Rani Mukerji: Star’s gender has no role in film’s success

30 May,2023 07:15 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Mohar Basu

With Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway dropping online, Rani says movie’s strong BO run busted myths that only male stars and R100-crore collections make a hit

A still from Mrs Chatterjee

In the two weeks since it dropped on Netflix, Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway has reached audiences far and wide, consistently finding a spot in the streamer's top 10 movies in India. It only echoes the Rani Mukerji-starrer's successful run at the box office. The March release, said to be made on a modest budget, earned Rs 37 crore, becoming one of the few Bollywood hits of the year so far. With it, Mukerji is happy to have busted one of the Hindi film industry's myths - that only a Rs 100-crore earner is a true box-office hit. "There are misconceptions about what a hit means. A film is a hit when producers make money from it. It's not only about how much it collects at the box office; one should also factor in the film's cost," emphasises the actor.

So far, 2023 has witnessed a blockbuster in Pathaan, and hits in Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway, and The Kerala Story. The strong run of Ashima Chibber's directorial venture also shut down detractors who had doubts about the prospect of women-led films, in the post-pandemic scenario. Mukerji asserts, "There is constant chatter about whether women-centric films are box-office draws. Of course, they are! A good film will always bring people to the theatres, and a star's gender has no role to play in a film's success."

Inspired by the real-life ordeal of Sagarika Chakraborty, Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway sees the leading lady play a fierce mother who takes on the legal system of Norway when her kids are taken away from her by the welfare services, on grounds of parental neglect. The drama aligned with Mukerji's vision of bringing courageous women's stories to the screen. "As an actor, my vision for cinema will evolve, but the one thing that has stayed with me is the way I want to represent women on screen. I choose films where the woman is pivotal to the plot, where she is projected with dignity and power. For me, women have always been agents of change; they are independent, courageous and caring. I wanted to highlight these facets by choosing characters that echo my belief system - be it in Yuva [2004], Black [2005], No One Killed Jessica [2011], Mardaani, or Hichki [2018]."

Also Read: Rani Mukerji was in tears while shooting Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway, admits Ashima Chibber

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