Happy birthday, Deepika Padukone! Here's a list of her top 10 films

Happy birthday, Deepika Padukone! Here's a list of her top 10 films

Deepika Padukone, one of the most prolific personalities in the Indian film industry, turns 32 on this day. To this, let us look back at some of Deepika's earliest and finest performances:

1. Aishwarya

It is probably a lesser-known fact that Deepika started her film career with a Kannada film. The only thing that could be more surprising than one learning that would be that she starred alongside Upendra himself in Aishwariya, an adaptation of the Telugu film Manmadhudu, directed by Indrajit Lankesh. The film was a massive commercial success for its time, largely bolstered by Upendra's popularity in the BKT region of Karnataka.

2. Om Shanti Om

If one was to say that Om Shanti Om was the film that skyrocketed Deepika Padukone's popularity, there would be little dispute. Starring alongside film veteran Shah Rukh Khan among a host of high-profile Bollywood faces, the reincarnation melodrama took Deepika into the A-list of Bollywood with its sheer popularity. The film was one of the biggest Bollywood releases worldwide in its time, with over 2000 prints distributed worldwide for screening.

3. Love Aaj Kal

A rather unusual fare for romance films which is second nature to Bollywood, the film saw its lead actors, Deepika and Saif Ali Khan playing an already in-a-relation couple, who break up to pursue their careers. The film was given a moderately warm reception and opened to a respectable box office reception.

4. Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey

Deepika got to expand her acting chops yet again in Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, a period film directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar of 'Lagaan' and 'Swades. Based on the book Do And Die, a non-fiction historical book on the Chittagong uprising against the British Raj, the film saw Deepika share the screen with Abhishek Bachchan.

The film was met with warm critical reception, with critics praising Deepika's performance. Unfortunately, the film was a box office disaster, barely managing to make back 10% of its budget.

5. Aarakshan

2011 saw Deepika Padukone tackle another new genre in socio-political drama. Aarakshan, directed by Prakash Jha, attempted to tackle the touchy issue of caste-based reservation currently in effect in various jobs and educational institutions in India.

The film garnered mixed reviews, much like the reservation system, and only barely managed to make its budget back.

6. Chennai Express

Deepika somewhat returned to her South roots in this rom-com by Rohit Shetty, which saw her once again share the screen with Shah Rukh Khan, who plays an average fellow from Mumbai who falls in love with her character, who happens to the daughter of a local don from Chennai.

The film received mixed reviews but took the crown of the highest-earning Bollywood film from 3 Idiots, which it held for a few months.

7. Kochadaiiyaan

Deepika Padukone's first time co-starring with Superstar Rajinikanth also was her first go at an animated film in Kochadaiiyaan, directed by Soundarya R. Ashwin. The film, whose narrative revolves around a revenge plot, saw Rajinikanth take on a triple role and was India's first fully-animated feature presentation.

The film was a box office success but had an overall mixed-to-positive reception.

8. Piku

Once again sharing the screen with Amitabh Bachchan, Piku had Deepika take the center stage in a comedy-drama, where she played the role of an architect, and Bachchan her eccentric, constipated father.

The film was a critical success, with critics praising the heart and simplicity of the film and the humor, and was also a box office success.

9. Bajirao Mastani

Little needs to be said of Bajirao Mastani, which garnered much publicity before release for its sheer scale and grandeur, with the titular characters, played by Ranveer Singh and Deepika herself, rose to a significant challenge in being equal to the film's ambition. Following the tales of Bajirao Peshwa and Mastani, the film garnered numerous national film awards and casually broke both the budget and box office records.

10. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

The first Hollywood film of Deepika Padukone saw Deepika share the screen with some high-profile Hollywood actors in Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Samuel L. Jackson and Tony Jaa in the high-stakes action film.

The film opened to weak reviews but was a significant commercial success.

11. Padmavati

Currently in limbo, Padmavati (which is expected to be retitled Padmavat) is an adaptation of the epic poem Padmavat by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi, the film will see Deepika Padukone play the titular character, with Shahid Kapoor playing the role of Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh playing the role of Sultan Alauddin Khilji. The film is expected to release sometime this year, despite ongoing protests against it.

(compiled by Varun HK)
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