She ruled box office for almost a decade, delivering a mix of both masala and offbeat films.
Yes, we're talking about Rani Mukerji, the Khandala girl who turned 'Black' for a purpose. Her 'Talaash' for performance-oriented films continue with YRF's next Mardaani where she plays a tough cop. On her 36th birthday on Friday, here's listing her five best woman-oriented films.
1 Black (2005): Rani went completely de-glam for her role as a blind and deaf girl in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black. While critics had mixed opinion on the film, Rani's performance got appreciation from all quarters. Till date this is one of her most memorable roles. No wonder, the film went on to win National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi (2006).
2 Paheli (2005): Playing a village belle came naturally to her in Amol Palekar's Paheli, opposite Shah Rukh Khan. She romanced her lover ghost Shah Rukh Khan in the film with aplomb. "Rani proves yet again why she's the rani (Queen) today! The actor, who has already proved her mettle in two diametrically opposite films this year (Black, Bunty Aur Babli), delivers yet another performance that is sure to dominate the next year's award ceremonies as well," wrote Taran Adarsh in his review of Paheli.
3 Dil Bole Hadippa (2009): Rani Mukerji nailed it as she masquerades as a sardar boy to enter a cricket team. Her spontaneity and charm is what makes the otherwise average film worthwhile.
4 No One Killed Jessica (2011): She celebrates woman power in this one, as she swears and sings along as she fights. Based on Jessica Lall murder case, Rani Mukerji plays a fiery and free-spirited journalist Meera.
5 Aiyyaa (2012): Sometimes films die down, but performances live on. This was the case with Aiyyaa, where Rani Mukerji plays a middle-class Maharashtrian girl who falls in love with a Tamillian. "Rani is delightful as a woman in heat. She expertly manages to be both a simpleton and a seductress. She looks stunning and dances like a dervish. But the film can't match her performance," wrote Anupama Chopra her review for Hindustan Times.