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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Happy Birthday Rani Mukerji: Six times the actor swept us off our feet with her charm and vulnerability

On Rani Mukerji's birthday today, we revisit some of her romantic films where her characters stood out for their beauty and strength. These films gave us a quick escape from our mundane lives and transported us into dreamy "happily ever after" Bollywood utopia.

Written by Komal RJ Panchal | Mumbai |
Updated: March 21, 2021 12:46:16 pm
Rani Mukerji- birthday collage-2021-1200Rani Mukerji's romantic dramas have been outstanding in the 1990s and early 2000s. (Photos: Dharma Productions, Yash Ram Films)

We have all seen the fierce and poised Rani Mukerji in films like Hey Ram, Yuva, Mardaani franchise, Hichki and more. However there was a time, Rani played the quintessential Bollywood heroine who danced around in dreamy chiffon sarees, and her soft eyes did the talking, and with every tear she shed, her audiences felt a little more for her characters. Rani, with her films has also given us a quick escape from the realities of life and we were lured into relating to her vulnerability.

Today, on her 43rd birthday, we revisit some of her most loved characters from some of the best rom-coms ever made in Bollywood.

Tina from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

Rani had given two out-of-the-box performances (Raja Ki Aayegi Baarat and Ghulam) even before she played Tina in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Tina, however, won our hearts like never before; she was beautiful, vulnerable and innocent, but also loving, caring and emotional.

Not only her character traits, but also her fashion made a new wave for college-going girls. Her entry scene in the film, wearing orange co-ords, and her song sequence in the shimmery silver dress made her an instant diva, and all the girls wanted to dress up like her. Tina put Rani on the map, after doing KKHH, there was no going back, Rani did a string of romantic comedies here on.

Suhani from Saathiya

Suhani, who is a strong-headed career oriented girl has an emotional side to her. Studying to become a doctor, she falls head over heels in love with the ever so charming Adi, played by Vivek Oberoi. Rani made Suhani’s struggles look and feel oh-so-real and yet so dreamy, all at once.

Maya from Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna

Nobody can make infidelity look more ‘real’ than Maya from Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Maya truly loves Rishi, played by Abhishek Bachchan, but never as passionately as she does Dev, played by Shah Rukh Khan. Her soft kohl eyes and an emotional demeanour made her look more vulnerable than ever. In my belief, this was among the few occasions when a cheating wife was not shown as an evil “house-breaker”, but in an empathetic light in a Bollywood film.

Rhea from Hum Tum

With the very bubbly and then very serious Rhea in Hum Tum, Rani almost portrayed every phase of a woman’s life. Rhea won hearts when she walks away from Karan, played by Saif Ali Khan, when he asks her to marry him only because he thinks he had taken advantage of her, this truly made the film stand out. Rani’s portrayal of Rhea and her chase for friendship and love was really like a breath of fresh at the time.

Priya from Chalte Chalte

Rani who played Priya in Chalte Chalte is a hardworking fashion designer, her character sketch seemed to be the only original thing in the film — she is picture of poise and sophistication and craves emotional sustenance. Besides her character’s personality, her look went on to become famous too.

Babli from Bunty Aur Babli

There is a reason why the makers of Bunty Aur Babli are making Bunty Aur Babli 2 with Rani once again. Babli is OTT bubbly, but she is smart, and her partnership with Bunty, played by Abhishek Bachchan, is one of the greatest joys of watching the pair on-screen. Her comic timing and dance steps in the film are fantastic, and with Babli, Rani proved her versatility, she could do romantic dramas, comedies, and serious films, all with super ease.

Happy Birthday Rani Mukerji!

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