Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kareena Kapoor

Kareena Kapoor

Kareena Kapoor is an Indian film actress appearing in Bollywood films. Born into the Kapoor film family, she made her acting debut with Refugee, for which she won a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award. In 2001, Kapoor received her first commercial success with her second release, Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai and later appeared in Karan Johar's melodrama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, which became India's top-grossing film in the overseas market that year and her biggest commercial success to date.

After receiving negative reviews due to a series of unsuccessful films and repetitive roles between 2002 and 2003, Kapoor accepted more demanding parts to avoid being typecast. Her portrayal of a sex worker in Chameli (2004) proved to be the turning point in her career and garnered her the Filmfare Special Performance Award.She later received two Critics Awards for Best Actress at the Filmfare ceremony for her performances in the critically acclaimed Dev (2004) and Omkara (2006). After taking on such a range of acting roles between 2004 and 2006, she was recognized for displaying versatility as an actress.

In 2007, Kapoor earned a Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance in the commercially successful comedy-romance Jab We Met. Although the box office earnings of her films have varied considerably, Kapoor has established herself as one of the leading contemporary actresses in the Hindi film industry.

Born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India into the Kapoor film family of Punjabi origin, Kapoor is the youngest daughter of actors Randhir Kapoor and Babita. According to Kapoor, her first name was derived from the book Anna Karenina.She is the granddaughter of actor and filmmaker Raj Kapoor and the great granddaughter of Prithviraj Kapoor. Bebo, as she is fondly called, is also the sister of actress Karisma Kapoor and the niece of actor Rishi Kapoor.

Despite being born into a successful acting family, her father insisted that she marry early according to Indian tradition and avoid acting.In an interview with Encyclopedia Britannica, he stated that the problem was not women acting itself, given that both he and his brother married well-known actresses as did their uncles. Rather, his concerns arose from the purported incompatibility between acting and the maternal duties and responsibility of women in the family.This led to irreconcilable differences between her parents and resulted in her mother leaving the house along with Kapoor and her older sister.She was raised by her mother, who, with difficulty, worked several jobs to support the family, until Karisma began work as an actress in 1991.

Kapoor was educated at Jamnabai Narsee School in Mumbai, and later Welham Girls Boarding School in Dehradun. After studying commerce at Mithibai College, Vile Parle for two years, she embarked upon a three-month summer course in microcomputers at Harvard University.She later developed an interest in law and enrolled at the Government's Law College in Churchgate.After completing one year there, she returned to her initial plan to become an actress and commenced training under Kishore Namit Kapoor's Acting Institute.

Kapoor was initially scheduled to make her debut in Rakesh Roshan's Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000), opposite his son, Hrithik Roshan.However, several days into the filming, she abandoned the project and later explained that, "It was probably destined that I was not to be in the film. After all, it was a launch for his son. The whole focus was on the boy. Now I am glad I did not do the movie.

After turning down Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, Kapoor made her acting debut later that same year in J.P. Dutta's war drama Refugee, opposite Abhishek Bachchan. Set during the Indo-Pakistani conflicts, the film centers on a young man known simply as Refugee (played by Bachchan) who illegally transports civilians back and forth across the Pakistan border. Kapoor portrayed the role of Naaz, a Bangladeshi girl who falls in love with him while migrating to Pakistan. Her performance was acclaimed by critics; Taran Adarsh of indiaFM wrote, "Kareena Kapoor has a magnetic personality, which will make the viewer fall in love with her instantly. What surprises you is the ease with which she emotes the most difficult of scenes .There's no denying the fact that she is a natural performer who is very camera friendly.Kapoor's performance earned her the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award, and Refugee went on to become the fifth-highest grossing film of the year.

In 2001, Kapoor starred opposite Tusshar Kapoor in Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai, a romantic drama film directed by Satish Kaushik. Revolving around the story about a troubled young man who falls in love with Pooja, played by Kareena, the film went on to become one of the highest earners of the year.However, subsequent releases such as Yaadein and Ajnabee that followed for Kapoor did indifferent business at the box office.

Later that year, she starred in Santosh Sivan's period epic Asoka, a partly fictionalized account of the life of Ashoka the Great (304 BC–232 BC), one of the noted Indian emperors of the Maurya Empire. Featured opposite Shahrukh Khan who took centre stage as Ashoka, Kapoor portrayed the character of Kaurwaki, a princess of Kalinga with whom Ashoka falls deeply in love. While the film received generally positive reviews, Kapoor's acting performance received a mixed reaction from some critics, with some believing her contribution to the film was primarily for aesthetic purposes. A review on Rediff.com said about her performance, "Kareena flashes a lot of skin and fills up the screen for a large portion of the first half. While a large portion of the first half is focused on the emerging romance between the runaway prince and herself and to their credit they do manage to whip up some on-screen chemistry, I am still unsure as to her acting abilities".Nonetheless, her performance was praised by some critics and earned her a first nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare Awards.

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