Recap 2020: Biggest Bollywood events of the year
As 2020 is about to end, it would be safe to say that it was a hugely unpredictable and challenging year for the entertainment industry. From the movie business being shut for months because of COVID-19 and tragic deaths, to some celebratory and proud moments, this year filled us with mixed emotions. Here are some of the major Bollywood events that shaped this year.
The coronavirus pandemic not only affected the film business, but also impacted the lives of many celebrities. Singer Kanika Kapoor was the first Bollywood star to contract COVID-19 and even emerged as one of the most searched celebrities of 2020 due to it. She had tested positive after her return from the UK and was heavily criticized for hiding travel history and attending gatherings.
After the relaxation of the coronavirus-induced lockdown norms, celebrities resumed shooting and many A-list Bollywood stars tested positive for COVID-19. Actors such as Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Arjun Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Neetu Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Rakul Preet Singh and others had tested positive for it.
As India fought coronavirus, Bollywood celebrities came forward and donated parts of their earnings to various funds, including the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES). Stars such as Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar and others pledged support to the needy. Meanwhile, Salman Khan extended help to daily wage workers of the film industry.
Actor Sonu Sood emerged as a real-life hero for migrant workers amid the pandemic by providing them transportation facilities, free food and shelter. He helped thousands of migrants reach their homes. He also opened the doors of his hotel for healthcare professionals in Mumbai.
The year began with a bang with superhit theatrical releases such as Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior and Baaghi 3, but due to the pandemic, theaters were closed down for months. This led viewers to turn to online streaming platforms to get their dose of entertainment. Some major movies such as Gulabo Sitabo and Shakuntala Devi were released online. Cinema halls were reopened in October.
Most disturbingly, the sudden death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput on June 14, 2020 left the entire nation in shock. The promising young star was found dead in his apartment, leaving behind countless conspiracy theories about his death. Three central agencies, viz. the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate, are currently probing the case.
Sushant's death sparked allegations of drug abuse in Bollywood. After that, the NCB launched a probe and subsequently arrested his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, and some staff members of the late actor. The agency has also questioned film stars such as Deepika Padukone, Arjun Rampal, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and others under alleged drug links.
Rajput's final movie Dil Bechara was released after his death on Disney+ Hotstar. It became the most tweeted-about film of the year, and broke many records. Soon after its release, the movie also became one of the top rated Indian films of all-time on IMDb. Directed by Mukesh Chhabra, it is based on author John Green's novel The Fault in Our Stars.
Sadak 2 was released amid the nepotism debate reignited in the aftermath of Sushant's death. The movie was bashed for featuring star kids, and also for its poor storyline and performances. It is currently the lowest-rated movie on IMDb with a rating of 1.1 out of 10 stars. Other films like Khaali Peeli and Coolie No. 1 also received poor ratings.
Meanwhile, critically-acclaimed Malayalam film Jallikattu has been announced as India's official entry for the 2021 Oscar awards. Directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, the movie is based on a short story by S Hareesh. The film revolves around a tamed buffalo that liberates itself from its owner on the eve of its scheduled slaughter and runs wild through a town in Kerala.
Finally, despite the pandemic and the ensuing restrictions, many Bollywood stars still managed to tie the knot. While Telugu film star Rana Daggubati got married to Miheeka Bajaj in August, singer Aditya Narayan tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend Shweta Agarwal earlier this month. In fact, singer Neha Kakkar's wedding with Rohanpreet Singh created a huge buzz on social media.