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Thread: Rani let down, heartbroken
09-23-2009, 12:06 PM #1
Rani let down, heartbroken
Though she may not show it, she is a brilliant performer after all, but Rani Mukerji is at the moment the industry’s most disappointed and heart-broken actor.
Rani saw Dil Bole Hadippa! as a comeback vehicle, thinking that cricket bats and bikini tops are a potent blend. Too bad they blended to create a nightmare. Yash Raj Films even had the gall to take this abominable piece of cinema to the Toronto Film Festival this month.
“What were they thinking?,” a reputed filmmaker and Rani’s friend wondered after watching Dil Bole Hadippa! “The basic premise is lifted from the Amanda Bynes 2006 film, She’s The Man. They’ve replaced soccer with some aimless cricket. And Rani? Same expressions, same laughter ... She even cries in exactly the same way as she did in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag. By the way, is she an exclusive YRF heroine now?”
But even if we let Toronto be, closer home, signs of Rani’s downfall were present for all to see since a long time. Gradually and almost systematically, Rani isolated herself completely from the film industry. Today, she is a far cry from the Ms Congeniality she used to be in her Bunty aur Babli days with Abhishek Bachchan. She used to be everyone’s favourite but that only led to trying to please everybody and Rani is now neither here, nor there. She found refuge in one banner, which the industry is now referring to as her home banner.
Whether Rani is dating Aditya Chopra or not is irrelevant at the moment. Even to her closest friends, Rani has been denying wedding rumours since the last two years. However, the not-so-hushed talks about vexing her co-stars, particularly females, are too frequent and alarming to be dismissed as mere back-biting. The complaints began when she was working on Laaga Chunari Mein Daag. Co-stars talk about how she refused to take instructions even from the veteran director Pradeep Sarkar. “Rani would look bored while Pradeepda would explain the scenes to her. Obviously, she thought she knew it all. That’s a sure-shot sign for any artiste’s downfall,” said an actress.
The growing observations about Rani’s know-it-all attitude were corroborated by another filmmaker who made a fiasco-fantasy with her. “She just wouldn’t listen. When I’d be explaining a scene, she’d look away or look distracted as if I was boring her with my instructions,” said the filmmaker.
Rani’s smug attitude has reached the pinnacle of absurdity with Dil Bole Hadippa!, where the absence of a director is palpable. A senior character actor who has worked with Rani has often said, “A few years ago when we were shooting, a small-time theatre actor was supposed to tease her on the streets as a part of a scene. And guess what. Rani screamed at the actor for doing his job too well.”
• Today, Rani Mukerji is a far cry from the Ms Congeniality she used to be in her Bunty aur Babli days with Abhishek Bachchan
Within the precincts of YRF, Rani is secretly called Maalkin or Madam. Outside the banner, Rani is totally seen as a YRF heroine. Even directors like Karan Johar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who have collaborated with her with rewarding results, have no intention of working with her again. For the lack of a choice a newcomer Anuraag Singh was assigned the task of directing Rani in her self-indulgent trip to aborted glory.
Rani poured her heart and soul into Hadippa and remained confident it would be a historic hit whenever it was released.
But history is not made consciously. It just happens. So do Waterloos.
A high-profile director who has fallen out with Rani said, “It’s a pity but YRF’s downward streak coincided with her apparently exclusive association with the banner. They are remaking their own films, whereas Rani needs directors who bring out the new facets in her. And Yash Raj is certainly not doing that. Rani had once said, ‘Why should I look for quality work outside Yash Raj when I’m getting the best roles of my career with them? Am I mad?’”
After Dil Bole Hadippa! the argument, say cynics, will be clean-bowled. For all practical purposes, Rani is now caught in a full-blown mid-career crisis. In the entertainment industry, equations change every Friday. Younger faces have taken over. Today Rani may have her buddies from the industry who meet her like they used to, but no one is in a particular rush to sign her, even if she now decides to look for work outside YRF’s comfort zone.