Director Imtiaz Ali went all the way to Europe to sign her for Rockstar. He was convinced this New York born and bred,half-Czech and half-Pakistani model was his perfect Heer. They called her dil todne ki machine and jungli jawaani in the film. Bollywood was served on a platter for Nargis Fakhri. Dream debut,did you say?
The pre-release buzz about Fakhri was deafening and now that her work is out there,the chatter has only increased.
Critics didnt really warm up to her a lot of newsprint was spent on her mobile mouth. Movie watchers have been kinder her face and smile have found fans. Bottom line: Everyone has an opinion on Fakhri. Meanwhile,the lady is getting about her business and has decided to make Mumbai her base. Ten days after the release of Rockstar,she was announced as the face for premium brands like Van Heusen Women and Range Rover Evoque. Buzz is rife that a leading cosmetic brand has also signed her. Having reached the semi-finals of two cycles of Americas Next Top Model,this is hardly uncharted territory for Fakhri. The million-dollar question is whether she can make it in Bollywood?
Leading film producer and head honcho of Tips Films,Ramesh Taurani has no qualms in betting on her. Rockstar was a perfect aur achcha launch for her. If she selects her scripts wisely then theres no stopping her, he says. We do know that she has already nixed a role in Krrish 2 opposite Hrithik Roshan. She was also tipped for Race 2 when the Deepika Padukone date drama was being played,but before the calls could be made,Padukone adjusted her diary and signed on the dotted line. Nargis is not at the level of Kareena,Katrina or Priyanka,but shes definitely bigger than Sonam and Sonakshi, enthuses Anirban Das Blah,MD,KWAN Entertainment & Marketing Solutions. Blah manages Fakhri. If Blah is to be believed,then every studio in Mumbai currently casting for a film is making inquiries about the newbie. The reviews havent dented her sheen,apparently. Theres no Meryl Streep happening here. Every female actor brings a uniqueness to the table. If Kareena has her performance edge and Sonam the fashionistas image,then girls like Aishwarya,Katrina and Nargis have beauty. In showbiz,beauty and aspiration are a potent combination. We are looking at Nargis as a global beauty icon. We did it for Freida Pinto,well do it for Nargis, adds Blah.
Term it as the Katrina Kaif-syndrome but deficiency in Hindi and emoting ability are apparently not a deal breaker for Fakhri. Heroines take time to come into their own. As long as they are comfortable in front of the camera,all is well. Language and acting can be taught with time, adds Taurani.
Incidentally,the industry believes that Fakhri would be wise to take lessons from Kaif. To be a contender in Bollywood,you either need good acting skills or great dancing abilities like Katrina, says Rajshree Ojha,director of Aisha,adding,Katrina is a great example of hard work and learning on-the-job. Nargis should also polish herself. She needs to do it soon though,since todays audience looses interest in a jiffy. For her debut film,she had one-and-a-half years to prepare. Other filmmakers wont be so patient.