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Happy Birthday Madhuri Dixit: Films That Defined the Career of Bollywood's Dhak-Dhak Girl
Image: File photo of Madhuri Dixit.
Madhuri Dixit-Nene needs no introduction in Indian showbiz industry. An eternal beauty and a talented actress, Madhuri, is an essence of Bollywood, preserved forever, to inspire young actors. While the actress is still active in films, there was a time when she was the reigning queen of Bollywood and ruled the hearts of critics and audience alike. Never to shy away from flaunting her dance moves or narrate a tale just using her graceful expressions, Madhuri is indeed one of the gorgeous actresses Bollywood has ever had.
As she turns a year older, let's take a look at few of her best work in the industry that established her as an actor Bollywood would always be grateful for:
Madhuri started her Bollywood journey in 1984 with Abodh, but it was in 1988 that she got her breakthrough role. Tezaab established her as Mohini, a dancing diva who had the caliber to move the audience with her expressions. Starring opposite Anil Kapoor, Tezaab ran in theatres for more than 50 weeks becoming a golden jubilee, and it was the highest blockbuster at the box office for the year. A major credit for it is given to Madhuri as she became an overnight star while making the nation dance along with her in "Ek Do Teen". The film also earned her first nomination for Best Actress at Filmfare Awards.
A romantic-drama, Dil starred Madhuri Dixit opposite Aamir Khan. The film revolved around two people, Madhu and Raja, who fall in love post a brief span of animosity and disobey their parents for their love. The film was received well and made Madhuri a household name again, post few failures after Tezaab. The film also earned her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress.
One of the iconic musicals in Bollywood, Saajan starred Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan along with Madhuri. The film was a huge hit, for its song and performance of the actors. Madhuri played the role of Pooja, with whom both the male actor fall in love. The complexities of being an object of desire by two brothers, who want to sacrifice their feelings for one another, was portrayed well by the actress. Her role in Saajan also earned her another nomination in Best Actress category at Filmfare Awards.
While Tezaab, established Madhuri as "Mohini", Beta was the film that earned her the title of "Dhak Dhak girl". Counted as one of the best films done by Madhuri, Beta was the story of Raju and his devotion towards his step-mother, who in turns uses him for money and keeps him in isolation till he meets Saraswati (Madhuri) who fights for the rights of her husband. The film was the highest-grossing film of 1992 and earned Madhuri another Filmfare Award for Best Actress.
It was the popularity of Madhuri and her box-office success streak that made her Subhash Ghai's first choice for Khalnayak. Released in 1993, Khalnayak was a thriller starring Sanjay Dutt and Jackie Shroff as criminal and police officer, respectively. Madhuri played the role police officer Ganga, who gives up her professional and personal duties in order to rehabilitate a criminal for the sake of humanity. The film was seen as a pathbreaking film in terms of how Bollywood perceived criminals and criminal rehabilitation. The film earned Madhuri another nomination at the Filmfare Best Actress category.
After playing the role of significant female lead in her films, Madhuri took the biggest risk of her career and in turn delivered a memorable performance in Anjaam. One of its kind films, Anjaam was a story of a woman whose life is destroyed by a rich, spoilt brat claiming to be in love with her. In order to avenge the wrongdoings, she takes matters into her own hands. A gritty thriller, the film starred Shah Rukh Khan in a negative role. Madhuri was lauded for her strong performance as Shivani and moved the audience to tears with her gruesome story. She earned another Filmfare Award for Best actress for the film.
Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!
After a gritty thriller, Madhuri played a fresh and bubbly role of Nisha in Sooraj Barjatya's Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!. A family entertainer, the film is regarded as a Barjatya classic on many terms and Madhuri's role is one of the much-loved characters from Rajshri's production. A light family drama, the film was received extremely well at the box office and Madhuri's Nisha became a role many young actors would take inspiration from. Madhuri also won Filmfare Best Actress Award for her role in the film.
Dil Toh Paagal Hai
Madhuri again returned as Pooja and this time for a breezy Yash Chopra love story. Starring opposite Shah Rukh Khan, Dil Toh Pagal Hai was a classic Chopra love story, asserting on how in this world you will eventually find your soulmate. The film defined the romantic genre of that time and Pooja and Rahl became the aspirational couple for every youngster. Dil To Pagal Hai was a major commercial success and became the highest grossing Indian film of the year worldwide. Apart from winning the hearts of the audience, Madhuri won another Filmfare Award for Best Actress.
After a classic love-story, Madhuri appeared in a critically acclaimed drama film Pukar. Playing the role of in love, jealous and hurt Anjali, Madhuri won accolades for her performance and her dance number Que Sera Sera with Prabhudeva was highly appreciated. The film won National Award for Integration and Madhuri got nominated again for Best actress at Filmfare Awards.
When Sanjay Leela Bhansali decided to make Devdas in 2002, Madhuri was the fitting choice for the role of Chandramukhi. A graceful courtesan - who expressed everything through her dance, the role of Chandramukhi was enacted well by Madhuri. The sophistication and dedication required for classical Kathak were naturally present in the actress, thus making her a natural choice. The film was received extremely well by the audience and critics and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was also India's submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Madhuri won Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film.
The actress made her comeback with Aaja Nachle in 2007, post shifting to USA with her husband. Since her return to India, the actress has been gracing films with a special appearance on songs and cameo and was also seen in women-oriented films like Ded Ishqiya and Gulaab Gang.
Here's wishing the ever graceful Madhuri Dixit-Nene a very Happy Birthday.
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