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Decade in Analysis Part XV: Evolution of new breed of female stars

March 8, 2010 05:50:41 PM IST
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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Any analysis of the decade in which Hindi cinema has undergone cataclysmic changes would not be complete until the evolution of lead female actors is also taken into account and the manner in which they have defined and created new contours for Hindi cinema. At the cusp of a new decade it indeed would serve as a good reference point when the history of this decade would be chronicled. It would be more so pertinent in view of the WOMEN'S DAY being celebrated all over the world and where Hindi cinema has contributed in its own way to promoting the cause.

From Preity Zinta just before the beginning of the decade who had the chutzpah to ask Shah Rukh Khan whether he was virgin in her debut film DIL SE to Deepika Padukone asking Farhan Akhtar to kiss her, in KARTHIK CALLING KARTHIK the contours in which the role of female actor has evolved in Hindi cinema has indeed gone full circle. The coy and shyness that defined the demeanor of the female actor was thrown out of the window and it was replaced by an assertion, defined by the discovery of sexuality, the oomph and to use it for personal and official gains. Another facet that defines arrival of woman per se, the modern woman that is, was evident in Filmfare awards where Nandita Das was conferred with critics award for the best debut film FIRAQ.

The journey of evolution of the Hindi female star therefore can be wrapped up between DIL SE and FIRAQ. In between are the significant signposts that define the contours of the evolution. It was Preity Zinta who had the conviction to give a new definition to evolution of female actor in Hindi cinema as she enacted the role in KYA KEHNA, a role that had an associated connotation in JAB WE MET, where Kareena Kapoor was ready to pay the price for her providence.

The confidence to seduce a co-worker was never shown earlier in Hindi films till Priyanka Chopra decided to don the mantle in AITRAAZ and the conviction that she brought to the role in the film made everyone sit up in awe at her performance. No wonder when she seduced Shahid Kapoor in KAMINEY to make him fall in love with her, there was no artificiality about the role nor was there any hesitancy on the part of the audience to accept the fact. It was indicative of the manner in which the role of female stars was evolving.

It was not that only the new breed of actors was using the tool of women empowerment to carve their own niche. Even Aishwarya Rai did not have compunction to enact a role oozing with sexuality in which she was totally comfortable as she did in DHOOM-2.

Another significant determinant of this evolution was that most of the female stars were from outside Mumbai, who had come from a background of openness and were educated themselves so they oozed with confidence to make their mark under the sun. One such female star who is a star to watch out for the next decade is Konkona Sen Sharma who right from MR. AND MRS. AIYER has made the audience eat out of her hands in any kind of roles that she enacted, and her latest acting in ATITHI TUM KAB JAOGE?, buttresses the point with conviction.

As the new decade evolves, it indeed has created a launching platform for female stars like Deepika Padukone, Asin etc., to push the bar further and make the world of Hindi cinema a place were beauty along with brains is appreciated, encouraged and is the USP at Box office.

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