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Friday, 9 November 2012

Top 10 Bollywood Actresses


10. Sushmita Sen
The only reason the most graceful stunner in Mumbai is so far down the list is that we never really get to see enough of her. She takes the sari to new heights in Main Hoon Na, then disappears from the marquee; she twirls around as the prettiest part of Kisna, and slinks into the shadows....Even as her Zindaggi Rocks readies for release, we just need to see a lot more of her.More images after the break...

9. Mallika Sherawat
Last year, if you'd tell an industry power-monger that Mallika Sherawat would slip this low down the list, he'd laugh in your face. But times they are a changing, and in the era of the cleavage-friendly music video, this statuesque woman isn't as special as she once was. Bit roles, item-dances, and movies with indie actors no one will watch -- Madame Mallika's still a headline, but she's fading fast.
8. Vidya Balan
She entranced audiences with her eyes in Parineeta, one of those film debuts that showed undoubted spark. And while she might not have done anything at all since then, the lass features in the one upcoming film whose trailer made the country break into a wider grin than anything else this year -- bole to, if she's good enough for Munna, she's good enough for us.
7. Bipasha Basu
Now this one's the exception -- abs as flat as a pricey Korean television, an indulgent grin, and acting skills. Bips initially captured our imaginations as a voluptuous temptress who could (barely, it must be said) pull off a swimsuit. Acting was not her thing at all, the girl being dubbed in almost every film.
6. Kareena Kapoor
She might not have delivered on the Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham potential and turned up as Bollywood's bonafide Number One yet, but Kareena seems to be doing her own thing, her way. She has a steady boyfriend (a Bollywood accomplishment of Herculean standards) in Shahid Kapoor, a bunch of hit films, and most top directors would kill to cast her in their next. And Omkara made each and every one of us fall in love with this fair girl trying to sing Stevie Wonder. Sigh.
5. Preity Zinta
In terms of visibility, Ms Z is down to almost one film a year. 2004 had Veer-Zaara (Lakshya doesn't count, does it), 2005 had Salaam Namaste (and a random disaster, you get the drift). This year, however has been good for Preity. She makes a blink-and-miss special appearance in the year's biggest film so far, Krrish, and while her screentime in Karan Johar's mammoth Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna might not be much more, she's one of the few to escape all the critical rants. And the upcoming Jaan-E-Man pits her with ever-hot hunks Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan.
4. Kajol
India almost wept when Kajol waved bye to Bollywood, prioritising her family with hubby Ajay Devgan. Madhuri Dixit's successor as the female film icon of India, Bollywood without Kajol was a depressing prospect. Five years on, and she comes back with Fanaa. An absurd film with a ridiculous plot, and a leading man looking older than ever. Ask the audience why they queued up for it, and the answer would be to see this woman smile. Kajol's back, and India's thrilled to bits.
3. Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya Rai transcends mere numbers. If you were to actually tally her last dozen films, and not count her item-song in Bunty Aur Babli, then you'd see that none of her films have made a profit since 2002's Devdas. But all that's unimportant in the flashbulb-friendly world of the red carpet, isn't it? Ash is all about the 'concept' of an actress, the idea of a pretty woman with an exotic, unheard-of accent working the cameras at Cannes. She's perfect, even without movies. And with Dhoom 2 barely 2 months away, she isn't going anywhere.

2. Priyanka Chopra
This 24-year-old girl is the copybook success story. She spent the requisite gym-hours, became Miss World and entered Bollywood. Where she actually slogged it out and earned herself the applause. She didn't start with big banners, but worked her way up, consistently getting herself noticed. Today, she's the pick of the glamour brigade, an extremely desirable pin-up babe who is a definite performer. And if you think Krrish sold her short, hold your horses for Don. This babe's here to stay.

1. Rani Mukerji

If there can be a point of unanimity during any banal Bollywood discussion about numbers and ranks -- in an industry that trades loyalties every Friday -- it is simply this: Rani rules. It's come to the point where everybody loves Rani. The film might be a painfully over-indulgent director tripping on shadows, but Rani is good. It might be exaggerated farce written very poorly indeed, but Rani is good. Be it a historical gone wrong or a melodramatic letdown, the truth is clear -- Rani is good. She's a director's actress, and she's worked very hard indeed to solidify her position. Today, Rani Mukerji is reason enough to stand in line to buy tickets for a film -- an amazing feat in an overwhelmingly male dominated industry. This year has already seen her in Karan Johar's KANK. Ravi Chopra's Baabul and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya are waiting in the wings.

Agree/Disagree with the Rediff Ranking? YOUR Top 10 list.

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