To put it in one line, from an outsider to one of the highest paid actress of Bollywood, such is the journey of Kangana Ranaut. She made her debut in the 2006 movie Gangster and since then there have been a lot of ups and downs in her career. Being ridiculed for the lispy accent, stereotyped for her characters, controversies, failures, and huge successes, she has been through all. She is the first female actor to have a movie centered around her cross the 100 crore mark at the box office and a key figure when it comes to female equality in the film industry. She has done a lot of work and we are proud of her for being who she is. Let’s have a look at her journey so far:
The First Few Years
Kangana was about to debut through a film called I Love You Boss in 2004. The following year she auditioned for Gangster. She was rejected initially and Chitrangada Singh was cast for the same role. Due to Singh’s unavailability, she was replaced with Kangana and her career began. The girl who was too young to play a certain role bagged a Filmfare award for the Best Debut for the same. After that, she did four more movies with similar roles and was getting typecast for playing similar characters. It was her sixth movie Fashion alongside Priyanka Chopra where she actually got her due recognition and won a National Award for Best Supporting Actress.
The Hits and Misses
After playing a few too many neurotic characters, Ranaut started experimenting with “less emotionally exhausting” roles. She danced alongside Hrithik Roshan in Kites and played a gangster’s wife in Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai. She also tried comedy movies like No Problem and played a TV reporter in Knock Out. But nothing seemed to work for her until Tanu Weds Manu. This film changed the game for her. The movie became a sleeper hit, received a mixed response but everyone sang praises for the leading lady of the movie.
The Turning Point
After Tanu Weds Manu, Kangana did a lot of movies and with an exception of a few, others bombed at the box office. But her pursuit of different characters and versatility didn’t stop. She even played a shapeshifter mutant in Krrish 3. Even though Krrish 3 was her most financially profitable movie, the turning point of her career was when she chose to do Queen. It literally established her name in the industry and the country. She played a naive girl who (self-admittedly) is exactly opposite of her character. She received unanimous praises from the critics and the audience. This movie made her the Queen of Bollywood, for real.
After Queen, Ranaut’s biggest hit has been Tanu Weds Manu Returns. The film became the first ever movie to cross 100 crores domestically with a female protagonist. In the film she played a double role, portraying two entirely different characters. She won her second consecutive National Film Award for Best Actress after Queen. She established a mark that started a revolution for female protagonists in movies and gender equality became a thing, both in the industry and the country.
The Present and Beyond
Ranaut has been in news for a lot of things since some time. Controversies haven’t left her side since 2017. After Simran (2017), Ranaut has been working on her next big movie, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, where she also dons the director’s hat. The movie went through a lot of ups and downs because of the nature of the subject. Apart from this one, she has four more movies coming up viz. Mental Hai Kya with Rajkummar Rao, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari‘s Panga, Anurag Basu‘s Imali, and her directorial comedy-drama Teju.
Kangana’s journey has been nothing but inspirational. She speaks her mind and her contribution to the Indian cinema is extremely significant. She is coming back to the screen to play none other than our own real-life superhero – Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. The movie releases on the 25th of January and we can’t want to see the queen play the queen.
Till then keep checking out the blog for more on this movie and our review.