The woman who makes acting so difficult
A few days ago I was late for Kangana Ranauts queen and hurried to find my place in the cinema. The film hadn’t started since the trailer was for Bewakoofiyaan seemed to be playing. Thirty seconds later, I found myself on the wrong multiplex screen – the Sonam Kapoor film was actually showing in an almost empty room less than a week after it was released. As I left the theater, I realized that this was another Sonam movie that I had left halfway. Your only movie I’ve sat through is Delhi 6: That’s because I dozed off shortly after the film started.
Delhi 6, directed by Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, was annoyed, but critics praised Kapoor regardless of the short role. Rajeev Masand called her “a great actress, instinctively and unrestrained in an unusual female lead”, while Anupama Chopra said: “The beautiful Sonam permeates her [the character] with grace and poise. “Shubra Gupta, writing for The Indian ExpressShe complained that Kapoor wasn’t on screen as often as she would have liked. “You wish Mehra hadn’t neglected the refreshingly natural Sonam who is all girl: she deserved a lot more screen time.”
Her next big movie was I hate love stories with Imran Khan (made a star by his uncle Aamir Khan). In the trailers it looked like a particularly cute, brain-dead rom-com from Karan Johars Dharma Productions. The film is bombed. Critical admiration for Kapoor began to wane. For her portrayal of a girlish character in love, Masand only said that she looked “pretty”. Gupta found that she looked “stiff and rehearsed”. After such reviews, I didn’t want to spend any money.
With Aisha, Kapoor increased her style quotient by several levels and portrayed a cheeky girl from Delhi. The pre-release commercial said Kapoor was just herself in the film. But this performance was not convincing either. I didn’t see the film until it later aired on television, especially since the reviews were so devastating. Masand seemed to be running out of patience. “She plays the airhead convincingly and pulls off the flighty princess game, but she fidgets when it comes to collecting tears, anger or hurt,” he said. “Sonam manages to look like a million dollars … but is flat and precious rather than adorable,” added Gupta. For her role in this film, she won the 2011 Golden Kela Award, the Bollywood version of the Raspberry Awards or Razzies.
Kapoor went on to give two stylish clothes: Thank you very much and player. She looked great, behaved badly. After all, it was her role in Shahid Kapur Mausam that promised emotional talent. But critics seriously questioned her acting skills. Masand blamed it on the “stupid lines she was saddled with” while Gupta called her “lifeless”. And how I hate love stories, the standard complaint was that there was no chemistry between the main cast. I couldn’t muster up the courage to watch it on DVD.
Kapoor recovered in some ground Raanjhanaaalthough most critics paid more credit to Dhanush, the male lead. Chopra’s review spoke solely of Dhanush and the plot, without mentioning Kapoor. Masand paid her some credit for being able to portray the character “smoothly”. Gupta was snappy: “Your limits as an actress are obvious when things get serious.” Kapoor in Raanjhanaa was again nominated for the 2013 Golden Kela Award in the “Worst Actress” category. Kapoor’s role in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Mehra’s imperfect biopic of Milkha Singh, was too insignificant to notice.
After seeing about 30 seconds of BewakoofiyaanI was touched by Gupta’s review: “Sonam is one of the few Bollywood residents who wears their clothes beautifully and doesn’t let them wear them … But acting is a completely different matter.” Being a style diva is fine, but will someone tell her that movies are also about acting?