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The ‘Crowned’ Queen: The Unstoppable Rise Of Kangana Ranaut

Her Work Proves That Women Are Now As Important In Hindi Films As The Hero

Kangana Ranaut has been the enfant terrible of Bollyood but if you ask her about her own opinion she says that she is the eternal struggler. Coming from an actress who has won two national awards and countless other awards for her numerous roles that have been critically acclaimed, it does speak a lot about the current state of Bollywood, where actresses like Kangana Ranaut are very rare and don’t get the respect they deserve.

Kangana’s journey to Bollywood is nothing less extraordinary. A girl from a small town, her dreams were just like any other girl, to have a regular career. But destiny had other plans for her. Gangster happened but only after a lot of struggle. Before that she had a tryst with modeling and she got her acting lessons from Arvind Gaur, the renowned theater personality in Delhi acting in several plays and after that she re-located to Mumbai where she managed to catch Anurag Basu’s eyes and was selected for Gangster and the rest as they was history. But this history had much background story, as Kangana understood that with fame comes certain price to pay. Always a strong girl and never the one to mince her words, Kangana apart from becoming a seasoned performer, also found herself in the eye of several storms but slowly but surely she made her way out and as Tanu Wed Manu Returns is having a glorious run at the box office, let us find out more about this diva who has ruled Bollywood for several years now but yet consider herself to be an outsider in a place where hierarchy still runs supreme.

Post-Gangster and praises from all quarters, one might have thought that Kangana would’ve had a smooth sailing but it was not to be so. Instead of being flooded with offers, she found that her place in Bollywood was still shaky. Films that happened to her often sank without trace and the once promising actress suddenly found that her career was in jeopardy. Looking back now she reminisces that all those movies and roles were done because of dearth of offers. She is also candid enough to admit that those movies gave her the bread and butter in her time of need.

According to many, the turning point in her career, post-Gangster was Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion where she portrayed the role inspired by the life of Geetanjali Nagpal, an ex-supermodel living on the streets. The role once again got her unanimous praise, but both professional and personal life was yet to see a new dawn. She got stereotyped in such neurotic roles and her efforts to do comic roles faltered as well.

Post-Fashion, it was Tanu weds Manu that finally gave her the much needed breather. In many interviews she has claimed that it was not very easy for her to get the desired roles. Directors though aware of her versatility chose to sideline her. Kangana reasons that this was often because of her own outspoken personality and the nepotism that had a ruthless grip over Bollywood. But this couldn’t stop her from becoming the numero uno in Bollywood despite having only a few big banner movies to her name unlike her contemporaries. If Tanu Weds Manu opposite Madhavan was the game changer then Vikash Bahl’s Queen was the tonic that Kangana as well as the audience needed. The movie turned out to be a huge successs, praised for its story as well as performances giving Kangana a National Award and there was no looking back for Kangana. Tanu Weds Manu Returns as we all know now is taking the box office by storm.

But still the road to glory was not easy and it is never easier to maintain momentum in this world of Bollywood. Professional as well as personal hiccups are a stark-reality in this unforgiving world. If we look at movies like Shaka Laka Boom Boom, Kites, Tezz as well as Rascals and a few more we will realize the volatility of Kangana’s career. It is difficult to imagine that an actress of her caliber suffered a close-brush with ignominy but then nothing comes easy.

Her contemporaries have had far more smoother transition in Bollywood while Kangana had to constantly fight for her place and to be honest, her back to back box office success, or becoming the part of the Krissh franchise, doesn’t really guarantee her anything because she still has a lot to fight for but the future looks bright as she has several projects like a movie with director Sujoy Ghosh opposite Saif Ali Khan, another one with Nikhil Advani with a few more in the offing. Also she has plans of directing a short film so we might take this news with a glee because we are sure that Kangana, once her innings as an actress ends might start a new innings as a director and she has herself admitted of being extremely curious about the process of film making and yes she has also done a two month long course on screenplay writing from New York Film Academy.

Let us hope that we will see more of Kangana in the future and see her in a few more exciting and big-budget projects as actresses like Kangana are what Bollywood strongly needs and she is also someone who deserves appreciation for the work she has done because, let us reiterate it one last time, Kangana is something different who manages to give us a glimpse of her compassionate nature through the roles she perform.


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