Are Rani and Preity really bankable stars?

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Posted on December 1st, 2006 in Stars

The Indian Film Industry has many actresses who are right up there in the A-List slot. Today, the industry’s top actresses are Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukerjee and Preity Zinta, followed by Bipasha Basu and Priyanka Chopra. Its no doubt all of these ladies have worked hard to get where they are and surely deserve their respective positions.

However, four out of the five actresses that are listed are at the top because of their ability to give hit movies. But the case is different with Rani Mukerjee and Preity Zinta, who seem to only churn out hit movies when signing movies within the same production camps (Yash Raj, Dharma Proudctions, Shah Rukh Khan Camp). In contrast to that, Priyanka Chopra and Bipasha Basu seem to be perfect examples of actresses today who can deliver hits from various production houses and directors. The recent hits of Bipasha (No Entry, Phir Hera Pheri, Corporate) and Priyanka( Waqt, Bluffmaster, Krissh and Don) showcase the fact that these actresses are able to deliver hit movies without staying glued to one particular group. The odd one out, Aishwarya Rai, hasn’t really been well received in India recently. Her movies don’t do well in India but for some reason they certainly burn up the international scene. Rai’s Movies like Kuch Na Kaho, Umrao Jaan, and Bride & Prejudice have been sucessful internationally, but rejected in India. Infact, Bride & Prejudice is the biggest achievment a Bollywood actress could pull off. The movie’s profit was tripled!. But, because of it’s rejection in India, the movie was given a big thumbs down.

Coming back to Rani and Preity. Before Rani and Preity had entered their respective safe camps, it was very difficult for them to deliver hits. It was only after them entering these camps where they were able to get some success.

Earlier Rani was one of the most unbankable actresses. She was unable to get almost every movie of her’s up to the success mark. But as soon as she entered the yash Chopra camp she was on a hit-streak with Saathiya, Veer Zara, Bunty Aur Babli and Hum Tum. Even with the help of co-star Shah Rukh Khan she cashed in on hits like Chalte Chalte. On the other hand, Rani’s movies outside of these camps just don’t work. Even the super acclaimed Black couldn’t bring in the dough. Yuva, Paheli, The Rising – all examples of movies outside of her regular camps that have not worked.

It’s the same with Preity. Preity easily gets hits such as Salaam Namaste, Veer Zara, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. But the case is the same here, tell her to step out of her regular camps and what do you get? Flop left right and center like the recent Jaaneman or even movies like Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha.

Indeed they are talented but are Rani and Preity only going to stick to the same group? Looking at their upcoming movies, you can definitely say a big fat Y-E-S! With the exception of Babul, Rani’s next movies are Ta Ra Rum Pum and Choodiyan. Both are Yash Chopra productions. Preity Zinta has only one movie next year, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. Which again is a Yash Chopra movie. It’s not just that, the actresses seem to also be getting quite overrated in the industry. Preity received remarkable comments from critics for Jaaneman. In reality her role was not skill-requiring. Rani received earth-shatteringly good comments for Kabhi Alvida but again, the role was quite average and didn’t demand much.

Both Rani and Preity have benefited from entering these regular camps. Flooded with awards, loads of magazine covers, all that gloss. But have they been deprived of their talent? Preity Zinta has not had one good performance since Dil Hai Tumhaara. Koi Mil Gaya she was sidetracked. Even Preity’ first Best Actress (For Kal Ho NA HO) did not seem deserving. Rani however does manage to act good in these films, but she does the same role over and over again. Be it Saathiya, Chalte Chalte, Hum Tum, or Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, the roles are the same. All four movies show her as a wife dealing with her problems. Rani has shown some versatility in movies like Yuva, Black and The Rising. But Just to let you know, those movies clicked critically, not publically.

What could be the result of this pattern? Do the careers Of both depend on their camps? Could these camps find new actresses to replace Rani and Preity? Will Rani and Preity’s careers be over if they leave these camps? What do you think?

Kuch Toh Bolo!

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