Monday, January 2, 2012

Top 11 Top 11 Lists of 2011 #6

Counting down to 2012, I thought it would be fun to do my Top 11 Top 11 Lists of 2011!

List 11 - Top 11 Indian Film Songs According to Filmi Girl's iTunes

List 10 - Top 11 Scene Stealers of 2011

List 9 - Top 11 Films Filmi Girl Never Got To See

List 8 - Top 11 Things Filmi Girl Wants To Go Away in 2012

List 7 - Top 11 Bollywood Losers of 2011

I’m officially dubbing 2011 the Year of the Woman and I’m hoping this trend continues into 2012 and forever.

In celebration of all these amazing women TCB (Taking Care of Business) and just being awesome in general, here is List Number 6...!

Filmi Girl’s Top 11 Bossest Women OVER 30 in Bollywood.

[Alternate title: Women rule the world.]

#11 Malaika Arora Khan (38)
The Item Bomb

[Quote from this article.]

What makes a good item girl? As we found out in the last couple years, it takes more than the vaunted “bikini body” to create a sensation among people not paid by production companies. Remember Deepika in "Mit Jaaye Gham”? Me neither.

The hottest, most desirable, most sizzling item girl in Bollywood is not some attention-whoring clothes-dropping twenty-something but a classy, almost 40 year old with a saucy smile and some killer dance chops.

Where we'll see her next? An item song in Housefull 2. Titled "Anarkali Chali Disco" this is the song to look out for in 2012.

#10 Ratna Pathak/Lilette Dubey (50)/Kirron Kher (56)/Dimple Kapadia (54)
The Scenestealers

"I’ll tell you the truth - when I rap for Bollywood songs, most of the actresses, they go like, ‘[Hard Kaur puts on a ridiculous high-pitched super-girly voice] Yeah, this is Hard Kaur.’ I’m being aggressive, right, but the way they portray it on screen is they’re all touching themselves and I’m like, ‘Dude, that’s not what I’m saying - keep it connected to what I’m saying.’”

But Dimple? “Now, Dimple-ji, is a gangsta.”

[Quote taken from my interview with Hard Kaur]

Do you need somebody who can pivot between comedy and drama as effortlessly as Kareena Kapoor twirls her hair? Call on any one of these powerhouse actresses. Scoring Best Supporting Actress nomination after Best Supporting Actress nomination, these Ladies of a Certain Age have still got IT.

Dimple Kapadia sizzled in Luck By Chance; Ratna Pathak brought the house down in Golmaal 3; Lilette Dubey waltzed away with some of the choicest zings in Housefull (Lara who?) and blew my mind with her superb performance in Pankh; and Kirron Kher’s melodrama is the most memorable part of Dostana by a long-shot.

And none of them need a bikini body to make an impression.

#9 Madhuri Dixit (44)/Karishma Kapoor (37)
The Comeback Queens of 2012

Who knew that when 40-something (at the time) Dimple Kapadia played the beautiful but troubled love interest to Akshaye Khanna in Dil Chahta Hai in 2001, it wasn’t an outlier but a early signal of the change in women’s roles to come. It used to be back in the day, like when Dimple stopped acting after she got married at 16, that as soon as a woman got married and had children, her career was considered over and done… except perhaps playing comedy aunties and weepy mothers.

Madhuri Dixit and Karishma Kapoor are two actresses who were in their prime at the tail end of the old era. They were more or less forced to enter semi-retirement in the early to mid-2000s as they got married and began their families. But Bollywood never forgot them. Mads, especially, was so missed by audiences that she attempted a comeback in 2007 with solo-heroine Aaja Nachle whose USP was her incredible dance skills.

For a variety of reasons, the film failed to connect with audiences – and I would put forth that one of them was that Madhuri’s role was as a sexless divorcee single mother instead of the red hot momma she is. Believe you me, they are not going to make that mistake in 2012. It’s official. Flighty girl heroines are passé… we want women in leading roles.

We'll be seeing Mads and Lolo with plenty of Ishq next year - in Dedh Ishqiya and Dangerous Ishq respectively. I can't wait.

#8 Kiran Rao (38)
The Surprise Package

["Sh!t happens" was the tagline of Delhi Belly.]

As the wife of one of The Three Khans, one might expect that Kiran Rao would be spending her time boutiquing with Susanne Roshan and Gauri Khan in Dubai rather than holed up in an editing suite crafting one of the best-received debut films of the year…

Kiran’s Dhobi Ghat wasn’t her only triumph in 2011, she was also a producer and decisive influence on another well-received film in 2011 - Delhi Belly. In fact, considering that Delhi Belly director Abhinay Deo's other release in 2011 (Game) was so awful there might be more than a grain of truth to rumors that Kiran ghost directed.

#7 Aishwarya Rai (38)
India’s Sweetheart

[Quote from this article.]

She may be on maternity leave but Aishwarya’s name still holds massive power – showing how times have changed since 2003 when Madhuri entered semi-retirement. Her return to acting and to heroine status is expected. Can an actress be a wife and mother and still hot? Aishwarya says yes.

#6 Reema Kagti (40?)
The Up and Comer

[Seriously. There are like three pictures of Reema if you image search for her and they are all crappy quality paparazzi shots from events.]

Upcoming Talaash is one of the most anticipated films of 2012 and the woman behind it is Reema Kagti. This isn’t a sensitive look at “women’s issues” or an artsy-fartsy flick, Talaash is going to be a racy thriller… starring the One of the Three Khans who doesn’t waste his time with nonsense projects or doing films for his friends.

Talaash is going to be serious business. And chances are good we’ll be welcoming one more female director into the Big Time Club.

#5 Farah Khan (46)
The Choreographer

Speaking of the Big Time Club… Farah’s last film may have been poorly received (although I found it to be delightful) but you can’t keep a talent down. Farah came up to directing through her work in choreography and she is still the most in demand in the business. The two biggest songs of 2010 were Farah Khan songs.

She hasn’t announced another directorial project yet but I have no doubts that it will be eagerly anticipated.

#4 Zoya Akhtar (37)
The Director

[Oh, that's right... YOU CAN'T!]

Zoya’s artsy Luck By Chance made an impression with film fans, even if not with general audiences. Her release this year was different. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara written by Zoya and HBIC Reema Kagti (#6) was one of the biggest hits of the year. Money talks and ZNMD’s success should be enough to overpower any qualms producers may have about funding projects with female directors.

#3 Ekta Kapoor (36)
The Producer

Here she is… my girl. Ekta Kapoor. Not content to simply be head of a television empire, her Balaji Films has made a splash in the boys club of film production with a series of smart investments. Do we know who she’s dating? No. Do we care what she wore to some event? No. Do we associate her name with the latest box office hit? HELL YEAH!

That’s some powerful stuff.

#2 Kareena Kapoor (31)
The Heroine

Bebo is 31 and still going strong. Not only is she Queen of the "100 crore club" - Three Idiots; Bodyguard; Ra.One - she's leading the charge towards solo-heroine films. Is there a more fitting heroine for Heroine than Bebo? I didn't think so.

#1 Vidya Balan (32)

[Filmi Girl has no words. Quote taken from here.]

If there is anybody in Bollywood who was earned their success this year, it's Vidya Balan - two women-centered films, two amazing performances, two triumphs.

To mangle an English saying: Talent will out.

For all those starlets out there stripping and getting fillers in a desperate bid for attention, take a good look at Vidya to see how a real class act does it. There will always be another bikini body with fake boobs waiting in the wings but there is nobody who can take the place of Vidya.


Nerdypanda said...

Filmi Girl, I love this. Also agree with all your choices. 2011 was Vidya Balan's Year. Cannot wait to see what she'll do in 2012. The thought bubble are so funny.

In Liebe, Indien said...

I LOVE your list, Filmi Girl and agree with you on every choice. Who will remember Deepika in 20 years? I´ll take a wild guess and say: No one,duh. More Power to the REAL Women of Bollywood! :)

harveypam said...

I have been quite a faithful reader of your blog, though never left a comment here. Sorry for that!

Just a word about Vidy Balan though, whom I admire a lot. Although she gives two major hits and acts good, she still doesn't have a film on her hands. That is really unfair! Funny how the industry works.

Filmi Girl said...

@harveypam She actually has one coming out soon - Kahaani. :)

Here are some pictures:

Beth said...

Oh this is fun and GOOD to read! I have only seen 10 Hindi films of 2011 but even just in that handful it seemed like a good year for capital-W Women, even including some fictional(-ized) ones on the screen.

Now if only Preity could return too....

Moimeme said...

An excellent post, Filmi Girl.

I just have one major correction (and complaint) to make.

Can we please get over this myth that Indian films demand that heroines retire after marriage? This practice was only in place for about a decade -- the big, bad, 1980's -- and was more an aberration than a standard practice. Who were the big heroines of the 1950's and 1960's? Nutan, Nargis, Waheeda, Vyjayantimala -- married and mothers to boot. Heck, go back to the beginning of the Indian film industry, and *the* big honcho, as producer and star, to Devika Rani. She was not only married at the time she was a heroine, but also had plenty of extramarital affairs.

Don't limit yourself to the Hindi industry, and you'll find that all the big heroines of, for instance, the Telugu and Tamil industries were not only married and mothers during the height of their careers, but some even started their careers after they were mothers. And these facts weren't hidden from the audience, either. In fact, being married lent the heroines an aura of respectability in the era when people still tended to look down on actresses.

Well, thankfully it's not the 1980's any more, so that particular prohibition about married heroines is no longer current, in any industry. Once again, as in so many things, the Hindi industry is actually behind the other language industries where people accept married heroines without batting an eyelash. In fact, it was never the audience who were against married heroines, but usually the husbands they married, as in your example of Dimple Kapadia (and she had a lot bigger problems in her marriage than not being allowed to act), or circumstance. Quite a few heroines married men settled abroad, either in the UK or the U.S. So they left the country itself, not just the industry. Both Kareena and Madhuri semi-retired by choice. In Madhuri's case she continued to act after marriage (remember Devdas), and went on a hiatus when she was pregnant. Also, in her case, there was the little problem of being half-way around the world from Mumbai. :) How could you forget Juhi Chawla and Kajol, who both continued to act after marriage and children? So it is all about personal choices, not audience prejudices.

And how could you forget the biggest married heroine, for whom the audience has been clamoring ever since her retiring from films? Sridevi. (In her case, I want to say, "Give her a break!" The poor lady has been acting non-stop since the age of five, in multiple languages, so if she wants to hang it up after 30 years in the business, why attribute it to prejudice?) Sridevi is also coming back to films in the forthcoming English Vinglish.

Oh, and one more quibble. I rather think of Vidya as "the Actress" than "the Star." :)

eliza bennet said...

I love your list. Thank you.

And I too think that Vidya is not a "star" but she is an "actor" (and this is by no means a bad thing, she is lovely and definitely earned a high spot on the list - my no.1 would be Ekta :) ) It is just that Vidya is not a star and no amount of saying it out loud will change it. She is lovely and a great actor but she doesn't have that "shiny" factor the "stars" such as Kareena or Aishwarya have. This of course doesn't have anything to do with looks personally I think Vidya is prettier than Kareena. But Kareena is a "star" and Vidya is an "actor".

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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