It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be successful in any field; but the entertainment industry is a story in itself which involves tons of hard work and determination. Our very own Bollywood is no different. While many of our talented actors and actresses have struggled for years to make it where they are, others achieve success easily. The latter is the best description to fit this actress whose demand and status increases upon the release of each of her films. Former Miss World 2000, Priyanka Chopra debuted in movies in 2003, nearly four years ago. In less than half a decade, Priyanka has achieved what some of our current mainstream actresses haven’t. Although Priyanka went unnoticed in The Hero opposite Sunny Deol, she came back with a stronger look and role in the 2003 super-hit Andaaz. She made critics stand up and notice her good looks and talent, easily stealing the thunder from her rival Lara Dutta she moved on to become a strong name in Bollywood. 2004 was a bit of a damper for Priyanka as she faced three flops (Kismat, Asambhav and Plan), but audiences were willing to forget those movies as Priyanka once again made the critics and audiences notice her talent in Aitraaz. Aitraaz became a super successful film and again established Priyanka Chopra in the industry, catapulting her to the A-league. Aitraaz was not Priyanka’s only special film of 2004, as she took everyone for a ride once again in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
If 2003 introduced Priyanka, then 2004 established her position and made her a household name. With awards, fame and many movie offers, Priyanka stepped into 2005. Out of her six 2005 releases, Priyanka maintained a perfect balance with three hits and three flops. Blackmail, Karam and Yakeen were flops although Priyanka was noticed for the latter two. To make up for these three blunders, Priyanka had Waqt, Barsaat and Bluffmaster which were all successful to some extent. She was called the best part of Barsaat, overshadowing co-stars Bipasha Basu and Bobby Deol. By now, it was certain that Chopra was an A-league actress. In such a short time, Priyanka has become big competition for Bollywood’s biggest actresses who have been here for far longer than she has. In fact, it was Priyanka who replaced Aishwarya in Bluffmaster, not to mention Krrish.
Ignoring Aap Ki Khatir, 2006 was an even bigger year for Chopra as she had managed to bag the biggest films of the year. She appeared in the blockbuster Krrish and topped off the year by appearing in the highly successful film Don. She was at a whole new level now. But to all this glory there is one huge downslide. Priyanka may be a huge name in the industry now, but looking back at all her successful films one thought comes to mind; exactly what has she done? The bitter truth is that Priyanka is yet to live up to her career title as an “actress”. She may be apart of all these big-budget, successful films but is she a good actress? Movies like Andaaz and Aitraaz showed us tremendous potential, but when will we see that potential turn into something concrete? Films like Don, Krrish, Waqt, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, etc. are not going to get her anywhere as they are all dominated by another actor, leaving Priyanka to act as a mere prop. For instance, Don cannot be called Priyanka’s movie and neither can Krrish. Respectively, those movies did well because of Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan. Priyanka was neglected to the backseat and hardly showed any acting potential in these movies. In fact, looking at her upcoming movies, I’m sorry to say this looks like it might continue.
So, is Priyanka Chopra overrated? The answer is definitely a yes. Sure, she is in the exact same category as today’s super-actress trio (Aishwarya Rai, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukherjee), but has she delivered flawless and memorable performances as strong as the other actresses mentioned? Ash, Preity and Rani have all proven themselves in their decade long careers and along the way have had successful films. Mind you, in their successful films they actually have roles and are appreciated by critics. Being a superstar is not only about having successful films but you need to have the talent to survive in the industry…something Miss Chopra needs to learn. For instance, Miss Rai’s (our days of calling her “miss” are limited) last hit movie before Dhoom 2 was Devdas. A good five-year gap. The reason she survived was because of powerhouse performances like Raincoat and Umrao Jaan in the middle. Rani went through a flop-streak after Kuch Kuch Hota Hai but she ultimately arrived at Hum Tum because her talent was strong enough to survive the storm.
Will the storm be too much for Chopra? 2007 has already started on a bad note for her as Salaam-E-Ishq was terribly disappointing and termed a flop. Not to mention audiences despised her in the film and critics tore apart her performance, accusing Priyanka of “hamming” and “being fake”. Although people have praised her for one scene in the film, one scene isn’t going to get you anywhere. If she wants to survive and ascend in this fierce and competitive industry, she will have to step back, get choosy and sign challenging roles. Otherwise, Priyanka will be ringing cash registers with a weak buzz. If there is no soul in art then it shouldn’t be called art. Similarly, if acting is not present in an actress…then what is the point of being an actress? This isn’t a popularity contest, this is stage of talent. And if all you can bring to the stage is your status then something is wrong. Either Priyanka should reconsider her career choice or take a serious and more appropriate approach towards her lifeless and talentless career. It’s either now or never.