Bollywood’s ‘Queen’ (in acting or controversies, it’s for you to decide) Kangana had tongues wagging for the good part of last two years. With her bold statements which sooner or later took a controversial turn, Kangana managed to divide people into two sections–pro-Kangana and anti-Kangana. After voluntarily or involuntarily being a part of the hullabaloo created by the Simran actor, there were many who sided with her for a long time and appreciated her for being vocal, being herself and calling a spade a spade in an industry where the opinions of female actors were barely heard. But as they say, ‘excess of everything is bad’, the overdose of Kangana’s rants made people wonder if her issues are even for real, or are they just finely scripted publicity stunts.
It all started with her infamous appearance on Karan Johar’s chat show Koffee With Karan. One must be living under the rocks to not know how Kangana unapologetically tagged KJo as “movie mafia” and “flagbearer of nepotism”. When she brought to fore the debate that how could one compare “genetically hybrid racehorses” to “artistes” and questioned how artistic skills can be inherited, many ‘outsider’ actors (Huma Qureshi, Swara Bhasker, Richa Chadha) echoed her thoughts but in safer, well-crafted words.
Things went awry when Kangana bashing Bollywood biggies became a regular affair. It was the time when some big names like Aamir Khan, Karan Johar, Anushka Sharma, Alia Bhatt and others retaliated. Karan even went ahead to say, “if she (Kangana) finds the Bollywood industry so bad, she might as well leave it.” What Kangana might not have envisaged was that the opinions of these stars owning humongous fan following will affect the popular opinion and she will be left with people calling her an opportunist hogging the limelight in the name of their favourite stars.
Something similar happened when Kangana decided to make her feud with Hrithik Roshan public. Her story of fallout with her former love interest Adhyayan Suman was also bizarre. As she spoke up about the wrong done to her by Aditya Pancholi, all hailed her for putting up a great show of courage. Feminists held her in high regard for breaking the norm of a woman not speaking about her pain and sorrows of her life. But again, beyond a point, nobody wanted to know who said what or who did what. The avid readers of gossip columns too got tired of reading about her sob-story. Even those who had no obsession with Bollywood but read newspapers had a clue of what’s happening and wondered if these ‘controversies’ were the only defining factor for an actor of Kangana’s calibre.
Kangana is an ‘outsider’ who made a place in the Hindi film industry without any godfather. If she committed blunders of signing films like Rascals and Double Dhamaal to “earn bread” for herself, she has given performances to remember in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion, Vikas Bahl’s Queen and Anand L Rai’s Tanu Weds Manu. But what she needs to realise is that all the action in her life off the screen is taking away from her acting prowess. From the Simran of her debut film Gangster (2006) to the Simran of Hansal Mehta directorial Simran (2017), Kangana has come a long way. What Ms Ranaut needs to know is, in the long run, people will remember her for the work she delivers and not for the controversies on the personal front.