tv & movies

The Best of Priyanka Chopra, RANKED!

One of the most famous Indian faces on the planet, everything Priyanka Chopra Jonas learned, she learned it on the job.

‘My acting school was on set. I learned everything that I did by being thrown into the deep end,’ she told the Variety Awards Circuit podcast.

Raised by a family of doctors in the Indian Army, Priyanka never consciously planned her place in the limelight. Except when a string of lucky breaks followed and an attractive teenager found herself catapulted to fame after being crowned first runner-up at Femina Miss India.

Like most beauty queens before her, showbiz seemed like the next logical step for the newly crowned Miss World 2000 as well.

After her Hindi film debut in The Hero: Love Story of a Spy co-starring Sunny Deol and Preity Zinta, there was no looking back.

And yet to make everyone sit up and take notice beyond her glamorous persona and box office success was an uphill task.

Nothing sheer hard work, unwavering ambition and a strong will to experiment cannot accomplish.

From making waves on American television to landing lucrative Hollywood projects, her success story across the seven seas is stuff of dreams.

Mostly though, it’s PC’s enthusiasm for breaking out of the conventional leading lady that emboldened her talent, resulting in memorable performances through her two-decades long career.

Sukanya Verma celebrates her 40th birthday on July 18 by ranking the superstar’s 10 best works.

 

10. Fashion
Where to watch: Netflix

PC’s role: A small-town girl’s giddy rise to fame in the cutthroat world of catwalks and couture makes her realise the value of success and sobering up at a heavy price.

PC Power: Priyanka’s evolving spunk and sophistication as the proverbial Alice in modelling land pursuing her dreams in an industry where if you’re not quick on the uptake, you’re as indispensable as the clothing you parade offers an engaging portrayal of a supermodel, Madhur Bhandarkar style.

It sure led to her first National Award.

  • The Rediff Review

 

9. 7 Khoon Maaf
Where to watch: Netflix

PC’s role: Marriage doesn’t bode well for a woman whose quest for true love leads her onto the path of bloodthirst instead.

PC Power: Whatever one’s feelings about Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of Ruskin Bond’s short story, Susanna’s Seven Husbands, there’s no denying the actress puts her heart and soul in bringing out the central protagonist’s grim mood of darkness and long-time suffering to the fore.

  • The Rediff Review

 

8. What’s Your Raashee?
Where to watch: Netflix

PC’s role: Classic traits of all the 12 zodiac signs find a lively expression in 12 different girls approached by an NRI in a hurry to marry.

PC Power: Though Ashutosh Gowariker’s reworking of Madhu Rye’s Gujarati novel Kimball Ravenswood is never as whimsical as Ketan Mehta’s made-for-Doordarshan Mr Yogi, starring Mohan Gokhale, Priyanka’s dedication at essaying all the 12 unique women in all their diverse, distinct glory is a treat.

  • The Rediff Review

 

7. Mary Kom
Where to watch: Netflix

PC’s role: A biopic on Olympic medalist Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom.

PC Power: PC’s excitement for physical transformation of her characters held her in good stead in films like What’s Your Raashee? and 7 Khoon Maaf.

But in Mary Kom, the change isn’t entirely cosmetic.

She may not look anything like Manipur’s Magnificent Mary, but Priyanka put in a good deal of effort in acquiring the body of a boxer and vulnerability of a committed mom.

  • The Rediff Review

 

6. Aitraaz
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

PC’s role: A company’s chairperson accuses a member of the workforce of sexual assault after he rejects her advances, someone she shares a history of romance.

PC Power: Aitraaz is no Disclosure but proved to be a turning point in Priyanka’s career.

Where most actresses would hesitate from playing unlikeable, her devious turn and seductive sexual appetite gave promising glimpses of the fire in her belly.

  • The Rediff Review

5. Don
Where to watch: Netflix

PC’s role: A daredevil young woman hopes to avenge her brother and sister-in-law’s death by infiltrating the Don’s gang.

PC Power: Slick and steely, PC’s icy revenge, stylish seduction and nimble action heroine skills match the titular hero’s swagger at every step.

  • The Rediff Review

 

4. The Sky is Pink
Where to watch: Netflix

PC’s role: From young mom to middle-aged, a mother copes with her daughter’s rare illness and inevitable passing.

PC Power: Once again, she aces the aging game. It’s like we raved in our review, ‘Priyanka portrays a lifetime in a flash. Headstrong without getting dramatic, sympathetic but not smothering, a spectrum of emotions is showcased in her fiery performance.’

  • The Rediff Review

 

3. Barfi!
Where to watch: Netflix

PC’s role: An autistic girl runs off with her childhood friend to live a life of whirlwind adventures and childish wonderment.

PC Power: It’s a tricky part, but Priyanka becomes a whole new person. And a loveable one at that. What comes through is heart-warmingly genuine.

Her child-like instincts and sweet simplicity against Anurag Basu’s fanciful imagery shuns any cynicism or doubts one would have about her ability to pull it off.

  • The Rediff Review

 

2. Kaminey
Where to watch: Netflix

PC’s role: A shady politician’s sister evokes the ire of her hot-headed brother after she reveals she’s pregnant with a regular Joe’s child.

PC Power: PC’s role in Vishal Bhardwaj’s quirky slice-of-crime isn’t a big one but the actress is scene stealing good as the feisty Marathi mulgi bursting with emotions and taking on anyone who dares interfere with her plans.

Be it the accent or the body language, she doesn’t miss a single beat.

  • The Rediff Review

 

1. Bajirao Mastani
Where to watch: Eros Now

PC’s role: Peshwa Bajirao I’s luminous first wife Kashi comes to terms with her husband’s romantic affections for Mastani.

PC Power: She not only looks like a Raja Ravi Varma painting in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s opulent production but exudes the same degree of grace too.

Her effective portrayal of the wronged wife is so overwhelmingly good and gracious, you forget the focus is on Bajirao and Mastani.

In our review we noted, ‘Hers is the most realised characterisation — one of a wife nursing her wounded pride owing to her husband’s affair, a daughter-in-law sharing a loving bond with her protective mother-in-law, a mother troubled by her son’s growing resentment for his father and a diplomat who’ll fulfil her moral duties at the expense of her heart.’

Hues of hurt and humanity touch her awe-inspiring delivery across moments of indignation and magnanimity.

Every time she’s in a scene, she walks away with it.

  • The Rediff Review

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