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5 Times When Kangana Wowed Before Panga



There is  no doubt that Kangana Ranaut will leave  all  competition far behind  with  Panga and will  pick up  all the awards at the end of the year. Wowing the  critics and audiences alike has become a habit for this mercurial  actress. Of course she has her fair share of execrable  films(Shakalaka Boom Boom, Dham Dhoom,Ek Niranjan, Kites, No Problem, Double Dhamaal Rascals, Rajjo….). But the highs far exceed the lows. Here are the  5 performances that made Kangana’s career.

1.      Gangster(2006): The  minute she  appeared  on screen,all hyper,neurotic , suicidal and doomed as the gangster’s moll, a  star had arrived. I remember taking  Kangana’s number from her then-mentor Anurag Basu to congratulate her. “You are  born for the camera,” I had told her sincerely. She  loved  the  compliment.She later hated  everything to do with me. That’s Kangana for  you.She  was restless  , a meteor ready to burn on the cinematic galaxy. Strangely  her first two co-stars Shiney Ahuja and  Upen Patel got left far  behind. It was as  if the  universe had  space only for one star at that point  of time.

2.     Fashion(2008):  In a film that clearly  favoured Priyanka  Chopra ,Kangana left  a blasting impact as  a ramp- queen whose life goes up in flames  due to  bad choices  and drug abuse.  Kangana played  Shonali Gujral(based on the  tragic downfall of a real-life Delhi model)  like a  waif  posing as a diva, a  lost child masquerading as a poised seductress. That sense of being lost  never leaves her characters.

3.     Tanu Weds Manu(2011): Pre-empting her Queen-ly triumph  Kangana  scored very high as the  smalltown girl who  has  drinking and  spousal issues which   she won’t resolve  reasonably. She won’t marry the  man of her parent’s choice. But she won’t let him go either.When did Kangana ever claim to be  reasonable? This was a khula-galaa wala  performance. Robust and  passionate  emotionally  resonant and  cathartic . The sequel   in  2015 by  the way, made no sense  to me.Why were there two Kanganas in  the film?  What were  they trying to  prove? And  to whom??

4.     Queen(2014):   In the  year of highly forgettable Rajjo,and the  frightfully  campy  Revolver Rani Kangana sprang into superstardom in Vikas(ahem) Behl’s  Queen . As  the  bride-to-be ditched at the altar who goes on her honeymoon solo Kangana sailed  through  the role of the clumsy hero  with the self-assurance of a  diva. Queen was to Kangana what Arth  was  to Shabana Azmi.Turning-point  would be an understatement.

5.     Simran(2017): In the year when she  floundered with  the pretentious, over-stuffed  god-awful  Rangoon,  Kangana also did Hansal Mehta’s mischievous  and dark  Simran where she played  a  Gujarati con-woman in  the  US. Based on a real character, Kangana’s Simran was a simmering bundle of  contradictions,  both humane and hilarious, urbane  and obnoxious, a pain and an enigma. Sadly the  film was foiled by the controversies from behind  the scenes.Ditto Manikarnika which  suffered  from the bad-vibes syndrome.

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