Once known as the ‘Queen of Bollywood‘, Kangana Ranaut has proved that even a small-town girl could make it big in the B-Town.
She became a symbol, an idol for many young women trying their luck in a male-dominated Bollywood industry.
Being an ‘Outsider‘ to Bollywood, it’s never easy to establish yourself in such a vast industry. She had her fair share of struggles during the initial stage of her career.
Career At A Glance:
She made her Bollywood debut in 2006’s Gangster, for which she swept away almost all the ‘Best Debut Actress‘ awards.
She won her first National Film Award in 2009 as the ‘Best Supporting Actress‘ for the film Fashion.
However, the breakthrough film for her as a lead actress was the 2011 Anand L. Rai’s Tanu Weds Manu.
Her 2014 blockbuster Queen earned her many accolades, including a National Film Award for ‘Best Actress‘ in 2015.
She was seen as a strong female icon in Bollywood, an industry that often used women as ‘Eye Candies’ or the Tough Guys’s Love Interests.
She was revolutionary and was a favorite among the masses. Ms. Ranaut subsequently bagged a couple more National Film Awards in 2016 for Tanu Weds Manu Returns and 2021 for Manikarnika and Panga. She also won the honorary Padma Shri award in 2020 for her ‘Excellence In The Field Of Performing Arts‘.
4 National Film Awards, 4 Filmfare Awards, 3 IIFA Awards, and many more.
Despite so much success, what went wrong?
What Went Wrong in Bollywood?
Success can go either to the head or the heart. It is clear from her interviews that despite debuting under someone like Mahesh Bhatt, she hated the Bollywood ‘Gangs’ and Nepotism.
She did not get the kind of acceptance that she wanted from the film fraternity. She was always seen as this ‘outsider’ who posed a threat to the star kids.
In several instances, she was vocal against the dark side of Bollywood. While the audience supported and empowered her to break the wheel of nepotism and favoritism in Bollywood, many from within Bollywood ganged up and boycotted her. She was possibly threatened by all this, and as a coping mechanism, she took her successes to her head.
They say that an excess of anything is harmful. Kangana pushed her women empowerment and ‘Bad Bollywood’ narrative a bit too far, to a level where it started brushing people off in the wrong way.
One of Bollywood’s ugliest spat between her and Hrithik Roshan was the beginning of her ousting from the core industry, officially. Locking horns with some of Bollywood’s most powerful and influential personalities like Karan Johar only added to her woes. She stopped getting movie offers from big production houses. Bollywood audience also started disliking her attitude, and as a result, her movies started failing commercially and critically.
A bulk of insecurity can make a person do wild things that they wouldn’t normally do. She developed this peculiar habit of making controversial headlines just before releasing her movies, which obviously pissed off the audience.
Of late, controversy has become a part of Kangana’s life. She took Sushant Singh Rajput‘s demise as an opportunity to hit out at the Bollywood biggies, which mostly made her look bad to most of the public and gave her negative press. To make it worse, she stepped into political issues.
She openly started attacking and criticizing the entire Left-ecosystem. She got into trouble with the BMC and MVA government in Maharashtra, losing her office building.
Every month, she was trending on Twitter, but not for the right reasons. She spoke up about controversial issues like CAA, Farmer’s Protests, and Bengal Violence. She even started praising herself and her skills excessively, displaying the traits of a self-obsessed narcissist.
At this point, neither the Left nor the Right took her seriously. As a result, she was the subject of numerous internet trolls and memes. She was perceived by Twitter as someone inciting violence through her tweets, resulting in the permanent suspension of her account.
Through her attitude and approach, Kangana has made more enemies and little friends from the start till now. She is audacious, no doubt, but she does not have what other Bollywood stars have: diplomacy.
All the big actors and actresses refrain from speaking about controversial issues, which keeps their fan-base intact. Kangana chose to go down the road less travelled and ended up getting all the hate and humiliation.
What we can learn from her case is that every choice we make has consequences.
Think twice before making one.
Student at Xavier Law School, Bhubaneswar.
I like to stay up-to-date with all the happenings in and around the world, with a special interest in Geo-politics and law.