Who is the true “Queen of Bollywood?” What is the criteria for being a “Queen of Bollywood?” Does the title really change every five years like actress Kareena Kapoor suggested in a recent interview?
Based on Vogue India’s coronation of Bollywood “It” girl Deepika Padukone on their September 2013 cover, the criteria seems to be; having a string of successive hit films under your belt, having a slew of loyal adoring fans, having the approval of the media especially the critic’s who review your acting improvements and your films and of course landing on the covers coveted magazines such of Vogue India frequently. Four of Padukone’s 2013 film releases (Chennai Express, Yeh Jawaani Hai Dewani, Race 2 & Ram Leela) brought in upward of 600 Crores Rupees at the Indian box office (a record for anyone) and she still has one more release to come (Kochadaiiyaan) next month. Her endorsement deals include representing Tissot watches, Garnier beauty products & Vogue eye-wear among many others. Earlier in the year she collaborated with international clothing brand Van Heusen to create her first limited collection for her debut clothing line. It is safe to say Ms. Padukone has had quite a prolific year. Now let us take a look at the annual track record actress Priyanka Chopra, an A-list celebrity who happens to be a close friend of Padukone’s. Chopra was named the new face of international fashion brand Guess, Launched two celebrated singles (In My City & Exotic) off of her upcoming debut album, became the new face of America’s NFL channel’s Thursday night football & back home starred in and made guest appearances in films one of which (Krrish) went on to become the highest grossing Bollywood film of all time. Why then is she not the ‘Queen of Bollywood?’ Why hasn’t any magazine crowned her on their cover? After all, she too had a successful year this year, is a National Award Winner & was critically acclaimed in her releases from last year (Barfi & Agneepath) as well. Or is the criteria strictly limited to the biggest box office business only?
If you did a Google search for…let’s say “number one Bollywood actress” even Sonam Kapoor (an actress more famous for her fashion statements than her films) would pop up in the midst of every other article. If you typed “Bollywood’s sexiest actress” out comes entertainer Katrina Kaif and her slew of FHM covers. If you typed in “number one Bollywood heroine” the battle between actresses Kareena Kapoor and Deepika Padukone ensues in the search engine and in between them are pictures of yesteryear #1 heroines Sridevi Boney Kapoor & Madhuri Dixit-Nene peppered with their media-invented squabbles. Type in “Bollywood Queen” and not even a single picture of Deepika would have popped up prior to her Vogue “coronation” cover, instead you would find Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, the movie “Bollywood queen” Madhuri Dixit and Kareena Kapoor galore.
A true Bollywood Queen can and should withstand the test of time and is not affected by flops or shortcomings in their career, she always comes out on top and fighting no matter what & never seem to fade away like the flash in the pans who were once considered their competition(s). Her allure should not be limited to box office returns only but across the board domination as well. There is the Queen and there are the others. The true #1 heroine should in fact have no competition, the true Bollywood Queen should be unequivocally #1 even if the title seems to change every decade…
Sridevi ruled the 80s (and we are still talking about her today)
Madhuri rules the 90s (and we are still talking about her today)
Aishwarya ruled the 2000s (and we are still talking about her today)
& now Deepika, Kareena, Priyanka and Katrina are battling it out to rule the current decade. To me it is between Deepika and Kareena. It is tough to tell now which one of these ladies is the standout who has no competition regarding her “Queen of Bollywood” title but perhaps in 2020 we will be able to look back and say who undeniably ruled the last decade.
Credit: BollywoodOne.Com, Filmfare, Noblesse & Vogue India Magazines