Thursday, November 25, 2010

Deepika Padukone v. Imran Khan: FACE OFF!

In honor of Break Ke Baad, the big new release this week, here is my FILMI GIRL LIST for this week!

FACE OFF edition!

Both Deepika Padukone and Imran Khan are newcomers to the industry and both of them have a pretty high flop to hit ratio while also having a fairly high style quotient. Let’s see who comes out on top when we put their stats side-by-side!

In one corner... DEEPIKA PADUKONE!

Clocking in at 5’8 ½” (according to IMDB) and weighing (probably) around 140 lbs, the long-legged former badminton champ/model has had 7 Hindi-language releases so far (with two more releasing in the next couple weeks).

In the other corner... IMRAN KHAN!

Clocking in at (I’m guessing) 5’11” and weighing (maybe) 190 lbs, the sad-eyed American chocolate hero has had only 4 Hindi-language release so far (with one more releasing this week, one in the wings for 2011, and a couple filming).

1. Debuts: Om Shanti Om v. Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na

Om Shanti Om (2007)

Hero: Shahrukh Khan
Director: Farah Khan
Verdict: Super-duper hit!

This was an auspicious start for the young Ms. Deepika, who received glowing reviews, a
Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut, AND a box office hit!

Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na (2008)

Heroine: Genelia D’Souza
Director: Abbas Tyrewala
Verdict: Hit!

Again an auspicious start for the young Mr. Imran, who received glowing reviews, a
Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut, AND a box office hit!


(I won’t even try to talk budget and revenue numbers, which are so controversial anyways.)

I think the one goes to Imran Khan. While
Om Shanti Om was a big success, most of the credit for that can go to Farah and SRK. Shahrukh was that movie - Deepika was lucky enough to be swept along for the ride. Meanwhile, for JTYJN, Imran had to shoulder a lot of heavy-lifting acting wise and put in a lot of screen time. He was that movie.

And consider the cultural impact of both films -
Om Shanti Om didn’t exactly spawn a ton of 1970s throwback films while JTYJN has given us the brand-new model for the “youthful” (not exactly young - thank you, Saif in Love Aaj Kal) romantic-comedy*.


2. Highest Profile Flop:
Chandni Chowk to China v. Kidnap

Chandni Chowk to China (2009)
Hero: Akshay Kumar
Director: Nikhil Advani
Verdict: Flop

Anticipation was so high for
CC2C, the Hollywood connections were flown so prominently, and Akshay was so cocky about it that it really had no where go but down. Savaged in both the Indian and international media, CC2C won nobody any accolades.

Kidnap (2008)
Heroine: Minissha Lamba
Director: Sanjay Gadhvi
Verdict: Flop

Anticipation was moderate for Imran’s sophmore effort, but audiences were less than impressed with his attempt to subvert his chocolate hero image. Wooden acting from Sanjay Dutt didn’t help matters. And Minissha Lamba bikini bod reveal failed to inflame audiences.


The winner - and by that I mean loser - is Deepika. First of all, despite the fact that Akshay Kumar was the face of this movie and took most of the heat for it’s failure, people really did not like Deepika.

pay-for-play and usually way too positive Taran Adarsh had this to say: Deepika Padukone is passable. I can still feel the sting two years later!

Business of Cinema said: Padukone in a double role is twice as dull.

Apun Ka Choice: [S]he is insufferable as the sentimental Sakhi in search of her estranged family..


The ill-will generated by
CC2C was immense.** Meanwhile, Imran was mostly ignored in the ink spilled over Kidnap, where most of the mockery was reserved for Minissha Lamba’s attempt to sexify herself. Imran was appreciated for his abs and his acting. The film flopped but Imran emerged unscathed.

WINNER Loser: Imran Khan

3. Biggest Post-Debut Success:
Love Aaj Kal v. I Hate Luv Storys

Love Aaj Kal (2009)
Hero: Saif Ali Khan
Director: Imtiaz Ali
Verdict: Super hit!

Imtiaz Ali’s modern rom-com follow up to much beloved modern rom-com
Jab We Met was a big hit with audiences and critics alike.***


Hate Luv Storys (2010)
Heroine: Sonam Kapoor
Director: Punit Malhotra
Verdict: Hit!

I got the impression that people went to see this because of the title track and a lack of anything else good in the theaters. Still, Imran was appreciated in his role as the reluctant chocolate hero - a role not too distant from real life, I think.


This one is tough but I think the super success of
Love Aaj Kal just edges out the appreciation of Imran’s performance to hand this one over to Deepika. Love Aaj Kal resonated just a wee bit more with viewers (see *** note) despite a mixed review of Deepika herself. I Hate Luv Storys will most likely be swiftly forgotten. Both romantic comedies attempted to break-down the “traditional” Bollywood love story - although I am of the opinion that both are reacting more to the traditional Hollywood love story - but I Hate Luv Storys ended up falling victim to the cliches it mocked. Plus Rishi Kapoor makes everything better.

Winner: Deepika Padukone

4. Biggest Film In The Kitty:
Race 2 v. Short Term Shaadi

Race 2 (2011?)
Hero(s): Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Anil Kapoor
Director(s): Abbas-Mastan

Although this is highly unanticipated by me,
Race 2 has the makings of being a big hit. Deepika beat out Piggy Chops for the role, which is certainly a big accomplishment. Big explosions, item songs, and skimpy outfits are guaranteed - men get your hard earned money ready to fork over at the ticket counter!

Short Term Shaadi
Kareena Kapoor [It is rumored she is backing out.]
Director: Shakun Batra

Another highly unanticipated film by me,
Short Term Shaadi originally had Kareena Kapoor attached to the heroine role but she is surely backing out, since she has been confirmed for Imran’s uncle Aamir’s film. Not a great sign - since Bebo was the one generating most of the press speculation about Short Term Shaadi.


Short Term Shaadi would be a single hero role for Imran and Deepika is going to be sharing screen space with a handful of other stars, I think this one is all Deepika. She is also diversifying the roles she is taking - going from romantic comedy to action/masala while Imran is firmly stuck in the chocolate hero ghetto. AND JTYJN notwithstanding, action films are usually bigger money-spinners than the “Hollywood-style” romantic-comedy (see also the floptastic Anjaana Anjaani, Pyaar Impossible, etc.) and even if Short Term Shaadi is a hit, Race 2 is almost guaranteed to be a bigger one.

Winner: Deepika Padukone!

Uh-oh, time for a tie-breaker...

5. WILDCARD Attitude adjuster

One of the things about outsiders who make it into the Bollywood system is that they usually try hard and take every job that comes their way - somebody like Abhishek Bachchan has the ability to be choosy with roles in a way that somebody like Arshad Warsi does not. However, just because one is a star son (or nephew) doesn’t mean that one can just sit on one’s butt and let work come to them - and that is the impression that I get from Imran Khan. He still can’t dance and his acting is extremely lazy.

Meanwhile, as much as I might personally find Deepika unappealing, I do think she has come a long way as a heroine. With each role she improves a bit and out of the two of them, I would put my money on Deepika lasting longer in the industry.

Overall winner: DEEPIKA PADUKONE!

(And many thanks for for the lovely magazine covers!)

*that I hate. Thanks for nothing, Imran!
**even if I really enjoyed the film and saw it twice - yes,
twice, in the theater. Also, I though Deeps was insufferable as the sentimental Sakhi, too.
***except me. I refused to see it because of Saif’s botoxy “20-something” performance. YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACE, SAIF! You have ruined it!


Shell said...

I would have put money on Imran coming out ahead, but looking at the side by side comparison, it certainly does seem like Deeps has the edge. I'd have to give Imran one extra point for that first filmfare cover. Yowza!

Anita said...

I agree with your assessment, because I personally prefer Dee to Imran in terms of growth as actors, though I simply love both. That being said...with Imran having a huge filmi connection in his uncle and just the fact that he's a hero and not a heroine, he'll probably last longer in the industry. :/

Pessimisissimo said...

FilmiGirl, I'm a big Deepika fan, but I think Imran has a good chance of being a star for a long time.

For one thing, as Anita points out there are his family connections in Bollywood. I mean, let's not forget that Sunny and Bobby Deol are still getting work even though they can only muster a fraction of their dad's looks, charisma and acting ability (though I actually liked Bobby in Dostana until the scriptwriters sabotaged his character).

For another, I'm not sure there's a whole lot of "young hero" competition around. Sure, there's Ranbir Kapoor, but he can't get all the decent parts. Who else is there--Neil Nitin Mukesh? Harman Baweja? Imran's position seems pretty safe for some time to come...

eliza bennet said...

I do agree with you on Deepika being better in comparison to Imran but I have to agree with others on thinking Imran will probably last longer (connections, gender and lack of considerable rivals are all valid reasons).

I'm in minority but I thought the secondary characters in JTYJN were a lot more interesting and fun to watch than the lead couple. Imran is not bad looking but I don't see the "shine" in him.

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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