The only thing in common between Ranbir Kapoor and Vinay Pathak is talent. A huge amount of screen presence makes them the most accomplished performers of 2007.

While Ranbir just took over the screen in his debut vehicle Saawariya with

his endearing transparency, Vinay Pathak, an outsider with no filmy connections, stood at the opposite end of the spectrum

with his performance as the very filmy, very annoying and real joker at the dinner in Bheja Fry.

Shahid Kapur, though a little too callow for the role, carried off the grieving executive’s part in Jab We Met with arresting aplomb.

Junior Bachchan just slipped into Dhirubhai Ambani’s role in Guru. The slouch was ouch. But hey, Abhishek conducted himself with much credibility in the biopic.

Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met and Tabu in Cheeni Kum were such studies in contrast! While one was exuberant, vivacious and all there, the other was quiet, introspective and dreamy.

Tabu must immediately be stopped from languishing in self-imposed

exile. She was extraordinary in Cheeni Kum and then again in Mira Nair’s The Namesake.

The rage Vidya Balan expressed in her climactic dance in Bhool Bhulaiyaa just blew everyone else out of sight.

Raima Sen as the spirited spunky gregarious Bengali housewife in Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd proved herself to be Suchitra Sen’s bump-and-grind-granddaughter.

Irrfan Khan, whooped it up with glorious unselfconsciousness with Konkona Sen Sharma in Life...In

A Metro. While Irrfan came into his own in 2007, Konkona, showed signs

of over-confidence especially in Aaja Nachle. However, she is a brilliant actress and a pleasure to behold always.

How Shefali Shah as Mahatma Gandhi’s wife in Gandhi My Father managed to imbue such incandescent dignity to a dangerously stereotypical role is anyone’s guess.

Ranveer Shorey as the doped-out street wanderer in Traffic Signal was

the summit of poignancy, hard to achieve for an actor who has an essentially comic image.

At the end of the year, that bundle of bratty brilliancy, Darsheel Safary, bringing madness to Aamir Khan’s method... the kid seemed to take over the screen in Taare Zameen Par.

Shah Rukh Khan was a scintillating bundle of wound-up angst in Chak De! India. For the first time in his career he didn’t seem to be acting at all. The credit goes to director Shimit Amin who managed to even out the excesses of King Khan’s other big blockbuster Om Shanti Om in 2007. — HNS