra a global icon. The signature black Maison Valentino couture dress was a testament to the statement. She carried the strapless number with a dramatic slit.  The black bow detailing and leather gloves along with a black faille cape were textbook perfect. Priyanka’s plus one — Nick Jonas – opted for a Valentino Black Tie blazer, trousers and black silk faille tie.

Alia Bhatt at Gucci Show – September

Alia Bhatt is the first Indian ambassador of Gucci. The actress also attended the luxury brand’s Cruise 2024 fashion show in Seoul, South Korea, earlier this year.  She wore a black mini dress with cut-out patterns and carried a Gucci Jackie 1961 transparent bag. Alia’s tiny bag grabbed a lot of attention. Reason? It was empty.

Alia Bhatt And The Archies cast at Netflix Tudum – June

1. Alia Bhatt

Alia made her Hollywood debut with Heart of Stone. She joined her co-stars Gal Gadot and Jamie Dornan in Brazil for Netflix’s annual global fan event, Tudum. The film also marked many firsts for Alia. It was her first action movie and her first after announcing pregnancy.

2. The Archies

The Archies, directed by Zoya Akhtar, was the Bollywood debut of star kids — Suhana Khan, Agastya Nanda and Khushi Kapoor. At Tudum, the makers introduced the first look of the film and team The Archies danced to the song Sunoh. 

The Netflix film was released on December 7. 

Emmy Awards – November

It was a proud moment for India when Vir Das won an Emmy Award for his comedy special Vir Das: Landing. He shared it with Derry Girls – Season 3.

Apart from Vir Das, Shefali Shah and Jim Sarbh were also nominated in the Best Performance (actor/actress) category. 

Shefali Shah’s performance in the web series Delhi Crime Season 2 earned her an Emmy nomination. She was competing with Connie Nielsen from Denmark, Billie Piper from the UK and Karla Souza from Mexico.

Jim Sarbh was nominated for his role in Rocket Boys. He was competing against Gustavo Bassani from Argentina, Martin Freeman from the UK and Jonas Karlsson from Sweden.

Producer Ekta Kapoor was honoured with the International Emmy Directorate for her contribution to the world of television and cinema. 

Paris Fashion Week October

Navya Naveli Nanda, Amitabh Bachchan’s granddaughter, made her runway debut at Paris Fashion Week 2023’s L’Oreal show. Navya was accompanied by her biggest cheerleaders — mother Shweta Nanda and grandmother, veteran actress Jaya Bachchan. Navya’s aunt, actress  Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, as always set the stage on fire with panache.

Marrakech Film Festival November

Anurag Kashyap‘s happy album with Mads Mikkelsen, renowned for his roles in movies like Hannibal, Another Round, The Hunt, and Polar, was a hit.

The filmmaker was a part of the Conversations With segment alongside The Mentalist fame Simon Baker, Faouzi Bensaïdi, Bertrand Bonello, Matt Dillon, Naomi Kawase, Viggo Mortensen and Andrew Zvyagintsev.

Academy Museum Gala – December 

Deepika Padukone is a boss lady. There is no better way of saying that. She is an actress, entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast. She is also the queen of the fashion world. Proof?  Her Academy Museum Gala outfit.  The actress picked a signature Louis Vuitton gown for the evening. The single-shoulder piece featured a corset detailing that extended to a floor-sweeping trail. 

Red Sea Film Festival – December

Katrina Kaif, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt and Karan Johar led the celeb roll call at the Red Sea Film Festival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt

While Katrina Kaif rested her faith in a saree for the red carpet, Alia Bhatt slipped into a floral gown with balloon sleeves.

Ranveer Singh

Now, let us focus on the powerhouse of energy and talent — Ranveer Singh. The actor received an award for being “an icon of Hindi cinema”. He was honoured by Hollywood sensation Sharon Stone.

Karan Johar

Karan Johar attended the festival in the capacity of a producer. KJo represented Kill, jointly backed by Dharma Productions and Oscar-winning producer Guneet Monga. The Nikhil Nagesh Bhat film had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in August.



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Recap 2023: Kareena Kapoor To The Archies, The Year’s Big Debuts

Kareena Kapoor in Jaane Jaan, The Archies cast. (courtesy: YouTube)

New Delhi:

It is never too late to start something new seems to be the mantra of some of the brightest talents in Indian cinema. 2023 saw a bunch of actors making their debut, across formats and platforms. While stars like Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor made a seamless transition from the big screen to OTT platforms, several new talents chose to make their big acting debut with streaming projects. We also saw actors like Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi transcend the boundaries of language and make their blockbuster Bollywood debuts. Movies and long-form web series were equally popular with performers – both, old and new – making for a packed list of debuts in 2023.

Here are 21 debuts that you just cannot afford to miss: 

1. Kareena Kapoor Khan in Jaane Jaan (Digital)

It has often been said that Bollywood’s quintessential superstar Kareena Kapoor Khan was born for the big screen. But Kareena proved she is just as effective in the digital space when she made her OTT debut with the mystery thriller Jaane Jaan. In it, Kareena played the role of a single mother caught up in a gruesome murder. Kareena’s performance in the film and her chemistry with co-stars Jaideep Ahlawat and Vijay Varma garnered lots of love and appreciation.

2. Nayanthara in Jawan (Bollywood)

Referred to as Lady Superstar in south Indian films, Nayanthara – who made her debut in Malayalam cinema in 2003 and swiftly became one of the biggest names in the Tamil industry –  made a splash with her Bollywood debut in the year’s biggest film Jawan. In it, Nayanthara is paired opposite Shah Rukh Khan and plays a no-nonsense NSG officer Narmada Rai.

3. Prosenjit Chatterjee In Jubilee (Digital)

Bengali stalwart Prosenjit Chatterjee also made his big OTT debut with Vikramaditya Motwane’s Jubilee, a web series that taps into the history of Bollywood. The show’s timeline starts a month before Indian independence and centres around the power struggle between film studios and the superstars they help create. Prosenjit plays Srikant Roy, a studio head, who while being passionate about cinema is also a ruthless businessman.

4. Shahid Kapoor in Farzi (Digital)

Shahid Kapoor proved that he is a superstar even on OTT when the actor headlined Farzi. The thriller was directed and produced by Raj and DK and featured Shahid as a disillusioned artist who steps over to the dark side. In particular, Shahid’s chemistry with legendary Amol Palekar – who played his grandfather in the series – was appreciated.

5. Karishma Tanna in Scoop (Digital)

Karishma Tanna, a familiar face in Indian households thanks to her extensive work on television, had her breakout role on OTT in 2023. She headlined Scoop, a Netflix original based on the life of journalist Jigna Vora, who was accused of being involved in the murder of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey. The Hansal Mehta directorial is the adaptation of Jigna Vora’s book Behind The Bars In Byculla: My Days in Prison.

6. Sonakshi Sinha in Dahaad (Digital)

Sonakshi Sinna’s filmography largely includes commercial potboilers. But she made a marked departure from her regular choices with Dahaad. In it, she plays an ambitious police officer from an oppressed community, often sidelined and belittled due to her caste identity. But Sonakshi’s Anjali Bhaati is proud of who she is and where she comes from, making the character inspiring in more ways than one.

7. Tara Sutaria in Apurva (Digital)

Tara Sutaria, known for her stellar looks and screen presence, made her OTT debut with Apurva, a violent survival story. In it, Tara plays a young woman who has been kidnapped by a dacoit gang in Chambal and tortured. The film is a tough watch given its violence but Tara’s performance has earned her rave reviews.

8. Naga Chaitanya in Dhootha (Digital)

Naga Chaitanya, one of Telugu cinema’s most popular names, made his OTT debut with Dhootha. In the series, he plays a much-loved journalist whose life changes one fateful night. What follows is a series of tragedies that alter his life forever. The supernatural thriller has earned the actor massive praise.

9. Dimple Kapadia in Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo (Digital)

Veteran actress Dimple Kapadia never ceases to surprise. In Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo, Dimple Kapadia plays the role of a matriarch who operates the largest drug cartel in South Asia. Yes, you read that right. Her team involves her two daughters-in-law and daughter. Speak about girl power!

10. Rana Daggubati in Rana Naidu (Digital)

Rana Daggubati, best known for his role in the Baahubali franchise, made his big OTT series debut with Rana Naidu, the Indian adaptation of Ray Donovan. The series features the star as a “fixer of the stars,” whose seemingly good life is toppled by the return of his estranged father.

11. Venkatesh Daggubati in Rana Naidu (Digital)

Remember the estranged father who wreaks havoc in the life of Rana Daggubati in Rana Naidu. That character was played to perfection by Telugu superstar Venkatesh Daggubati, who is also Rana’s uncle in real life. Venkatesh Daggubati, who has played the good-natured superstar hero to perfection for several decades, is seen mouthing expletives and playing the ruffian with the ease of a veteran.

12. Cast of Archies (Digital)

The Indian adaptation of the iconic comic The Archies has six young actors making their big debut. The Netflix film, which was a fun, frothy coming-of-age drama, had Suhana Khan [daughter of Shah Rukh Khan], Agastya Nanda [grandson of Amitabh Bachchan], Khushi Kapoor [ Sridevi’s daughter], Aditi Dot, Vendang Raina and Yuvraj Menda making their debuts.

13. Trinetra Haldar in Made In Heaven 2 (Digital)

After making history as one of India’s first transgender content creators, Dr Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju made her acting debut with Made In Heaven season 2. Dr Trinetra impressed fans with her acting prowess as Meher Chaudhry, one of the few voices of reason on the show, set in the glitzy world of Indian weddings.

14. Maniesh Paul in Rafuchakkar (Digital)

After wowing fans with his impeccable comic timing on stage for years, Maniesh Paul made his OTT debut with Rafuchakkar. In the comedy-heist TV series, Maniesh plays a conman with a bunch of tricks up his sleeve.

15. Cast of Class (Digital)

Like The Archies, Netflix’s Class also saw a bunch of young actors making their debut. The series is set in a fictional elite high school in Delhi, the show deals with issues such as caste and class inequality, homophobia, and religious discrimination, among other issues. The lead cast included fresh faces such as Piyush Khati, Madhyama Segal, Cwaayal Singh, Zeyn Shaw, Chintan Rachchh, Ayesha Kanga, Moses Koul and Chayan Chopra. 

16. Alizeh Agnihotri in Farrey (Big Screen)

Salman Khan’s niece and Atul Agnihotri’s daughter Alizeh made her big screen debut with Farrey, another film that follows high school students with dark secrets. The heist thriller film is a remake of the Thai hit Bad Genius. The film, which screened at 54th International Film Festival of India before hitting the theatres, earned Alizeh great reviews.

17. Rajveer Deol in Dono (Big Screen)

Rajveer Deol, the son of superstar Sunny Deol and grandson of Bollywood legend Dharmendra, made his big Bollywood debut with Dono. The film, directed by Avnish S. Barjatya [son of Sooraj R. Barjatya], features Rajveer as Dev, a charming man nursing a broken heart when love comes knocking.

18. Paloma Dhillon in Dono (Big Screen)

Paloma Dillon joined Rajveer Deol in Dono, where she played the female lead Meghna. Paloma’s Meghna is a woman who knows what she does not want when it comes to a romantic relationship. Paloma is the daughter of popular Bollywood actress Poonam Dhillon.

19. Palak Tiwari In Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (Big Screen)

Palak Tiwari, daughter of Indian television icon Shweta Tiwari, made her Bollywood debut as part of the ensemble cast in Salman Khan’s 2023 film Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan. Despite being one among many stars, Palak managed to hold her own in the film.

20. Shehnaaz Gill In Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (Big Screen)

National heartthrob Shehnaaz Gill also made her big Bollywood debut with Salman Khan’s Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan. In her role, Shehnaaz Gill managed to fill the screen with her effervescent charm, leaving fans asking for more.

21. Vijay Sethupathi in Mumbaikar (Digital), Jawan (Big Screen)

One of the most prolific actors of Tamil cinema, Vijay Sethupathi made his Bollywood debut across platforms in 2023. Mumbaikar, which premiered on Jio Cinema, features Vijay Sethupathi as a man desperate to make it big as a gangster in Mumbai. While you will have to watch the film to see if Vijay Sethupathi made it as a gangster in Mumbaikar, in his big screen debut, Jawan, Vijay Sethupathi played one of the world’s top weapon dealers, a menacing villain posing as SRK’s nemesis.

Tell us whose debut performance, you liked best

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