If you are Indian, and have a heartbeat, regardless of whether you religiously follow Bollywood releases or gossip, you must have heard of Kangana Ranaut. She has been in the news for a while, a few years even. Sometimes it’s for the right reasons like her performances, but lately it’s her controversial personal opinions on anything and everything under the sun. Just a few years ago, Kangana could do no wrong. Recently, that has changed, and we at Twisted Tiara decided to explore what we love and hate about her.
Just a Small Town Girl…
From a teenage runaway to Indian cinema’s rare find, her story is the quintessential rags-to-riches story. Kangana takes immense pride in her origin story: a girl from a small town in Himachal Pradesh who made it despite all odds. Her family was extremely orthodox and patriarchal. She often questioned why her brother and her had different rules, and this ignited a rebellious streak in her. Her entire family looked down on modelling, let alone acting and dancing. Even so, nothing stopped her from pursuing her dream, and pursue she did!
During her early career, she lost projects because of her inability to speak fluent English. However, she remained resolute and continued working without being influenced by the critics and naysayers. This must have taken immense courage and a really thick skin. Today, we have seen a marked improvement in her language skills and dialogue delivery. This, no doubt, is a reflection of her strong work ethic.
Making Her Own Space
From her debut in Gangster, to her brief but poignant performance in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion, Kangana has been bold in her choice of roles. Her crowning glory in her career so far is her character Rani in Vikas Bahl’s Queen. She has chosen roles with more substance than where she might be mere ‘set-dressing’. Her knack of doing unconventional female characters who are struggling with alcoholism, substance abuse or mental issues, has won her a lot of critical acclaim and fanhood. Her portrayal of these imperfect women has also helped showcase to the audiences that women are not made in the oh-so-perfect moulds that Bollywood otherwise typecasts for its female protagonists.
Speaking Her Own Truth
We ultimately fell heads over heels in for her, especially when she launched her attack on the N-word in the industry. With the continual launch of ‘starkids on the block’, it is undeniable that truly talented actors rarely get similar opportunities to showcase their talent. Kangana has struggled to be get where she is, and is one of the few “industry outsiders” to have navigated so far. Furthermore, she wasn’t concerned with people pleasing and we liked her a bit more when she openly named the nepotism flag bearer, KJo, without regard for her future endeavours with India’s largest production house. She didn’t mince her words or beat around the bush; she went straight to the point and called him out. We appreciate that.
Like her career, Kangana’s personal life is also a sin/cos graph with peaks and troughs. We all sympathised with her when news of her affair with Aditya Pancholi was finally confirmed. We credited Kangana for being brave and a survivor when she walked out of and away from her abusive relationship with a much senior Pancholi. She has always been candid about her relationships, and although, we are still not quite convinced with the versions which served as to what allegedly happened between Kangana and Hrithik, her fans remained faithful, loyal and supportive. It has only been recently that her fans have been quick to abandon post, with reports of her rude behaviour. Has all the love, appreciation and success she has received gone to her head and made it too big for her crown?
Who will have the last tweet?
Rangoli’s controversial tweet history has been hot news in the Industry. She picks a fight with any and everyone, and this could be because her protective sister does nothing to correct this vile behaviour. But, for all intents and purposes, it seems to the Twitterati that Rangoli has been acting as the mouth piece for Kangana Ranaut. Not to mention, the few appearances she has made on her sister’s twitter feed, recording special videos for her audience. Rangoli’s Twitter feed is far from good taste, from dissing ex-director of Manikarnika, Krish, to taking cheap shots and arrogant quips at Alia, Deepika and Tapsee, it’s all there. It is one thing to appreciate or criticise colleagues on twitter and use it as a forum to connect with your community. It is entirely another, to use it as a platform to air someone’s personal laundry online with a million fans watching, just because you’re tired of them. Check out some of her tweets here:
To use Kangana’s own logic, if she had a problem with the tweets Rangoli made, she would have said something right? If not on twitter then in personal life? Either way, the result should have been that this vicious, malintent and misguided tweets for attention from Rangoli would have stopped. We are all for out-spoken, bold women claiming space and speaking out against contemporary issues, but this bitter hate-fest on twitter is just not a good colour on any public figure. Her silence could be read as her willing participation in the tweets. Over to you Kangana…
Fall from Grace
We are all for speaking your mind, but at the cost of others? Not so much. Bringing everyone down and constantly victimising yourself isn’t how feminism works. And you can’t be a feminist only when it suits you. Kangana didn’t sign Deepika’s Padmavat petition, and she is constantly dragging other actresses through the mud. Is this the feminism we need?
From someone we once thought to be an icon, to someone we are now trying to distance ourselves from, Kangana has taken a hard fall from grace. Her attitude and brawl with the media, who have been her support throughout her career was surprising. There is a difference between maintaining privacy and being rude and obnoxious. Calling people anti-national because they had the audacity to counter your views, is neither very woke, nor polite. The term ‘anti-national’ must not be used casually to quash dissent, and should not form a part of our daily vernacular.
Kangana’s last few movies have been marred with controversy, thanks to her outspoken nature and haven’t performed as well at the box office either. Manikarnika and Judgemental Hai Kya are prime examples. We understand that it must have been frustrating, but failure isn’t a conspiracy. Kangana needs to grow up, accept responsibility for the losses, collect herself gracefully, and move on. Alienating fellow artists with vicious tweets and uncorroborated allegations in an already lonely industry (by her accounts) is not wise and is not the entertainment the audiences are after. Speak your truth, but let it not be lies.