The much-in-the-news flick Veere Di Wedding has emerged as a huge success. Despite not being a pan-India family-friendly film and despite releasing during the holy month of Ramzan when a section of viewers stay away, this ‘not a chick flick’ had generated tremendous curiosity. As a result, audiences came in hordes as soon as it was released. The three-day figures are a huge Rs. 37 crore* and this has sent the trade and industry in a tizzy!
The super-success of Veere Di Wedding is also significant for one more reason – it features not just one but two married actresses – Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam K Ahuja! The industry has had this notion for the longest period of time that an actress’s career is finished or is on its last legs once she gets married. She loses the pull and desirability among the audiences is what was believed. Interestingly, way back in the 70s, this notion was ripped apart by Sharmila Tagore. Despite her marriage to Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi in 1969, she continued with her successful stint. It’s also said that she was the highest paid actress for a major part of the 70s. More recently, Sunny Leone joined films when she was already married and delivered successful films like Ragini MMS 2 and Jism 2. She is seen as one of the hottest actresses.
However, the critics argued that such examples of actresses are very rare. They argue how the careers of Kajol, Sridevi, Raveena Tandon, Sonali Bendre, Madhuri Dixit etc slowed down considerably after they got hitched. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, post marriage, has delivered just one hit in Bollywood – Jodhaa Akbar. Rest of her films has failed and she had a very small role in her last (hit) film, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Kajol meanwhile, after tying the knot, delivered huge hits like Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Fanaa and My Name Is Khan but since she hasn’t been consistent and regular in doing films, she’s not considered by the proponents of ‘married actress don’t work’ brigade. Kareena Kapoor Khan herself, after marriage, has appeared in successful films like Singham Returns, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Udta Punjab and Ki & Ka. But again, the success of these films was majorly attributed to other factors and not to Kareena’s presence.
But with Veere Di Wedding, all these people have been silenced and how! There’s no male actor in this all-female flick. It’s the presence of Kareena Kapoor Khan as well as Sonam K Ahuja that largely generated hype for this film, besides of course the interesting trailer and foot-tapping songs. Sonam recently got married just last month and it’s believed that tying the knot just 20 days before the release of Veere Di Wedding was done to enhance the film’s promotion! As per the perception, such a move could have been counter-productive but it didn’t! Sonam’s marriage didn’t put the film in jeopardy. In fact, the film got talked about more!
Besides Veere Di Wedding, this year also saw the release of Hichki, starring Rani Mukerji, who has been married since 4 years. The film didn’t seem as exciting at first. In fact, there were also reports that the film was postponed by a month so that the makers get more time to promote it well. The film didn’t have a good opening but the word of mouth was terrific. This helped this film to collect Rs. 46.21 crore at the box office, which was a feat! It had the monstrous hit Baaghi 2 as competition in Week 2 and yet, it sustained beautifully!
Besides the triumvirate of Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam K Ahuja, another married actress Anushka Sharma tried her luck at the box office this year with Pari. Unfortunately, the film didn’t work but that was because of the dark, violent theme and mixed word of mouth and her marriage didn’t cause any problems for the movie. Hence, it’s high time the myth about married actresses is thrown out of the window immediately. Sadly, that won’t happen immediately it seems. But sooner or later, it is bound to face its death. Deepika Padukone, arguably Bollywood’s most successful actress, might also marry this year and the way her career is going, it doesn’t seem like getting hitched will prove any roadblock. More power to such ladies!