In her initial days, she was often ridiculed for her accent, poor English, and a ruler like thin body. But nothing could stop her from success because she believed in her dreams, worked hard to get her craft right, and never gave up. That’s the story of Kangana Ranaut – one of the most interesting and amazing actors of Indian Cinema. Interesting because of her selection of movies and amazing because in her movies she always steals the show.
Career-wise her graph is more like Vidya Balan. Why? Because both these girls came to Bollywood alone, without any godfather, and survived without the sponsorship of any lead actor. They are the heroes of their movies and always reward us with unconventional roles.
Kangana Ranaut didn’t become a star overnight. In her 3rd year as an actress, she received a National Film Award. But the ride was not so smooth. There was a time when it felt that she was trying desperately to fit into the template roles of a Bollywood heroine. If you see her Box office record, it has never been a steady one – one hit, a few flops, and then again one hit after a long time. At least that was happening to her before 2014.
She was ready to leave for New York for a film direction course but then the script of Queen came and as we all know that changed her image in Bollywood. It also helped many other actresses and directors to create different roles for women.
That big success with Queen followed by Tanu Weds Manu Returns gave her much-needed confidence. We saw a big change in her interviews (who can forget the KWK season 5 episode?) also. She is loved among masses and classes for her beautiful on-screen presence. You see her as Rani, Datto, Simran, Bobby, or Jhansi ki Rani and not as Kangana Ranaut – and that’s her success.
Kangana Ranaut’s craft is the most outstanding one among all the present actors. On her birthday, let’s rejoice her best performances.
It was a dream debut that fetched her a Filmfare award. The last time Bollywood saw such a stunning debut, I think it was Hrithik Roshan in 2000.
You can watch it on YouTube.
Woh Lamhe (2006)
As Sana Azim, she was playing Parveen Babi. A schizophrenic patient, abandoned and tortured by her lover, finding solace in an upcoming director – she was fierce, bold, and vulnerable. It was a pleasure watching her in this role.
You can watch it on Amazon Prime.
Shonali Gujral – a drug addict top model becomes prey to her vices. She ruins all her name and fame and then one day a wardrobe malfunction happens that leaves her scarred for life. What a painfully poetic performance KR gave.
You can watch it on Netflix.
The story of a middle-class “Shaadi ke liye pagal” girl finding her worth miles away from her roots was an eye-opener to Bollywood. It is undoubtedly the bravest movie made in recent times. And it fetched her another National Award.
You can watch it on SonyLiv, Netflix, and Voot.
Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015)
The initial one was a fun ride but this sequel got bigger, crazier, and better. Datto won our hearts and we want another part of this series – isn’t it?
You can watch it on Amazon Prime & ZEE5.
The story of the Queen of Jhansi and her valor, patriotism, and courage was wonderfully presented by KR. As Anupama Chopra said, “only Kangana Ranaut can pull off a pearl necklace while in a battlefield”. No one else could pull off this role except her.
You can watch it on Amazon Prime.
Judgemental Hai Kya (2019)
Kangana was astounding as someone with acute psychosis. From where does she derives this amazing power to be so flawless?
You can watch it on ZEE5
Special mentions- Revolver Rani, Once upon a time in Mumbai, Kites (the only good thing about that movie), Simran, & Panga.