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10 Times We Loved Katrina

Last updated on: July 14, 2023 11:13 IST
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Twenty years ago, Katrina Kaif made her debut in a film that's found its notoriety among Bollywood's crummiest.

Back then, the fresh-off-UK teenager had only dabbled in modelling and could barely utter a word of Hindi. But silver screen dreams beckoned and neither Boom's backlash or her limitations would come in the way of her success story as Katrina romanced the biggest heroes under the biggest banners.

What makes the star's journey inspiring is she never took her success for granted and worked visibly hard to endear herself before an ever-fickle audience.

Over the course of two decades, she honed her skills before the camera, played on her strengths as an electrifying dancer and understated style icon, found her groove in the film industry and emerged as a guarded but quick-witted celebrity inspiring Barbie dolls and wax statues at Madame Tussauds.

Sukanya Verma celebrates her milestone 40th birthday on July 16 by looking at the 10 important performances of her career.


Namastey London (2006)

Playing a party-hopping, London-bred desi coaxed into marrying a traditional Indian bloke by her parents modelled on Sairu Banu's uber western avatar in Purab Aur Paschim felt a lot less problematic and a lot more heart in Katrina's easy breezy portrayal.


Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani (2009)

A cute Catholic girl caught in a love triangle between a Mr Moneybags and a charming boy-next-door happy to make all her troubles go away, Katrina's doe-eyed stutterer worked well alongside Ranbir Kapoor in multitasking mode.


Raajneeti (2010)

Despite the wishy-washy writing, Katrina made everyone sit up and take notice, in a role evoking Sonia Gandhi, against heavyweights in Prakash Jha's Mahabharat-inspired political multi-starrer.


Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011)

Full of beans and bohemian ardour, Katrina's spirited 'fashion jaanwar' gives a good glimpse of her nutty humour in a humdrum rom-com with never-before significance.


Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)

Laila's nomad spirit, scuba-diving expertise, life-changing gyaan -- seize the day my friend, pehle is din ko poori tarah jeeyo, phir chaalis ke baare mein sochna -- and walking the talk when she takes off on a Royal Enfield and stops her man to plant a meaningful kiss comes alive in Katrina's natural elegance and ease.


Ek Tha Tiger (2012)

Katrina's daredevil gusto packs in quite a punch and steals a march over her titular co-star as an action heroine to watch out for.


Bombay Talkies (2013)

Even though she is barely there for a minute, Katrina's wispy magic and wisdom sparkle as an icon and ally playing a larger-than-life version of her reality marked by a sense of purpose and support for sexual fluidity.


Jagga Jasoos (2017)

As the bespectacled klutz whose sharp but scatter-brained mind matches Ranbir's curious loon off on a whirlwind adventure far and beyond, Katrina has the quirky sur of Anurag Basu's musical down pat.


Zero (2018)

Easily the surprise package of a movie not everyone enjoyed. As explained in our Scene Stealers of 2018, 'Zero may have divided the audience but even its worst critics agree Katrina is a revelation as the broken-hearted movie star consumed by alcoholism and the idea of self-destruction. Her constantly crying eyes, poker-faced cynicism and wholehearted submission to demeaning impulses underscore the fragility under the furore.'


Phone Bhoot (2022)

Whether mocking a creepy ghost's shoddy Hindi accent, parodying '90s over-the-top pop culture or playing a deadpan aatma specialising in spooky entrepreneurial tactics, Katrina's ironical wit and droll dead diva is hand in glove with Phone Bhoot's incessant filmi nods and references.

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