The No.1’s who were never to be – that, in hindsight, has been the Bollywood career status of Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra. Both arrived with fanfare, got more than a fair share of opportunities to shine through, and despite their occasionally success struts on national glory ramp, they still don’t count as serious, can-take-it-all-on actresses. The reason is simple and obvious: They are star material not the stuff that great actresses are made of. Or not. You can debate. In the ‘figure’ department, perhaps the most critical strength in Bollywood, the two could each give other a tough competition. Both are ‘in shape’, set sartorial trends, ooze glamour, exude grace, knock-out on-lookers with their oomph factor and scorch the screen. With a Miss World title to boot, Priyanka, and with a family pedigree to boast, Kareena, seem to constantly outdo each other with some good ol’ body care; you never know when either of them would shed a few extra kilos and emerge like Greek goddesses. Yum.
It is said that ‘attitude’ in the cinema and fashion industry is tailored, nurtured, cultivated and flaunted to such an extent that the real persona will be nowhere close to what is being projected. From the words mouthed in interviews to ‘friendly’ reporters to the Tweets that get retweeted (for what value, God alone knows), the attitude that Kareena and Priyanka flaunt gives them an air that is a blend of diffidence and indifference. One has a history of upsetting the media; the other knows how to use it to her advantage – both can be straight talkers; Priyanka is better in the ‘media diplomacy’ department. In fact, the media ire that followed Kareena in her earlier days was more the product of her own mis-management – a fact that some of her younger colleagues haven’t learnt. Kareena and Priyanka can get their steps right, of course. But when it comes to bringing the house down with sheer voluptuousness, Kareena seems to score a wee bit higher; or is it vice versa?
Frankly, who cares or bothers because all the audiences seems to see are two pair of rather thin hips gyrating at extreme velocity to inane beats.
Murky, clear, murkier, clearer, murkiest, clearest – there is a pattern to the romance of the big Bollywood heroines. They travel some distance before they get to their perfect mate; apparently, in Bollywood it is hard to get it right on the first place or second or third…Even more baffling to lesser mortals is how Bollywood heroines become sterling examples of human virtues – showing to us that they can rise above envy, one of the cardinal hurdles in one’s road to salvation. How else can A & B at varying points have a fling with X, who will then decide to fall for C, while A will choose C’s former partner and B will go for A’s first, and then all of them do the cycle all over again baffling us about the fragilities of human relationships!
Anyways, Kareena looks contented as a Persian Cat with Saif for now; although an occasional tremor or two are cooked up by the Tabloid press only to be refuted. Priyanka, now that she is into singing and cutting -albums (God help us all), has been reported – even by the imaginative reporters in Gulf glossies – as seeing Jay Sean. Must be a figment of the reporters’ imagination… or not!
It could be considered sacrilegious to term an actress who won the Indian National Award as short in talent. Why should then the likes of Vishal Bharadwaj consider Priyanka for their films, right? And guess what she is even going to play a ‘mentally challenged’ girl’s role soon. If ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ is any indication, we could dread the output. As for ‘Fashion’, really, couldn’t any actress have sleep-walked through that role, even Kareena? But as the face of the confident modern Indian girl – the desi girl, if you may – she had her moments in ‘Dostana’.
Kareena has never been one of the serious contenders for ‘best actress’ stuff. The best she might have given us was perhaps, no, not even ‘Chameli,’ but ‘Jab We Met’, where for the first time, she dared to step out of her plastic mould, and proved that somewhere in her, there is an actress who can come to life in the hands of a competent director. She also stood her ground in films like ‘Yuva’, ‘3 Idiots’ and ‘Omkara’ all works by outstanding directors. Kareena and Priyanka have walked through dry career spells where everything they touch would go wrong. From ‘Drona’ to ‘2050: A Love Story’, Priyanka had some of the most colossal flops in Bollywood history.
Kareena too shares the box-office dud count with films such as ‘Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon’, ‘Kambakht Ishq’ and ‘Tashan’.
Both have been extremely fortunate to be associated with the biggest banners in India, and so if you look ahead at their future releases, there are such prestigious titles as ‘Don 2’ and ‘Agneepath’, both positioned to keep Priyanka up there, while the hit-streak of Salman Khan is expected to bless Kareena in ‘Bodyguard’.
Two actresses – both there for their looks than talent; and yet having tried hard to earn respect as actors – that in a nutshell is Kareena and Priyanka. Awards or not, will posterity remember them for their acting skills?
—Msn. com/Rajeev Nair, India Syndicate