Saturday, December 1, 2007


Lure of the spotlight

Leading ladies of film industry vanish from the silver screen, especially after they tie the knot, only to make a comeback, reports KK Moidu

Madhuri Dixit Nene, Kaveri, Sari, Kiran Rathod, Mohini and Sarika are some of the erstwhile heroines returning to the film industry.
Madhuri Dixit Nene
Former Bollywood queen Madhuri, who dazzled the industry in the number one spot, is poised to make a comeback in Aaja Nachle, directed by Anil Mehta.
In the film, Madhuri plays a dancer, Diya, who returns from New York to Shamili in India, in order to save Ajantha Theatres. Diya's 'guru' (dance master) Makarand is dying and the institute where she learned dance is under the threat of demolition.
Diya joins Dr Raghubeer Yadav, the caretaker and a true art lover, to save Ajantha Theatres. In order to achieve the impossible task of putting together a theatrical production, she makes sure that every member of the production unit is from Shamili.
Diya has to prove her point within a short period of two months, otherwise the bulldozers are waiting. Can she achieve success in her venture?
Aaja Nachle is an eagerly awaited film because Madhuri plays a pivotal role in it after a hiatus of six years. Other artistes in the film are Akshaye Khanna, Konkona Sen Sharma and Kunal Kapoor. Aaja Nachle, produced by Aditya Chopra, is distributed by Yash Raj Films.
Madhuri settled in the US after her marriage with Indian-American UCLA-trained cardiovascular surgeon Dr Sriram Madhav Nene. They are blessed with two boys, Arin and Ryan.
Award winning actress Madhuri is considered an icon of Bollywood. She dominated the industry in the late 80s and 90s by playing the heroine in many superhits. Madhuri entertained the audience with her beauty, talent and her fascinating dance skills. She is a trained Kathak dancer.
Madhuri made her film debut in Abodh and performed insignificant roles in the beginning of her career. She came into the limelight after the success of Tezaab. Then, she starred in many superhit films with leading Bollywood heroes. She won the fourth Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance in Dil To Pagal Hai in 1997. Dil, Beta and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun are the other films that fetched her the Best actress Filmfare Awards.
Madhuri won the hearts of fans with her stunning performance and dance sequences in songs like Ek Do Teen (Tezaab), Dhak Dhak (Beta), Choli Ke Peeche (Khalnayak) etc.
Her Devdas with Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai was featured at the Cannes Film Festival and Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon, a film named after her, was also released before she got married. She also topped the list of "Best Bollywood Actress Ever" on the recent Women's International Day.
Kaveri gained the Malayalam industry's attention with her innocent looks and girl-next-door image in films like Udhyanapalakan, Daadasaheb, Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum etc. Her role as Nurse Vandana in Rajeev Anchal's Nothing But Life won her acclaim. Her male lead was played by young and popular Tamil hero Madhavan.
Kaveri left the Malayalam industry when meaty roles dried up on home turf. She achieved success in Telugu films as Kalyani acting opposite leading heroes.
After marriage, she left the industry like her seniors. Kaveri is now making a comeback in the role of Nancy in the new Malayalam film Kangaroo, directed by Raj Babu. Kaveri is not re-appearing as a heroine in the film. Prithviraj plays the male lead as an auto driver Josekutty. Kavya Madhavan and Jayasurya appears in other important roles.
Josekutty takes care of a one-and-a-half year old boy, which he found on the street. Josekutty carries the child everywhere with him, giving the full meaning to the title of the film Kangaroo.
According to reports, Kaveri has rejected earlier comeback offers and was waiting for a good role. Hope her role as Nancy in Kangaroo will shower luck on her.
Sari, who secured a place in the hearts of cinegoers by playing village belle roles, has returned to the Malayalam film industry after eight years. She is from Andhra Pradesh and was born and brought up in Chennai.
Sari made her debut in veteran late director Padmarajan's Desadanakkili Karayarilla. Mohanlal played the male lead in the film. Sari accepted the offer of Desadanakkili Karayarilla with a little hesitation, because of her lack of knowledge about Malayalam films and Padmarajan.
After the film she didn't get many offers from the industry. Padmarajan again casted her as the heroine in Namukku Parkkan Munthirithoppukal. The success of the film earned her many other heroine roles.
After her marriage to Prem, she settled in Bangalore. Sari plays an important role in her second arrival in the recently released superhit Chocolate directed by Shafi. Incidentally, her debut film was picturised in Ernamkulam and Chocolate is also filmed there.
Kiran Tandon
Punjabi girl Kiran has acted in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films. Kiran was the love interest of superstar Mohanlal in Malayalam film Thaandavam directed by Shaji Kailas.
She made her debut in Yaadein in 2001 and continued in the industry for years. She took a year-long break and returned last year with Saawan, The Love Season and Souten The Other Woman. Kiran plays the female lead of Vikram in Tamil superhit Gemini. She is also noted for her cameo appearance in New with SJ Surya and Simran.
Kiran did not want to return to South Indian films, but after hearing the story of Vasool, she accepted the heroine role. Newcomer Hemanth Kumar is making his debut in the male lead and director Raj plays the villain.
Mohini made her film entry one-and-a-half decades ago in Tamil films. She was not successful and later changed her base to Malayalam. She gained fame by playing heroine roles in superhits Ghazal, Punjabi House, Ee Puzhayum Kadannu, Kudumba Kodathi etc. She has played the heroine of Malayalam superstars Mammootty in Sainyam and Mohanlal in Nadodi.
In her return film, Mohini plays one of the heroines in the Suresh Gopi-starrer Collector. Her character name is Sethulakshmi and she is a Corporation Mayor. Yamini Sharma and Megha are roped in from Bollywood for the other heroines roles.
Mohini made an attempt for a comeback earlier but failed due to her excess weight. This time, she appears with an all new look — slimmer and streaked hair.
Sarika was forced to stay away from the industry by falling down from a building. She made a comeback by doing a glamorous role in a Tamil film.
After divorcing her husband actor-director Kamal Hassan, Sarika returned to the film industry to prove the strength of "woman power." She succeeded by winning the best actress National Award in Parsaania. The film, based on the Godhra incident, was one of her career's best. Her male lead was Naseerudin Shah.
Sarika entered the film industry as a child artiste years ago and played boy's roles in 80s Hindi films. She gained the attention of the industry with Geeta Gata Chal. Her parents compelled her to act in films and she didn't complete her basic school education.
After her marriage to Kamal Hassan, she became a costume designer. She fetched the best costume designer award in Kamal Hassan's Hey Ram.
Silk Smitha
Soft porn actress Silk Smitha was an ultimate sex-siren of the South Indian film industry. She died on Sept.23, 1996.
Smitha's Thankathamara, filmed in 1995, had not seen the light of the day because of financial problems. Now, more than a decade after her death, it is being released in theatres.
Smitha was born in a poor family as Vijayalakshmi in Eluru in Andhra Pradesh. She has appeared in character, song-and-dance and cabaret numbers in around 200 films in different languages like Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam. She was popular becasue of her sultry and glamorous appearance.
Smitha was introduced to the film world by Thiruppathi Rajan, and as fate would have it, her last film Thankathamara was also directed by him.
Her first major role was in Vandi Chakram. She assumed the name 'Silk' after her character as a bar girl in the film.
Her dance numbers and bold performances in films like Moondru Mugam made her the ultimate symbol of sensuality.
Smitha's Malayalam film Layanam, directed by Thulasidas, earned her cult status in the adult film industry. It was remade in Hindi as Reshma Ki Jawani. She played the heroine in Sphadikam and Adharvam opposite Mohanlal and Mammootty respectively. Her most memorable film is Moondram Pirai.
Smitha's one-and-a-half decades long career brought her both fortune and misfortune. Her failed attempts to produce films cost her lots of money. She allegedly committed suicide.
Thankathamara's success or failure will not affect Silk Smitha. But for the others, success is important. After doing a few films, the roles may not be so important — being in the film industry is what matters.

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