Twisted Cinema

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Missing, the Madhubala Quotient

I had once asked director Ram Gopal Varma what worked better for him - adaa or attitude. Varma replied, "Attitude," and then said, "What is adaa?" Adaa , Mr Varma, and those who like him either don't know or have forgotten - is the art of coyness, of saying things without using words. It is conveying emotions through gestures... be it the twitch of one's lips, the lowering of the lashes, the flashing of the eyes, a demure smile, a throaty laugh, a mischievous twinkle...
We could go on with the poetic diarrhoea and the entire thing could still be lost on you. To put adaa into perspective and to stick to the word count - think Madhubala.

Madhubala was adaa personified - from her twinkling eyes, to her thousand-watt smile, to her glorious hair, to the structure of her face, and her tinkling laughter - she could be the tragedy queen, the comedienne or the seductress with equal ease. With the release of the digitally reworked Mughal-e-Azam (MEA) last Diwali, Madhubala once again ruled the screen and proved that she could still give the present day heroines a run for their money. Which brings us to - the current day heroines.

If suppose, a Veer-Zaara or an Aitraaz were released 40 years from today, would these heroines have it in them to draw back the audience? Do they have the Madhubala Quotient (MQ)? A pick of the five of Bollywood's top actresses today (talent notwithstanding). Which of these heroines do YOU think comes closest to Madhubala? Mark your favourite on the MQ Meter.

Aishwarya Rai: The Miss World who refuses to let go of her crown. Princess Propah who refuses to do kissing scenes (that's changing we've been told), is arguably Bollywood's most prominent face in international circles. Labelled as Plasti-Queen - for her amazing ability to 'not' emote - she has won a National Award for best actress.

Kareena Kapoor: Miss Foot-In-the-Mouth is a progeny of Bollywood's oldest families. Madam Motor Mouth has more talent with the tongue than on-screen. Everyone agrees she is yet to prove herself; and everyone agrees she is a born superstar. Baby Bebo strives to sign movies that always flop (or maybe because of her) and still manages to bag a cool 2.5 crore.

Preity Zinta: The Dimpled Brat took the cute-act a step further from where Juhi Chawla left it.
She's known for (trying to) changing her looks in her movies. Two of the biggest Bollywood hits of recent times had her in the lead, though the credit in both went to either the actor, the director, the script, the co-stars, the... and we saw her in Veer-Zara and I wansn't really convinced.

Priyanka Chopra: This Screen Scorcher fits into the 'catch 'em young and watch them grow' bracket. Her being pretty works in her favour as it keeps the audiences' attention off her (non-present) acting skills. That said, while most have been surprised with her recent 'rock me baby' avatar, others say it's just a little while before the cub grows up. Her recent Roma act does nothing for us to understand if she can have attitude and adaa both.

Rani Mukerji: Little Miss Perfect never says a bad word about anyone and bags the best roles (that's the secret?). Give her a reasonably good director and this pint-sized actress can pack a punch in her performance. But give her a bad dress designer and she can threaten to spill out or split out at the seams. Now that you have got the brief low-down on your favourites (or even if they aren't!); which of these heroines do YOU think comes closest to Madhubala... and why?


Blogger Madhukesh said...

From a man's perspective the actresses you mentioned:

Aishwarya Rai: Did anyone giggle in those days? One actress who could never play a teenager/college girl.

Kareena Kapoor: Her mouth looks as if she has a foot in it always- Karishma's lips/mouth better.

Preity Zinta: When i was little my sis had a doll- always blinked and had a perpetual dimple. Feels like scrubbing myself when i see her.

Priyanka Chopra: She opens her mouth - she is a goner- a stunner if she keeps it shut and gives a smoldering look.

Rani Mukherji: Unfortunately the wife of a friend who is 46 years old looks like her and wears bad costumes- should i say more?

Can a man have adaa? Then it's Guru Dutt.

3:32 PM  
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