Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beauty queens and the rise of pop-corn actresses in Bollywood

The rise of beauty contest opened up a new possibility but it is also responsible for the demise of Bollywood movies. In 1994, India won two of the most prestigious beauty pageants in the world- Miss World by Aishwarya Rai and Miss Universe by Sushmita Sen. Later, both these beauty queens went to Bollywood. After India’s success in 1994, the beauty industry observed an unprecedented rise. Beauty pageants like Femina Miss India became very popular because winners of the contest can get into Bollywood movies. After Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen several beauty queens-Tanushree Dutta, Celina Jaitley, Yukta Mookhey, Diana Hayden, Neha Dhupia, Gul Panag, and Diya Mirja- came to Bollywood but very few of them found success.

If you look at the career of Aishwarya Rai, who was considered to be the top actress of Bollywood after Madhuri Dixit, you would see that she gave only two hit movies- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas. On the contrary, Madhuri Dixit, who was the top actress in Bollywood prior to Aishwarya, had at least ten movies that can be considered as block busters. Aishwarya Rai is more of a media gimmick than true acting talent. I remember when Aishwarya Rai’s Bride and Prejudice was released, the Indian media created big hoopla saying- Aishwarya Rai is now top favorite in Hollywood, Indian actresses are winning the west so on and so forth but in reality, Bride and Prejudice was a low profile movie. Out of all the international movies she did, only Provoked is worth mentioning. The movie deals with a serious issue but it was not so successful. Last Legion also did poorly despite having actors like Ben Kingsley.

Same goes for other beauty queens like Tanushree Dutta, Celina Jaitley, Yukta Mookhey, Diana Hayden, Lara Dutta and Neha Dhupia. None of them had a successful career except Sushmita Sen, Gul Panag, and Priyanka Chopra.

Out of all the beauty queens, I like Sushmita Sen most because she is truly a talented actress. From her debut movie, Dastak, she evolved into a great actress. She might have made it to the newspapers for her personal and social life but she is a far better actress than Aishwarya Rai. Movies like Samay: When Time Strikes, Aaghaaz, Aankhen Filhaal..., Zindaggi Rocks, Paisa Vasool are proofs of Sushmita Sen’s acting talent.

Gul Panag may not be successful in commercial movies but she has established her position in off-beat movies. Priyanka Chopra is also a talented actress but she only fits into glamorous characters.

Along with beauty queens, Bollywood also saw the rise of a group of actresses who do not have any acting talent but they are very gorgeous. Kareena Kapoor and Katrina Kaif are the biggest example of such actresses. As Karisma Kapoor’s sister, Kareena Kapoor did not have to struggle a lot to get into Bollywood but she does not have an impressive acting career like her elder sister. Till date, she gave only one hit movie, Jab We Met.

Katrina Kaif debuted in 1993 with Boom, a movie which drew nothing but negative criticism. Katrina Kaif can not speak Hindi properly. She is beautiful but she only plays characters where glamour is very much required not acting. Katrina Kaif found success in 2006 with Namastey London. The NRI romantic comedy was quite enjoyable but not something you would like to see time and time again. Same goes for her other movies like Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya, Namastey London, Welcome, Race, Singh Is Kinng, New York. None of these movies are so memorable. They are like pop-corns, you enjoy munching them but they are not so good.

When it comes to actors, I like Hollywood actors more than Bollywood but in case of actress, it is the other way round. I love Bollywood actresses very much. I grew up watching Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla, Tabu, Karisma Kapoor and I admire them a lot. After Madhuri Dixit, Bollywood saw three talented actresses like Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta and Kajol but after these three actresses there are no talented actress in Bollywood.


  1. LMAO - Sush has been in the worse movies out of all the beauty queens and has had the least success. She is known more for being the mistress of rich married men than for acting in any movie.

    Aishwarya has been the most successful (Iruvar, Jeans, Kandukondain, Taal, Devdas, HDCCS, Bride &Prejudice, Khakee,Dhoom 2, Guru, Jodhaa Akbar and Sarkar Raj).

    Priyanka has been successful lately with Dostana, Fashion and Kaminey.

    Gul has done well also in some small roles.

    Stop hating and be truthful.

  2. Aishwariya had hits but you are right, Madhuri had at least 10 films those were like blockbusters or very big hits. Ash's big hits are only HDDCS, Devdas, and dhoom 2. Others are smaller hits Madhuri had numerous such small hits. After Madhuri, rani, kajol, preity are good actress I do agree. Your choice of actresses are very right. Juhi, Karisma Tabu were also very good.

  3. Films like dil, beta, hahk, raja entirely were succesful for Madhuri only. Largely the viewers, critics and press said that in those days. Beta was called beti while raja was called rani even the director approves that. Even Tezaab was her movie, be it her histrionics, expressions or dance when we talk about tezaab we talk about her. All these films were blcokbusters and the biggest hits of the years. Even sajan, khalnayak, dil to pagal hai, anjaam, pukar etc. she made huge impact more than her costars. This is why she is regarded as the biggest female superstar ever. Only karisma can hold to some extent such honour as she was credited for her big hits like raja hinsdustani and biwi no 1. Madhuri or even Juhi Kajol, Karsima always got good review for even their flop films. But I doubt whether Ash ever got credit for making a film hit. She is very gorgeous and outshines others by her sheer beuaty but not screen persona or acting or box office pull. Rani is also another actress who is solid today.

    Your analysis is very perfect.

  4. many actresses come and go but only few sustain to such stiff competetion where evry day new actress is born.so without any doubt only few names coomes to mind of all when we talk about success and holding that success for years...n those names are sridevi,madhuri,juhi,kajol etc

  5. How come you said Karisma has no impressive acting talent? You are ignorant. I recommend you to see: Fiza, Zubeidaa and Shakti. No Bollywood actress could handle those films as Karisma did.