Coming from one of the most influential Bollywood families, Sonam Kapoor has persistently the tag of being a product of ‘nepotism‘. But with strong and consistent performances, the actor who made her debut opposite Ranbir Kapoor in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya has proved that films is where she belongs. Popularly known for her style statements, Sonam is a fashion icon both in Bollywood and on social media. Sonam is an active supporter of  LGBT rights and has also worked towards spreading awareness about breast cancer. Last year she married her long-time boyfriend Anand Ahuja in Mumbai.

The initial few years of stardom were not easy for Sonam, as she received strong criticism for her acting skills. She got her first commercial success with romantic comedy I Hate Luv Storys in 2010. But it was with films like Raanjhanaa and Neerja that she broke the notion of being ‘just a pretty face’. It was no looking back after that for Kapoor, who is now not just a bankable actor but who doesn’t shy away from taking up unconventional roles that other female actors wouldn’t dare to touch.

Raanjanaa

Pic credit: Upperstall.com

Anand L.Rai directed 2013 film Raanjhanaa was the turning point in Sonam’s career. This small budget film made 147.89 crores INR on the box office, making it Kapoor’s first proper commercial blockbuster. Starring opposite Tamil cinema’s superstar Dhanush, the film was an ode to one sided love. Even though the film received intense criticism for promoting stalking culture, Sonam got applauded for her portrayal of free spirit Zoya, whose life takes an unprecedented turn. With this film, Kapoor finally managed to shut down her critics.

Khoobsurat

Pic credit: royalbulletin.in

Starring actors like Pakistani superstar Fawad Khan, Kirron Kher and Ratna Pathak Shah, Shashanka Ghosh directed Khoobsurat released in 2014. A love story between a quirky physiotherapist Milli, and a poised blue blood prince Vikram Singh Rathore, the film was a light-hearted romantic comedy. The audience loved the chemistry between these polar opposite characters. Besides that, her on-screen chemistry with Nirmala Devi Rathore played by the supremely talented Shah was a win-win. The quirky & carefree nature of Milli connected with the audience & she received appreciation for her raw acting.

Read Also: Sonam Kapoor Takes a Stand on Bollywood’s Gender-Based Pay Gap

Neerja

Pic credit: India Today

Directed by Ram Madhvani, Neerja was the biopic of Indian air hostess Neerja Bhanot. The film is based on the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan, on 5 September 1986. With her presence of mind and courage, Neerja managed to save the lives of passengers aboard the aircraft. Unfortunately, she was shot dead while saving the other passengers. For her bravery and courage, Bhanot was posthumously awarded with many national and international awards and honours like Special Courage Award by the USA, Tamgha-e-Pakistan (for showing incredible human kindness), Pakistan, etc. She became the youngest recipient of India’s highest peacetime gallantry, the Ashok Chakra Award. Sonam aced the role of Neerja, emulating Neerja’s presence of mind, courage and determination with subtlety. Kapoor won a National Awards for her performance and her resemblance to the real life Neerja was commendable. Neerja still remains one of the highest-grossing films with a female lead in Bollywood.

Read Also: Feminist Bollywood films of recent times that touch impactful issues

Veere Di Wedding

Pic credit: Zee News

This 2018 multi-starrer film directed by Shashanka Ghosh made an exponential business of 138.8 crores on box office. Starring Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania, this film one of its kind movie revolves around female friendships. Challenging all the conventional norms the film received a lot of appreciation from the audience as well as critics. Based on the value of friendship and self-discovery, the film raised a lot of controversy for Swara Bhaskar’s masturbation scene and showing its women characters swear with no holds barred. However, it also smashed patriarchy by talking about ‘what women want’ which is a rarity in Hindi films. Living up to the challenge, Sonam played the role of Avni who is a strong-minded, independent lawyer with gusto. This film was a breath of fresh air for the female audience who were bored of watching women being reduced to sidelines in almost all Bollywood films.

Read Also: I Was Molested As A Child, Reveals Sonam Kapoor

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga

Pic credit: Rediff.com

Shelly Chopra Dhar directed film  Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Esa Laga, which released this year, became the first mainstream Bollywood film to revolve around a same sex love. Rejecting the conventional idea of the romance between a boy and a girl, this film focused on the love story between Sweety played by Sonam and Kuhu played by Regina Cassandra. Without any hesitation, Sonam took this unconventional role which shows her determination to take a risk and her urge to perform a diverse role, without worrying about the box office numbers. This was a role not many mainstream female actors would have dared to touch. Which is why this performance by Kapoor is so special.

Feature Image Credit: The Indian Express

Also Read: Best Of Anushka Sharma: Seven Roles The Actor Aced

Divya Tripathi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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