Deepika Padukone Facing Typecasting In Roles; Urgent Need for A Paradigm Shift Before Opportunities Diminish

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Deepika Padukone

What immediately comes to mind when revisiting Gehraiyaan (2022), Pathaan (2023), and Fighter (2024) concerning Deepika Padukone? It’s the prominence of elements like bikinis, intimate scenes, suggestive visuals, and strategic camera angles highlighting her physique.

This observation is made with full respect for her talent and overall body of work. However, the notable distinction among these three movies seems to be the different hues of her bikini and the duration of intimate scenes.

 

Over a decade ago, Deepika Padukone ascended to the status of a bona fide superstar. The pivotal moment arrived with “Cocktail” (2012), a film that allowed her to showcase her prowess as a formidable performer. In the subsequent year, 2013, she made history by starring in four films, all of which surpassed the Rs. 100 crore mark. Notably, “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani,” “Chennai Express,” and “Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela” emerged as blockbuster hits, affirming her stature as a talented actress with enduring popularity.

She continued her success streak with impactful roles in subsequent hit films like “Happy New Year” (2014), “Piku” (2015), “Bajirao Mastani” (2015), and “Padmaavat” (2018). The anticipation was high for “Chhapaak” (2020) given her star power, but unfortunately, the film failed to leave a lasting impact and didn’t perform as expected at the box office. Following this, she took a three-year hiatus from the big screen. During this period, she appeared in the web film “Gehraiyaan,” where, despite delivering a commendable performance, the film is often remembered more for its explicit content today.

 

362 seconds of talkie portions in Pathaan

Despite enhancing the anticipation surrounding “Pathaan,” Deepika Padukone’s involvement mainly contributes to the film’s buzz through steamy scenes rather than her acting prowess.

Surprisingly, an industry insider, speaking anonymously, revealed, “Believe it or not, in the 2 hours and 28 minutes long ‘Pathaan,’

Deepika Padukone’s speaking parts amounted to only 362 seconds! One might not realize she’s present for most of the film. But why is she given so few dialogues, and why does she seem content with it?”

The issue persists in “Fighter” as well. The insider commented, “Her character in Fighter has been given importance and at the same time, it also gets a raw deal.

The Ashutosh Rana-Hrithik Roshan scene at the airport is aimed to highlight Minni (Deepika Padukone). But she isn’t there in that scene. Even when her parents come to mend bridges, she’s only crying and hardly has any lines. In the climax too, her contribution is minimal compared to that of Hrithik Roshan or even Karan Singh Grover.”

The source further commented, “She has a lot more to do than many other actresses who often end up being mere accessories in such films. Yet, she is THE Deepika Padukone. We have witnessed her outshining everyone, and the audience wants to see her recreate that magic once again.”

While some argue that the lack of well-written roles for women limits their impact, this argument is challenged by Alia Bhatt’s approach. She has embraced her sensual side in recent films but has also set boundaries, ensuring that her performance becomes the focal point.

A prime example is “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani,” where she is remembered not just for intimate scenes and stylish attire but also for her powerful and compelling portrayal.

 

Refusal of offers and losing out on good projects

This is what a trade expert remarked, “She needs to stay in the competition. Turning down too many offers and taking breaks is a significant drawback in this profession. You don’t plan your retirement; the people around you plan it. If you reject offers from 2-3 prominent directors, it creates a perception that the actress is not keen on working. Rumors may circulate that ‘she has a lot of tantrums.’ Eventually, the offers diminish. This happened with Preity Zinta, Urmila Matondkar, and others.”

He further remarked, “There are very few filmmakers who create performance-oriented films. Currently, the emphasis is more on commercial cinema. If you look at the biggest hits from last year, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is the only director who showcases performances in all their glory with heroines while still delivering a commercially successful film.”

He went on to say, “In the past, directors like Gulzar saab used to craft films that were female-centric and resonated with the audience. However, there are hardly any directors like that nowadays. Moreover, to play it safe, such projects are often made for the web.”

 

In support of Deepika Padukone

Trade veteran Taran Adarsh defended the actress, stating, “The role in ‘Pathaan‘ required a certain depiction. In a crucial scene, her character attempts to attract Pathaan’s attention to lure him to the lair of the antagonist. In such a context, a full dress wouldn’t be appropriate. On the other hand, in her debut film ‘Om Shanti Om’ (2007), she dressed accordingly.

Each film demands a different appearance, styling, and wardrobe. I acknowledge that there was a display of skin in ‘Gehraiyaan,’ but it was more of a performance-oriented film. In ‘Chhapaak,’ she was completely de-glam. So, it all depends on the role and the director’s vision.”

Taran Adarsh added, “I can’t picture ‘Fighter’ without Deepika. She is an integral part of it. She played a pivotal role in ‘Pathaan‘ as well. During her low phase, people were quick to write her off, but look at the way she has bounced back.”

 

Can Deepika Sustain the Top  Slot?

Taran Adarsh added, “I can’t picture ‘Fighter’ without Deepika. She is an integral part of it. She played a pivotal role in ‘Pathaan‘ as well. During her low phase, people were quick to write her off, but look at the way she has bounced back.”

Undoubtedly, times have evolved, and Deepika Padukone enjoys advantages that her predecessors didn’t. However, to endure at the pinnacle, she must reshape her choices to maintain popularity while ensuring her performances are noteworthy.

Deepika requires a paradigm shift before time slips away. As she aptly stated in “Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela” – “Jigar pe mat ja…trigger daba dungi” (Don’t go to the heart, I might pull the trigger). She needs to exhibit the courage and take action to make that paradigm shift with her upcoming choices.

Fortunately, her upcoming films span different genres like “Kalki 2898 AD,” “Singham Again,” and the remake of “The Intern,” offering her the opportunity to showcase her acting prowess.

It’s time for her to embody he spirit of Lady Singham in real life and soar high once again!

 

 

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