Birthday girl Sonam Kapoor is the quintessential ‘IT’ girl of Bollywood. She has been hailed as a fashion icon ever since her debut in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s 2007 drama Saawariya opposite Ranbir Kapoor, and she herself has never shied away from accepting the title, and at times, even comment on others’ styling.
However, her association with fashion has become so strong that more often than not her acting prowess is undermined by her styling and fashion choices. So, to celebrate the actress turning a year older and wiser, here’s a look at five career-defining performances by Sonam that proved that she was much more than just a pretty face.
The setting, the storyline and the actress of choice didn’t leave much to the imagination of the audience on how this film will turn out to be. Everyone expected Sonam to look good in the film but there was hardly any expectation of any amazing histrionics. This was the first film where Sonam was getting to go all-out glam and it was being produced by her sister Rhea Kapoor and father Anil Kapoor. So, it was already all written in the stars. But the way Sonam owned her titular character in the film showed that a film high on styling and branded clothes, can offer up some notable performances. Sonam emerged as a surprise acting package in the film, along with her aplomb styling. She wasn’t always the style queen on screen, but Aisha is where it all started.
After having done films like Mausam, Thank You and Players after Aisha, expectations were lower from Sonam. But the actress bounced back with this Aanand L Rai-directorial and how. Her portrayal of a confident Banaras girl who is consumed by her anger towards her childhood love, who she blames for her fiancé’s murder, shocked everyone. The authenticity in her portrayal made everyone took note of her acting capabilities, beyond her looks. It even fetched Sonam her first nomination in the Filmfare Best Actress category.
When it was announced that Disney was adapting Rekha’s 1980 comedy Khoobsurat in the modern time with Sonam Kapoor in the lead, there were a lot of sceptics around. No one even thought that it would be possible to match Rekha’s Filmfare winning performance in the film, but what did excite the audience was the introduction of Fawad Khan to Hindi cinema. After proving her skills in drama with Raanjhana, in Khoobsurat Sonam proved that she possessed versatility too as she essayed the role of jovial and full of life physiotherapist Mili Chakravarty. Her sizzling chemistry with Fawad was just some cherry on the cake.
Whenever Sonam Kapoor will be discussed, Neerja would always be the first film to come next to her name. Even after performances like she gave in films like Aisha, Raanjhana, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag or Khoobsurat, there were still some people who couldn’t believe in in Sonam’s acting capabilities. But Neerja shattered all those apprehensions. Sonam’ portrayal of the real-life Ashoka Chakra awardee and Indian head purser Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life to save passengers on a hijacked flight, touched every heart. This film established her position in the industry and showed that she was a force to be reckoned with. It also earned her a National Award for her portrayal.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga (2019)
This might not be as big of a critical or commercial success like the others in the list, or even that impactful in Sonam’s filmography. But it was still a very bold choice on the actress’ part. Never before Sonam, had an A-lister actress portrayed a homosexual character on screen, but she took that plunge. Surely, the film dealt more with the impact on the father-daughter relationship in light of the truth of her sexual orientation, and it wasn’t a critical or commercial success as such, but what it did was that it made it okay for leading actresses to say yes to roles that require representation. Sonam took this step so that others can do it too.
Image source: SpotboyE archives, IMDb, Wikipedia
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