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Rediff News  All News  » Movies » PIX: The Power Women of Bollywood

PIX: The Power Women of Bollywood

Last updated on: March 7, 2012 15:05 IST

Image: Kareena Kapoor in Agent Vinod
Game changers. Glam girls. Power players. Beauty with Brains.
Here's to the resourceful, sensitive, soulful, gracious and confident women of Bollywood.   

They are the heart, face and soul of an industry still dominated by men. And yet, they lead their lives and career on their own terms and conditions without needing mentors or sugar daddies. Whether it's respect, remuneration or reputation, they aren't second to anybody.  

On the eve of International Women's Day, here's celebrating some of Bollywood's Power Girls.

Kareena Kapoor

If there's someone who's successfully blended art with commerce, it's got to be Kareena Kapoor.

Whether its starring in back to back blockbusters like 3 Idiots, Bodyguard and Golmaal Returns, earning the enviable tag of a '100 crore heroine,' gathering accolades for her riveting performances in films like Omkara and Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, endorsing major brands for whopping paychecks or becoming the highest paid heroine with Madhur Bhandarkar's upcoming drama, the numero uno of Bollywood is in a constant state of ascension.

Vidya Balan

Image: Vidya Balan
Serene. Sexy. Somber. Serious. Is there anything she cannot do? 

In a league of her own, Vidya Balan has changed the dynamics of the Hindi film heroine by her constant evolution as one of the most exciting actresses of these times with powerhouse performances in films like Parineeta, Guru, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Paa, Ishqiya, No One Killed Jessica, The Dirty Picture and, in all probability, Kahaani.

 As someone proficient at her skill, VB has established a formidable reputation of someone whose films promise to be unique, unpredictable and box office friendly. 

Katrina Kaif

Image: Katrina Kaif
To think she didn't even know the language, Katrina Kaif has now introduced a whole new vocabulary for hot terms to describe her sizzling item girl acts in Tees Maar Khan and Agneepath. Understanding her limitations in this stream, Katrina allowed her dedication and sincerity to court success.

Despite an embarrassing debut in Boom, the actress went on to star in several hits like Singh is Kinng, Welcome, Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani, Raajneeti, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

Today, she has the final word in picking technicians, stars as the leading lady in Yash Chopra's newest film and is a face that launches a dozen endorsements.

Ekta Kapoor

Image: Ekta Kapoor
Very few star kids are so dissociated with the identity of their celebrity parents like Ekta Kapoor. Not one person addresses her as Jeetendra's daughter and with good reason.
Known as the 'Queen of Television,' the self-styled Kapoor revolutionarised the entertainment scene on small screen with her onslaught of bahus and bhabhis in K-soaps like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Kasautii Zindagii Kay, Kaahin Kissii Roz, Kkusum, Kahiin To Hoga and Kasamh Se, finding unprecedented resonance in middle-class households.
At the moment, she dominates the prime time slot with another row of popular serials like Pavitra Rishta, Bade Achhe Lagte Hain, Parichay and Kya Huaa Tera Vaada.

That is, definitely, not all.
After conquering the television market, Kapoor struck big in Bollywood with collaborations like Shootout at Lokhandwala, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai and The Dirty Picture. Not just interested in working biggies, the 30-something producer has found success with quality cinema aficionados through films like Love Sex Aur Dhoka and Shor in the City. 

Deepika Padukone

Image: Deepika Padukone
Ever since her debut as Dreamy Girl in Om Shanti Om, Deepika Padukone's star has been in a constant state of sparkle. And despite all her inexperience and lack of natural talent, she's got a flair for picking the right projects and making a mark. 
There's a certain polish and calm with which she conducts herself in public, which adds to her charm. Moreover, one look at her resume tells you filmmakers, from Ashutosh Gowarikar and Prakash Jha to Imtiaz Ali love to cast her in their movies.

She's important, alright. No wonder Kumar Taurani refused to let go of her after the Break Ke Baad star famously walked out of his multi-starrer Race 2 to accommodate a meaty solo heroine in Jawaani Diwani opposite Ranbir Kapoor. Padukone consented but only if he would give in to her many demands including a say in its release date.  

Zoya Akhtar

Image: Zoya Akhtar
Even though Farhan is the more prolific one, Zoya Akhtar is the one we have our bets on.

Be it the deliciously layered Luck By Chance or breezy take of friendship on the road in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, the writer-filmmaker has tremendous clarity in her voice and depth in her creations.
At the same time, she ensures the packaging suits mainstream conditions and engage a larger audience. She's got a mind of her own and it's real, relatable and reliable. And that's what makes her movies worth their while and wait.

Kiran Rao

Image: Kiran Rao
Her more popular introduction, as Aamir Khan's significant other, cannot lessen Kiran Rao's credentials as an individualistic filmmaker.

Right from her personal tastes and style to her brand of cinema as witnessed in the poetically framed Dhobi Ghat, there's no doubting the lady's merits, she previously assisted filmmakers like Ashutosh Gowariker and Mira Nair on Lagaan and Monsoon Wedding respectively.
If anyone ever had any doubts about her credibility, they were erased after the release of Dhobi Ghat.

And, man, can she get a film made? Delhi Belly's script would be still lying in Aamir's clutter if Rao hadn't picked it up and began reading on whim. She enjoyed it so much that it convinced AK to give it a go. Rest, as they say, is history.

Priyanka Chopra

Image: Priyanka Chopra
She's done it before. She did it again. Bottom-line: You can't keep Priyanka Chopra down for too long.
Although her dark portrayal of Susanna in 7 Khoon Maaf won accolades, it was overshadowed by the film's failure to hit a high note with popular tastes. But successive hits like Don 2 and Agneepath have ensured she's back with a bang. The capable actress, with one of the largest followings on social networking site Twitter, loves to explore and experiment.

Other than some cool movies in her kitty: Anurag Basu's Barfee, Kunal Kohli's Teri Meri Kahaani and Rakesh Roshan's Krrish 3, PC is all set to make her debut in pop music with her upcoming album.