DONE… DEAL … Deepika
Submitted by starblockbuster on Sat, 2013-12-14 04:18
First Chennai Express hit the Rs200-crore mark and now Ram-Leela enters the Rs100-crore club! Guess who’s grinning from ear to ear? Deepika Padukone, of course. Her box-office pull has doubled and endorsements are shooting through the roof. Trade analysts are calling her the fourth Khan. Here is a look at Brand Deepika.
|By Ankita Chaurasia
Wide-eyed, bubbly and entirely in awe of the world she was being welcomed in, Om Shanti Om’s Sandhya was pretty much Deepika Padukone’s Alice-in-wonderland tale. She was snatched away from the ramp and planted on the sets of a film, a SRK-starrer, nonetheless. However, unlike Sandy, Deepika didn’t stumble even once, sweeping the Award for Best Female Debut in 2008. And, there has been no looking back.
In an industry where name sells and actors are paid on the basis of their box-office standing, Deepika has emerged as the game-changer. Not only has she managed to surpass the asking price of the leading men, but has also justified it with her ability to drive the film on her own gumption.
Says trade analyst Amod Mehra, “Deepika has asserted her position in the industry and has made it very apparent that she is here to stay.” Apart from Vidya Balan, few actresses have been able to make a mark in a male-dominated industry. The trade is sitting up and taking notice.
Most are crediting her entirely for the success of Ram-Leela. Mehra further claims, “Deepika, according to me, is the fourth Khan and if you ask me, the success of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goilyon Ki Raasleela – Ram-Leela, worked only due to her scintillating presence.”
Harsh Jain, distributor Sanman group, seconds Mehra’s stand and asserts, “More than half of Ram-Leela belonged to the graceful and rebellious Leela, whether she was being unashamedly lustful or unabashedly fiesty, she managed to nail the role and drive the film to box-office success.”
DP has also managed to always be in the good books of the producers she has worked with. Right from Red Chillies Entertainment, Yash Raj Films, Illuminati Films, Excel Entertainment to PVR Pictures, TIPS Films, Disney-UTV and Dharma Productions, she has wowed them all.
As Aashish Singh, Vice President, Production, YRF Films, puts it, “Deepika has only got better with each film and I am sure she will achieve a lot more in the future.”
Working with Deepika has also proved to be a financially safe bet for these production houses. When you have a strong heroine, you can bank on her popularity to drive the film. Apoorva Mehta, CEO, Dharma Productions, exults, “Deepika has, over the last two years, risen from strength-to-strength. Her dazzling performances, playing diverse characters in a such a short career span, shows that she is poised only for super stardom.”
In a way, life has come full circle for Deepika. After her debut in Om Shanti Om, Deepy will again act opposite SRK under Farah Khan’s direction for Happy New Year. “I am extremely happy at the way she has made her career decisions, it is not everyday that you find an actor, who looks good and has her head on her shoulders,” she enthuses.
Aashish Singh, who has worked with the actress in films like Bachna Ae Haseeno and Lafangey Parindey, is all praise for the actress’ prowess in every role she has been assigned. “Deepika’s meteroric climb over the years has been due to her choice of roles and films. She is a complete actor in all aspects whether it is looks, grace, acting skills and dance,” he muses.
It is this advantage of being a complete package that has probably helped Brand Deepika grow. She is as at home being a girl-next-door as she is being a fashionista.
Apoorva Mehta of Dharma sums up, “She has displayed tremendous versatility in all her character portrayals – whether as a modern outspoken girl in Cocktail or the quintessential dutiful daughter in Chennai Express, the urban girl in Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani or the sexy, fiery village girl of Ram-Leela.”
A joy to work with
Deepika also has quite a favourable reputation with her co-stars. Shreyas Talpade, her co-star in her debut film, OSO, adores the actress. “Deepika was the new girl on the sets of Om Shanti Om and we all took turns to introduce her to the various aspects of filmmaking. She is a quick learner and grasps concepts with ease. She can also be quite mischievious!”
Her co-star in Ram-Leela, Gulshan Devaiah, continues the adulation. “Deepika is a very professional and hard working actress. She has a very positive vibe about her and it’s impossible to not like her. The best thing I like about her is that she does not over-do things. She is intelligent enough to understand where she needs to cut some slack and where she needs to draw the line. She does this effortlessly too.”
Deepika has been in the limelight ever since her coveted debut and expectedly controversies and link-ups have followed. However, the actress made no bones about the fact that she was dating her Bachna Ae Haseeno co-star Ranbir Kapoor and never shied away from endorsing his tattoo.
She also handled the break-up as gracefully barring the tongue-in-cheek remarks she made on the Koffee With Karan couch. But, when asked to do a film opposite her ex, she happily agreed.
“I think Deepika has been smart enough to not let her personal and private lives intersect each other at any point,” observes Harsh Jain. “She has been careful and avoided doing anything remotely controversial in her career,” he says.
Deepi also has the reputation of being a media-friendly actor. “At a time when celebs shy away from giving interviews and take on duels with journos, Deepika has made friends with the fourth estate and this will always come in handy for her,” asserts Jain.
Deepika has not only been drawing in the crowds at the ticket windows but also managed to sell products she endorses. According to Anirban Das Blah, MD, CAA KWAN, what makes Deepika a complete package is her Indian looks, middle-class upbringing and the relatibility she brings to a product. He elaborates, “She is the epitome of beauty, poise and level-headedness. After Sridevi and Madhuri, she is the only actress who has managed to carve a niche for herself as a critically acclaimed actor and not just eye-candy. That helps her credibility as a brand ambassador.”
Swarnim Bharadwaj, Sr. Brand Manager of Lux, the brand DP recently became a face of, says, “Deepika is the epitome of the Lux woman and embodies all the qualities that the brand stands for. She’s glamorous yet alluring, stunningly beautiful yet subtly sensuous and fits the brand perfectly.”
|DECODING BRAND D
If you go by her filmography, you can tell that Deepika Padukone is definitely not scared of taking risks. Some risks have paid off; some haven’t. Here’s a look at Deepi’s gambles
Om Shanti Om
Deepika made her grand entry into films with Farah Khan’s big blockbuster opposite Shah Rukh Khan. This film, and particularly Deepika, came to be in the middle of a controversy because it was slated to release on the same day as Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s directorial venture and Sonam’s debut Saawariya. Although the whole industry kept comparing the two debutantes, Deepika maiden voyage with SRK worked in her favour as the film worked at the BO and led to more interesting projects.
Love Aaj Kal
Although interesting roles, her work in Chandni Chowk to China and Bachna Ae Haseeno went totally unnoticed. It was Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal that again brought Deepika into the spotlight. The film about an unconventional, open long distance romance firmly slotted this smart actress as a New Age woman.
But this industry runs on numbers. And so Deepika showed the numbers too. It was Deepika’s totally extreme character in this love triangle that started to put her firmly in the top slot. Films like Race 2 and Yeh Jawaani Yeh Deewani have also consildated her box office status.
Goliyon Ki Raasleela – Ram Leela
Although Chennai Express has planted her in the ` 200 crore setting, the real clincher has been Ram-Leela. This Sanjay Leela Bhansali love saga has transformed Deepika into a matinee queen, able to command an opening on her own merit.
Chandni Chowk to China
A high budget with the best talent behind it, alongwith a superstar like Akshay Kumar, and a meaty double role for a newcomer – In theory, this was a great career decision, fresh after her much-talked about debut. It was all in Deepika’s favour. However, the film tanked at the BO.
Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey
Another ambitious film, Ashutosh Gowariker’s magnum opus on the Chittagong Conspiracy – it was an intelligent move to have chosen this film; however, this historical film failed to make the mark.
Lafangey Parindey 2010
Another biggie director, another unconventional role, that of a blind woman. This project had a lot of scope for performance. However this film too didn’t quite click with the masses.
In her brand kitty