Deepika Padukone is on a roll. Now that’s a known fact. What is notable though is that it isn’t on account of several 100 crore earners that are primarily hero driven enterprises with a heroine being a ‘part’ of an affair. Deepika’s game has been different. Oh yes, there has been a ‘Race 2’ where she was primarily a glamorous offering. However, a quick look in the past and it reveals how she was desperately wooed back into the film incessantly after she had walked out of due to date issues. The fact that the film came in the middle of ‘Cocktail’ and ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ lends further credibility to Deepika’s stature.
No wonder, while she is firmly placed in the Top-3 with ‘seniors’ like Kareena Kapoor and Katrina Kaif as an elite company, she has pretty much left behind her other contemporaries miles behind. One look at the kind of repertoire that she would be boasting of in months to come and it is crystal clear that the gap is only going to widen in a major way.
Chennai Express – 8th August 2013
By far the biggest film that she has been a part of, Deepika Padukone has thrown in a good enough promise that she could well turn out to be the best part of the film. If the promo of ‘Chennai Express’ has managed a good enough recall and repeat value, a major contributor has been Deepika, her uninhibited act and a dialogue delivery that would gain further fans for her. In a true-blue romantic-comedy-action entertainer where she has a major role to play than just being someone around Shahrukh Khan, Deepika is clearly looking at a film which would challenge the commercial run of ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’.
Ram Leela – 29th November 2013
If performance is what one would be looking forward to from Deepika Padukone, ‘Ram Leela’ could well act as a barometer for that. Fortunately for her (and her fans), Deepika has done well to establish her credentials as an actress since the ‘Cocktail’ days. This means she would be scrutinised much lesser in this Sanjay Leela Bhansali film than what she had been if at all this would have been her first ever truly challenging assignment. With the film constantly being in news ever since it’s inception, ‘Ram Leela’ is a hardcore romantic tale (with a dose of action as well) which would feature Deepika right throughout.
Kochadaiyaan – 2013 end
Though one can’t say the same for ‘Kochadaiyaan’ (in terms of Deepika being present in the film right throughout), given the fact that it is a Rajinikanth film, one looks forward to how her presence adds on to an already heavy weight flick. The very fact that Deepika was the chosen one for this magnum opus when things didn’t work on ‘Rana’ says a lot about how she was being looked at by powers-that-be in Tamil cinema to be a part of their affair. Moreover, she is following Aishwarya Rai (Endhiran/Robot) as Rajinikanth’s next heroine from Bollywood which says a lot about her standing in the Indian cinema map.
Finding Fanny Fernandes – First half of 2014
Meanwhile Deepika is further taking strides as far as picking up varied subjects is concerned. She is doing what no other established mainstream commercial actress from the present or past has done i.e. pick an English language film which has an Indian base and setting to it. To be directed by Homi Adajania, ‘Finding Fanny Fernandes’ has Arjun Kapoor as her co-star. An oft repeated phrase of ‘This is an offbeat film made for niche audience’ could well be quashed by this road film that would go on floors this September and is expected to release in the first half of 2014.
Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder