Kareena Kapoor Khan films worth watching: Actor Kareena Kapoor Khan, who turns 41 today, has come a long way in her Bollywood journey spanning over two decades. Khan made her Bollywood debut opposite Abhishek Bachchan in JP Dutta’s film Refugee in the year 2000. From being panned by viewers for “over-acting” to giving one of the most iconic performances by a woman actor and then striking a balance between commercial and content-oriented cinema, Khan has evolved from a star-kid to a bankable superstar in her career and how.
She belongs to the new age of Bollywood women superstars whose careers haven’t been affected by marriage or motherhood. Even today, she is paired opposite some of the most prominent A-listers of the industry such as Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan thus breaking age-related stereotypes for women of the industry.
How did she do it? To try and decipher what makes Kareena Kapoor Khan a success, we look at some of the most career-defining roles that she has essayed:
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham: Khan’s debut in Refugee was overshadowed by that of her male co-star. Even her second film, Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai was promoted as the launch vehicle for yesteryear superstar Jitendra’s son Tusshar Kapoor. It was in Karan Johar’s 2001 multi-starrer Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham that Khan got her first viewer-favourite role as “Poo”. Sadly, the overenthusiastic demeanour of Poo which made Khan stand out amidst the cast of Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan and Amitabh Bachchan also prompted a series of similar roles like- Khushi, Mujhse Dosti Karoge! and Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon, with varying moderations of Poo-ness added to them.
Chameli: Khan’s first pathbreaking role came in the form of Chameli, directed by Sudhir Mishra. No one expected an A-list star to take up an off-beat role so early on in her career. We have to remember that this was 2004, not 2021. Starring opposite Rahul Bose, Khan played the role of a prostitute whose chance encounter with an upper-classman dealing with a personal tragedy on a rainy night changes his outlook towards life forever.
Jab We Met: Arguably one of the most iconic roles played by a female actor in the last two decades, Jab We Met helped Khan finally break out of the mould that Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham had cast her in. The film’s first half showcased her character Geet as an enthusiastic young woman, who can’t stop talking and getting herself in a soup. However, Khan successfully managed to give Geet shades contrasting to her previous characters like Poo and Khushi, establishing herself as a performer, not just a star.
Ki & Ka: Over the years, Khan has found a way to balance performance-oriented roles with out and out commercial ventures. In 2016, Khan featured in two such contrasting films – Udtaa Punjab, which dealt with the drug problem among youth of Punjab and Ki & Ka which turned the table of stereotypical roles that a husband and wife are expected to play in a marriage. Ki & Ka stands out in Khan’s filmography due to its one of a kind concept and because she chose to star opposite a relatively younger male actor who made his debut in the Hindi film industry more than a decade after Khan had established herself.
Veere Di Wedding: Giving India its first commercial films on sisterhood, Veere Di Wedding featured an impressive cast which included Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhasker, Shikha Talsania alongside Kareena Kapoor Khan. This was one of the rare films which purely banked on the star power of its female cast, and it did work at the box office. In coming years we have been promised many films based on the subject of sisterhood- Jee Le Zaraa and Jahaan Chaar Yaar to name a few. Perhaps it was the success of Veere Di Wedding, which we hear could be getting a sequel, that encouraged filmmakers to take up this subject.