Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rani Mukerji, maturing actress

At first Rani seemed too sophisticated for my taste,  maybe too sophisticated for Bollywood.  One of the first movies that created this impression for me was "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" where she played the British educated daughter of a school principal coming back to India and winning the heart of Shah Rukh Khan.  They married, she died and the movie switched focus to Kajol in what is one my favourites.  In another movie seen shortly afterwards "Chalte Chalte" she again played a sophisticated woman who married down in class to Shah Rukh Khan and there was (verbal) fighting right through to the end of the movie including a break up and even their make up.

Still another sophisticated role, this time as a lawyer in Veer-Zaara who helped free Shah Rukh Khan to be with Preity Zinta in their old age.  I was catching on that Bollywood loves experimenting with different jodies.

One of her trademarks is her husky voice.  I would add her smile is very warming, but when she gets upset get out of the way!

In "Kabhi Alvida naa Kehna" she played a woman who just didn't love her husband (played by Abischek Bachchan), although he was a good and loving man.  Instead she fell for a married man, Shah Rukh Khan and suffered for it.  Lots of emotion.

She played a number of movies as either the leading lady or the jilted one and for the most part one could understand why the hero wanted her and were perplexed when someone else was preferred.  Typical Bollywood where women seem to have their lives revolve around the hero who is the real star.  Rani has taken on acting challenges. Perhaps the best one was in "Black"  where she played a deaf and blind woman and another good one was "Nobody Killed Jessica" where she played a foul mouthed journalist campaigning against an injustice.

She has won several acting awards most notably for "Black." She won jodie awards with Abhishek Bachchan and Saif Ali Khan, but to my mind was matched best with Shah Rukh Khan.  One of my favourites was in "Paheli"

One movie, "Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic," is awkward because it should be child friendly but wasn't in a few scenes.  It contains two favourite song videos starring Rani.  In both she plays a sort of rebellious angel with music from my favourites, Shankar Ehsaan Loy.  Earlier she had played in two other roles with Saif--"Hum Tum" and "Ta ra Rum Pum."

In "Dil Bole Hadippa"  she played a tomboy fixated on cricket.  She masqueraded as a man and was able to perform at a high level, but of course romance intruded in the person of Shahid Kapoor.

In "Talaash" she played with Aamir Khan as a suffering wife who had lost a child.

"Mardaani" her most recent is an action movie with Rani providing the action.   The bad guy played by Tahir Raj Bhasin in his first role captured a lot of attention.  It was also a movie about sex trafficking which is a major problem in India.  She demonstrated there is more to acting than romance.

She married in 2014 to Aditya Chopra a prominent producer and screen writer.  In the past marriage sometimes ended or at least interrupted a movie career for an actress.  She would be very good in mature roles (including romantic) and hope she is willing to continue.  She has a good comic touch, has a wide range of emotions and yes can be sophisticated.

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