She made her acting debut with the Bengali film ‘Biyer Phool’ in 1996 and entered Bollywood the same year with ‘Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat’. Rani Mukerji, who has been in the industry for over 25 years, has talked about how in Bollywood the definition of a “heroine” has changed over the years.
Rani, who has always wooed the audiences with her power-packed performances, says actresses have always been showcased in a “dynamic” way and that films “portray women in the way the society sees them”.
Talking about it, Rani, who has impressed the audience and critics alike with her impactful skills in movies such as ‘Hey Ram’, ‘Saathiya’, ‘Black’, ‘Mardaani’ and ‘Hichki’ among many others, said: “For me, a heroine has always been a quintessential Hindi film heroine. I don’t think anything has changed.”
“If you see the graph of film actresses from the ’40s or from ’50s, you will see that Indian women were always portrayed in a very dynamic way…barring a few because every time your film has to reflect society as such. So, if you seen the growth in India…you have seen the growth in the films as well in all characters and stories.”
Rani added: “Things have changed with the times so I think films portray women in the way that the society sees them, the way they are right now and with each passing year that’s what has happened and shown in films.”
Having been in the industry for over two decades, Rani does not “feel” it.
“When somebody says 25 years I say ‘oh really!’ because for me it just doesn’t feel like it is 25 years. Time has really flown I feel. I still remember my first day on my first film, I still remember my ‘Ghulam’ days, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’…”
She added: “So, it’s really crazy that somebody says 25 years…I say ‘don’t say na 25 years’ it’s making me feel like I am here forever’.”
Rani, who is married to the head honcho of Yash Raj Films Aditya Chopra and has a daughter named Adira, has reprised her role of Babli/Vimmy in the latest release ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’.
Is their any pressure to up her own game every time she comes on screen?
Pat came the reply: “Absolutely”.
That’s the fun of it, feels Rani.
“That’s the fun I feel for my craft you see because when I kind of work in a film that challenges me as an artiste that is what drives me. That is what makes me kind of excited about going back on set and trying to deliver something I don’t think I will be able to do it unless or until I reach the set. So, there is always that excitement you know.”
–By Durga Chakravarty