One of the worst things about being an actor is fame. Being famous places expectations on a person to the point that performance becomes an albatross more than an ambition and talent, regaled in trepidation. Not every actor hits a lull in their career but every performer experiences a rebirth of sorts, whether personally intentional, or a travail of the trade.
The three women below have made this journey and here’s hoping their respective films keep them flying high, regardless of their past, relishing in accolades for years to come.
Official Synopsis: A female superstar struggles through the trials and tribulations of being a Bollywood actress.
Cast: Kareena Kapoor, Ajay Rampal, Govind Namdeo, Randeep Hooda, Divya Dutta
Premiere: Sept 21, 2012
Thoughts: Heroine has been pretty highly anticipated since it was announced to star Aishwarya Rai close to two years ago but she unfortunately backed out due to unexpected pregnancy. And almost immediately Kareena Kapoor stepped into the role. I have to admit, I would’ve liked to have seen Rai in this spot, therefore, my interest in this film is mostly predicated on the original choice of Rai and how Kapoor will translate as a replacement. The premise isn’t that fascinating, nor is the overall cast, however, Rampal and Kapoor have passable chemistry. The film surrounds Kapoor’s character, most likely a misunderstood, potty mouthed, cigarette snogging diva, disillusioned by fame with a dual persona to regulate. Therefore, it’s an opportunity to examine Kapoor’s ability to carry a mainstream film virtually all on her own. I’m skeptical, but over the last few years, I’ve enjoyed the majority of her performances, whether the actual film was worth watching. I seriously doubt this will be anything ground breaking in way of insight into the “secret” world of Bollywood actresses or the industry at large, but I do have a feeling that it will be fun to watch Kareena play a puffed up version of her real life starlet status.
Official Synopsis: A belittled and insecure Indian housewife enrolls in an English language class.
Cast: Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Priya Anand, Mehdi Nebbou
Premiere: Released for the Toronto Film Festival on Sept 14, 2012; Nationwide release (India) Oct 5, 2012
Thoughts: English Vinglish marks Sridevi’s long awaited return to the big screen since her retirement in 1997 and perhaps may boast to be one of the best projects of this year. For, this feel good, inspirational film is by far a must see. It’s a story that never gets old and always seems to push that “value” button that every human has nestled beneath their recognition of self-worth. This film embarks simply to tell of an individuals’ journey to a type of intellectual and personal freedom that always makes one’s chest expand just a little wider with pride and admiration.
So if you want to see a film showcasing the blessings of family and personal achievement, sprinkled with a teensy bit of gumption, put this movie on your short list immediately.
Official Synopsis: A Maharashtrian girl who sees her life as a Masala-movie goes on the hunt for her dream man.
Cast: Rani Mukerji, Nimriti Sawant, Prithviraj Sukumaran
Premiere: Oct 12,2012
Thoughts: Aiyyaa is your basic romantic comedy, filled with all the things that Bolly is good for; romance, music and tons of dancing. Rani Mukerji is at the center, which is a delight, for I find her a wonderful actress that unfortunately has made some poor project choices. It seems, however, she’s picking herself back up and rebuilding a reliable reputation and my hope is Aiyyaa makes that list of positives. Given the stills, this film isn’t as glossy as most churned out by the Hindi film mill but regardless, it seems to be a cute comedy that will showcase Rani’s dedication to her craft. Word is, she learned and perfected 3 different types of regional performance dance styles, along with the Marathi dialect, which I hope translates solidly on-screen.
I’m not sure we can hope for much more than a fluffy, quirky film about a young, inexperienced girl, taking action to find a man to love, but how many films can boast much more than that these days?
[stills courtesy of labeled sites]