From Iruvar to Enthiran, here are some of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's most memorable roles
Aishwarya Rai is one of the most popular actresses and fashion figures across the globe
Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who is one of the most popular actresses and fashion figures across the globe, turned 48 on Monday. She became a well-known icon after she won the Miss World 1994 pageant.
We take a look at some of her most memorable films that helped establish her career in Tamil cinema:
Released in 1997, Iruvar is an award-winning political drama directed and produced by Mani Ratnam, and was inspired by the lives of actor-politicians MG Ramachandran, M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made her acting debut with this film, in which she played dual characters: one, a village belle named Pushpavalli who is Anand’s (Mohanlal’s) wife, and two, an actress named Kalpana who ends up having an affair with Anand after ‘Pushpavalli’ passes away. Needless to say, the film set an epic milestone for her career with her natural and convincing performance, leaving viewers wondering whether it truly was her debut.
Directed by Shankar, Jeans (1998) has Aishwarya taking up the role of a sweet, hopeless romantic named Madhumita, who falls hard for Vishwanathan (Prashanth). The movie revolves around the antics that Madhumitha and her family get involved in to convince Vishwanathan’s father Nachiappan about the couple’s marriage, since Nachiappan wants only twin brides for his two sons. So, Madhumita and her family make up a fake twin named Vaishnavi and end up scamming Nachiappan and his sons. Jeans became a huge hit with the Tamil audience due to its ensemble cast, wonderful compositions by AR Rahman, and several twists involving twin characters across the story.
One of the most noteworthy films of that era primarily due to its remarkable portrayal of women, Kandukonden Kandukonden (2000) is a romantic drama starring Ajith Kumar, Mammootty, Aishwarya, and Tabu. Directed by Rajiv Menon, the movie shows Sowmya (Tabu), Meenakshi (Aishwarya Rai) and their mother (Srividya) as independent, strong-minded women who are leading their lives in a self-sustaining manner and braving one issue after another with grit. We see Meenakshi as a carefree, happy-go-lucky woman and an unapologetic romantic who is interested in arts and literature.
Kandukonden Kandukonden is still remembered to this day for its poignant compositions by AR Rahman.
As the name suggests, this movie, which is based on the Ramayana, features Prithiviraj Sukumaran as inspector Dev, whose team assaults tribal outlaw Veeraiya’s (Vikram’s) sister, with the latter responding by kidnapping Dev’s wife Ragini (Aishwarya). What follows is Ragini’s initial attempts to escape from Veeraiya while Dev tackles several issues to find her again. Aishwarya’s convincing and persuasive portrayal of a woman with a fiery disposition — who initially despises Veeraiya but later (almost) develops a kind of Stockholm Syndrome — combined with its technical brilliance and amazing music, makes for a great watch.
A mega-budget blockbuster by Shankar, Enthiran (2010) is a science fiction-cum-action film starring Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Santhanam. The movie is about a brilliant scientist who creates a unique humanoid robot named Chitti to protect mankind, but ends up facing massive trouble when things go awry due to inner turmoil. We see Aishwarya Rai playing the role of Vaseegaran’s (Rajini’s) girlfriend, who becomes friendly with Chitti and takes him with her for everything that’s part of her daily routine — exams, her sister’s pregnancy and even handling thugs. This results in Chitti falling for Sana, followed by more issues that snowball from here.
On the upcoming movies front, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will be seen next in Ponniyin Selvan, Mani Ratnam's magnum opus.