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Bollywood actresses play all sorts of roles, from campus hotties to courtesans and from princesses to journalists. But it is when they play a heroine in a film-within-film that they generate the maximum buzz.
For instance, no sooner had Aishwarya Rai Bachchan been revealed as the heroine in Madhur Bhandarkar's latest film Heroine than the tongues started wagging. Will she pull it off? Isn't she the right choice?
Questions can wait for a while. In the meantime, check out the women, who've reflected on their professions in the recent past and whether they made the cut or simply failed.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Heroine
In the hands of Madhur Bhandarkar, who's known to extract solid performances out of his actresses (Tabu in Chandni Bar and Konkona Sen Sharma in Page 3), will Mrs Bachchan deliver a knock-out?
Word is that the film derives its story from the troubled life of Hollywood's legendary star Marilyn Monroe. However, Aishwarya's character Mahi is said to have been heavily Indianised and that Madhur has borrowed from some Indian actresses as well.
Her lover, crime boss Sultan Mirza, has absolute control over Mumbai and she, over him. Kangna's Rehana in Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai is easily inspired Haji Mastan's wife Sona on whose rags-to-riches story the film was based. Kangna tried to imitate Madhubala, too, since Mastan was said to be an admirer of the late actress.
In Woh Lamhe, Kangna does a take-off on Parveen Babi.
Although the film belonged to the men (Amitabh Bachchan and Arjun Rampal), The Last Lear offered an unusual role to this dimpled beauty. That of an anguished actress Shabnam, mortified by her suspicious lover and a largely abusive relationship she shares with him.
As she settles into a genteel bond with Big B who returns the gesture by giving her acting tips, Preity pulls off a mature performance.
Khalid Mohamed's very own Love Actually-meets-La Voix humaine, one of the segments feature Bhumika as Zia, an upcoming actress.
Mirroring her own career in a way, Zia is depicted as a South Indian actress who wants to be a star and is living in with her boyfriend. This one's more about her personal trauma than lights, camera and action.
RGV's earliest creation, Mili is carefree, garrulous and has a soft corner for the reigning superstar, Raj Kamal.
All day she either hangs out with the street-side tapori Munna or dreams of making it big in Bollywood. As she fulfils her dream of becoming an actress, at her first premiere she's beset with a difficult choice: Munna or the superstar Raj Kamal?