Kangana Ranaut Birthday Special: Is there any role she can't do?
Kangana Ranaut is as fearless on the reel as she is in real. And having nailed all the genres Bollywood has to offer, she's truly the Queen for many, if not all!
A few months back, there were rumours in the grapevine that Kangana Ranaut, our birthday girl, was planning to make a biopic on herself. It's an exciting idea, especially for all those who aren't only fans of the actress but all of them who enjoy watching masala entertainers. Ranaut's journey has it all, maybe a lot more struggles and spectacles than her contemporaries. This could be a story to watch out for!
Her ambitions to be an actress were met with strict and scathing opposition from family, but she knew this was her calling and career. In 2006, the dream stood true in the form of Anurag Basu's Gangster, where she played a tricky part of a helpless wife and a hapless lover. She could emote well and choke you with her pain. Appropriate that it was backed by Mahesh Bhatt, someone known to create stars instead of working with them. The industry had a new face to rely on for meaty parts.
But in these 14 years, Ranaut has won three National Awards and unapologetically dismissed our award ceremonies, questioning them for their credibility. Staying away from these Bollywood bamboozles, she continued to pursue brave characters that made her what she is today. During the initial years of her career, she was almost threatened by the industry's herd mentality that was only keen to cast her as an emotionally fragile and frustrating woman. But there was more to her that we began to observe as time passed by.
Today, as she's one of the most accomplished and admirable artists in Hindi Cinema, it seems there's hardly any role she can't do and hardly any genre she can't nail. She has pretty much attempted everything and here are some of the most memorable bits from her career till now:
1. Romance- Woh Lamhe (2006)
More than Gangster, it was Mohit Suri's Woh Lamhe that gave us an aching gaze at how complex love can be. It was inspired by the traumatic life of yesteryear actress Parveen Babi. And Ranaut played this daring role with tenacity and transparency. Woh Lamhe wasn't an easy watch, many scenes in the film were frightening to witness, and that was in a way also the reason for the success of her performance. She was so real, we struggled to watch her.
2. Horror- Raaz: The Mystery Continues (2009)
As stated, the first few years of Ranaut in Hindi films revolved playing broken souls and dramatic characters. The Bhatts cast her again in the second film of the Raaz franchise where she was possessed by a spirit that was fortunately not evil for a change. This was a genre usually driven by the success of the narrative and the tropes rather than the stars. But Ranaut, who was just coming out of the major success of Madhur Bhandarkar's Fashion, chose this as her next, thus establishing the fact that she's not scared to experiment, and is ready to scare the audiences too.
3. Comedy- Queen and Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015)
It's hard not to mention the two films in the same breath, regarded as Ranaut's reinvention. Queen not only led to the rediscovery of its central character Rani, but of Ranaut too. It was the first glimpse of her ability to carry a film on her shoulders and power it to success. And with Tanu Weds Manu Returns, she nearly doubled her commercial success and it's no coincidence that it happened with a double role. We don't see too many actresses playing to the gallery on the celluloid, this is a performance usually and unfairly reserved for the male stars, but she was fantastic as both Tanu and Datto, the hot-headed yet hilarious Hockey player we all rooted for. On a personal level, this is her best till now.
4. Action- Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi (2019)
The making of Manikarnika is no less than a film in itself. There were more lows than highs while this ambitious project was being made. Actors and directors changed and so did the script, but the actress was firm to make this dream into a reality. She made her directorial debut and that too as massively as it could get. This period drama was her way to tell the world she's no less than a Bollywood hero, in fact, she's the hero in all her films.
5. Drama- Panga (2020)
The moniker would be a nice way to describe how Ranaut has handled her career so far. She has fought for what she felt rightly belongs to her, and never feared being left in loneliness. She played a former Kabaddi player who yearns to make a comeback to the sport. This was a refreshing and heartening film with immensely enjoyable and entertaining moments. Apart from some buoyant performances from its ensemble, what made Panga a success was the leading lady's commitment to the part, both physically and emotionally. She's truly a complete package.
She now has Thalaivi and Dhaakad coming up this year. The first poster of the former showed the actress showing us two fingers that indicate signs of victory, and the other one presented her in full Rambo-style with guns in hands and grit on the face, and this is also another facet of Ranaut, she has to be victorious, even if it demands to pick up a gun!
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