In Love with Love

Rani Mukerji has essayed a variety of roles throughout her career but romance remains her favourite genre.

Written by PriyankaPereira | Published: October 12, 2012 2:17:06 am

Rani Mukerji has essayed a variety of roles throughout her career but romance remains her favourite genre.

While palpable chemistry between co-stars is one elusive element that most Bollywood films desire to achieve,actor Rani Mukerji has often enjoyed the credit of making it happen. In the past,she has managed this on-screen effect with co-actors such as Shah Rukh Khan,Aamir Khan,Salman Khan and Abhishek Bachchan — with each of them she has done multiple films. The same effect can be noticed as she dances with Bollywood debutant Prithviraj Sukumaran in Dreamum Wakeupum,a zany number from their upcoming movie Aiyyaa.

According to Mukerji,what helps her achieve this on-screen effect is her love for the romance genre. “Love is a brilliant emotion. I like the fact that I am in love with a person,even if it is merely on screen. In Aiyyaa,my romance is driven by the sense of smell,a factor that made the role both interesting and challenging,” says the actor.

It is Aiyyaa’s novel concept that prompted Mukerji to take up the film soon after the shooting for No One Killed Jessica was wrapped up. The actor wanted to balance out the experience of acting in Raj Kumar Gupta’s edgy and dark films by doing something fun. Sachin Kundalkar-directed Aiyyaa,that releases today,revolves around her character Meenakshi Deshpande,a girl of “marriageable age” from a typical Maharashtrian family,who is fed up of meeting potential bridegrooms. Her fantasy world offers her the escape where she imagines herself with a tall,dark and handsome South Indian.

Although Mukerji has played a variety of characters in her 17-year-long career,her role in Aiyyaa is perhaps the most flamboyant. “I have played a character close to this in Bunty aur Babli,but Aiyyaa is completely wacky. While I play a simple girl,all the other characters in the film are melodramatic and over the top,” Mukerji adds.

The actor’s rather uninhibited dance moves in the songs of Aiyyaa have caught the television audience’s attention. While matching high-energy dance steps with Sukumaran in Dreamum Wakeupum,belly-dancing in Aga Bai and doing lavani in Sava dollar,her performance comes across as sensuous. “There is no reason why I should have been sceptical of doing these dance steps. My friend Vaibhavi (Merchant) was choreographing them. I had to give them my all,” she says.

After her second film Ghulam (1998),opposite Aamir Khan,Mukerji had become a sought-after name in the Hindi film industry. However,her decision to limit herself to productions under the Yash Raj Films banner due to her alleged relationship with Aditya Chopra put her off the radar for a few years in the last decade. Following five successive flops,it was No One Killed Jessica that revived her career. “I like to do good roles. While I am doing films that are centred around women characters,it did not stop me from signing on Talaash,where Aamir is the lead actor. In the end,it is the role that has to challenge you,” the 34-year-old says.

Her tough times in the industry have also taught her a thing about managing her career. While Bollywood is not known for interesting roles for older women actors,Mukerji believes that experienced actors need to be more selective. “Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t play all the matches that he is asked to. Similarly,I cannot be expected to do all the roles that come to me,” she says.

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