The Rise of Mardaani

She was the new girl on the campus. Enchantingly charming and smart. She triumphed many hearts, including Rahul’s. Tina Malhotra came as a breath of fresh air. And yes, she knew how to play the guitar. It’s been 16 years that Tina urf Rani Mukerji wooed us in Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Now the lady is back in an all-new daring avatar as Shivani Shivaji Rao in her upcoming film, Mardaani.


Over the years, Rani Mukerji has ushered in a new breed of characters in Bollywood. If she is the bold cop – Shivani Shivaji Rao, she has also donned the character of a simple housewife in Yuva and Talaash. Rani Mukerji has been enrapturing us with her diverse characters and stellar acting skills.

From demure to dauntless, let’s take a look at Rani Mukerji’s character evolution through some of her most-memorable films:

Saathiya (2002)

We laughed, we cried and we held each other a little tighter as we followed the story of a lovestruck couple – Suhani and Aditya. In the film, Rani Mukerji crosses the threshold by giving balance to a character who is strong, yet vulnerable. Shaad Ali’s Saathiya is one the best films by Rani Mukerji. The film was produced by Mani Ratnam and Yash Chopra under the banner of Yash Raj Films.

Yuva (2004)

Who can forget the playful canoodling of Lallan and Shashi in the song, Kabhi Neem Neem? In Mani Ratnam’s Yuva, Rani Mukerji leaves us utterly mystified with her bubbly character – Shashi. Don’t you just love her?

Black (2005)


Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black was a major breakthrough in the Indian film industry. Starring Rani Mukerji and Amitabh Bachchan, Black won the National Film Award in 2006. Rani Mukerji as Michelle McNelly was simply awe-inspiring. Black traced the story of Michelle, a girl with a hearing and speech impairment, who overcomes her disabilities with the help of her dedicated teacher, Debraj Sahai. Rani plays this compelling role with ease alongside co-star Amitabh Bachchan.

Paheli (2005)

Rani Mukerji breathed life into Lachchi in Amol Palekar’s Paheli. She played the character of a naive bride who falls in love with a spirit, played by Shahrukh Khan who is her husband’s lookalike. Rani radiated beauty in every scene while maintaining her simple, enchanting charm. Our favorite is the brilliantly choreographed song, Phir Raat Kati featuring the dashing Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukerji as puppets.

Bunty aur Babli (2005)


We found Rani Mukerji absolutely electrifying as a small town girl-turned-bluff master. Paired opposite Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji gave a superb performance as Bubbly. Rani’s peppiness, coupled with her character’s penchant for bright, colorful outfits, made us happy.

Noone killed Jessica (2011)

Meera Gaity is a no-nonsense journalist. She swears and she fights. Rani Mukerji as the hardcore journalist is a complete beauty with brains. Till date this is one of the most-powerful female character in the contemporary Indian cinema.

Talaash (2012)

Totally opposite to her character in Noone Killed Jessica, we saw Rani Mukerji in a demure, no-make up role in Reema Kagti’s Talaash. Her brilliant execution of the role as a mourning mother and lovelorn wife, did touch our hearts.

Aiyyaa (2012)

Though the movie was a total Box Office bummer, kudos to Rani Mukerji to carry out a totally out-of-the-box character. Her quirkiness and costumes, didn’t please much of the public or critics, but the lady did manage to create a subtle sensation.

Bombay Talkies (2013)

Directed by (Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar) to commemorate 100 years of Bollywood, Bombay Talkies had all the good elements of cinema. We saw Rani Mukerji in Karan Johar’s short Ajeeb dastan hai yeh. In this delicately-styled character, Rani gave a commendable performance as a wife caught in a marriage of lies.

Don’t miss yet another fabulous performance by Rani Mukerji as the fearless Senior Inspector, Shivani Shivaji Rao in Mardaani, this week.

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