On Kareena Kapoor’s Birthday Today: 5 Of Her Unconventional Characters We Love
On Kareena Kapoor’s birthday today, let’s recall some groundbreaking roles played by her, imprinted in our collective memory because of their out-of-the-box nature, resisting the predominant female stereotypes. These are the ‘grey’ characters that she’s repeatedly expressed her appreciation of.
- Ki and Ka (2016)
Kapoor plays the female lead in this romantic comedy, following a young married couple as she adopts the role of the breadwinner and Rajit Kapoor plays the househusband. This movie aims to normalise these unconventional gender roles, showing that a woman doesn’t need to reign in her ambition to have a successful marriage.
It’s a rocky journey though since the couple struggles with society’s knee-jerk fearful and judgmental response to their dynamic. Kapoor’s prowess lies in the way she expresses the psychological responses to her house-husband coincidentally getting more recognition because of his progressiveness- the jealousy and indignation felt by her as her hard-earned success is sidelined is complexly interwoven into her performance.
- Veere Di Wedding (2018)
Sisterhood sticks through thick and thin- that’s the central message of this movie, in which four female friends have reunited at Kalindi’s (played by Kareena Kapoor) wedding, and take refuge in each other’s honesty and unconditional support. Kapoor plays the role of a woman intimidated by her fiance’s family’s typical Indian liveliness since she can’t relate to it.
Belonging to a dysfunctional family, she is very hesitant about her upcoming wedding- this role acknowledges that not all women are excited about their wedding, and can have messy pasts of their own. Women can have psychological baggage, and society’s rigid expectations of the way they are supposed to feel and behave at a wedding unnecessarily pressurise them.
- Talaash (2012)
A psychological horror film, Kapoor plays the role of an escort who appears as a ghost to the main lead Surjaan, a policeman played by Aamir Khan. Its not surprising for actresses to play the much-common role of escorts, but this particular escort’s characterization was atypical, and in direct opposition to the stereotypes attached to them.
Rosie, played by Kareena Kapoor, provided emotional support to the much-troubled Surjaan, still grieving from his son’s death in a drowning accident. Her body is of no consequence, but rather her experience of harsh realities gives her an insightful wisdom which is appreciated. Her life as an escort makes her more empathetic, gently guiding the audience to see beyond their internalized stereotypes.
- 3 Idiots (2009)
We aren’t strangers to 3 Idiots, and have laughed numerous times at the antics of the three friends as they try to navigate through the social pressures of the Indian education system at their engineering college. Kapoor plays the role of Pia, the authoritarian professor’s daughter, showcasing the differing value systems within the same household.
She plays the love interest of Ranchoo (Aamir Khan) whose love of learning defies the stringent grading system of the college. Her character is that of an independent woman who was socialized into the same values embodied by her hardened father but trusts herself to widen her scope and take daring risks like running off from her own wedding because of her belief in Ranchoo.
- Udta Punjab (2016)
A 2016 black comedy crime film highlighting the way the drug abuse by the youth in Punjab is institutionalized, Kapoor plays the role of Preet Sahni, a doctor and activist running a rehabilitation center. Her character embodies the determination to help the drug addicts, despite being a female in the man’s world.
She partners up with one of the local policemen, and plays an integral role in uncovering the drug ring, putting her life at risk. Her character is empathic and dexterous in dealing with the patients who don’t want to get better, extending a complex mixture of understanding and firmness towards them.