Kangana Ranaut has given some of the most memorable films in Bollywood. Her characters have been unapologetic and brave just like her. As Kangana celebrates her birthday today, we are remembering her most incredible roles that bagged the actress four National Film Awards!
Fashion is said to be a "landmark" in her career. Set against the backdrop of the Indian fashion industry, the film co-starred Priyanka Chopra and Mugdha Godse and featured Ranaut as Shonali Gujral, a substance-abusing supermodel struggling to cope with her foundering career. Fashion emerged as a commercial success and was listed by Subhash K. Jha as one of the best films of the decade with women protagonists. Ranaut's performance drew unanimous critical acclaim, it was said that she "does an exquisite metamorphosis from a wispy, high-strung, nervous child-woman to a stunning ramp diva.” Ranaut's portrayal earned her several awards, including the National Film Award and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Ranaut established herself in Hindi cinema when she featured alongside Rajkummar Rao and Lisa Haydon in the coming-of-age dramedy Queen; she also co-wrote the dialogues.The film tells the story of Rani, a naive girl who embarks on her honeymoon alone after her fiancé calls off their wedding. Ranaut, who describes herself as "independent and confident", reflected that the role was one of the toughest she had played, as the character's personality traits contrasted with her own, The film and Ranaut's performance received unanimous acclaim from critics. It was said that she "flits from one aspect of her character to another without breaking stride shows her maturity as an actor. Her efforts make you clap for Rani's small and big victories, you root for her character to come up trumps and are glad about the glorious transformation at the end." She won both the Filmfare Award and the National Film Award for Best Actress for the film
Tanu Weds Manu: Returns (2015)
In the following year, Ranaut starred in Tanu Weds Manu: Returns (2015), a sequel to Tanu Weds Manu, in which she portrayed dual roles—she reprised the character of Tanuja from the original and also portrayed an aspiring athlete in it. In preparation for the latter role, she interacted with students of the University of Delhi in disguise; in addition, she attended workshops to learn the Haryanvi language and trained in the sport of triple jump. The film received positive reviews from critics and Ranaut's performance was considered its prime asset. Sweta Kaushal of Hindustan Times praised her for perfecting the body languages and accents of the two women, and Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV wrote that she "fleshes out this pair of distinct individuals with such energy and finesse that it becomes difficult at times to tell that it is the same actress playing the two roles". Tanu Weds Manu Returns became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood film featuring a female protagonist. Ranaut won a Filmfare Critics Award and a second consecutive National Film Award for Best Actress and received an additional Best Actress nomination at Filmfare
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019)
In 2019, Ranaut starred in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, a biopic of the Indian freedom fighter Rani of Jhansi, for which she also served as co-director when Krish left the film after frequently clashing with the actress. Her co-star Sonu Sood also quit the production due to disagreements with her. Ranaut subsequently reshot a significant portion of the film, due to which its production cost doubled. Critics congratulated Ranaut for "command[ing] the screen with a fiery, arresting presence, never letting your attention wander away from her". It performed moderately well at the box office but made her win, the latest National Film Award.
Rooted in the subculture of societal facts, Panga is an emotional roller coaster tale of a middle-class Indian woman, where a forgotten Kabaddi world champion catalyzes an inner desire to give a new meaning to her existing role as a wife and mother and takes an ingenious decision to come back to the sport despite the challenges of age stereotypes and new generation complexities which creates an upheaval in her life as she is torn between societal pressures of family responsibility and love for the sport. Kangana's performance in the sports drama grabbed her a National Film Awards for Best actress along with Manikarnika in 67th National Film Awards.
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