Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's 'Fanney Khan' is a Flop; Does She Need to Re-look Her Roles?

Despite boasting of a stellar cast and good reviews, Fanney Khan performed poorly at the box office
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's 'Fanney Khan' is a Flop; Does She Need to Re-look Her Roles?
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

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The iconic Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s stint on screen has met with yet another flop - this time in the form of Fanney Khan which has proved to be the most disastrous of the three movies released last week - Karwaan and Mulk being the other two. According to trade website boxofficeindia.com, Fanney Khan will finish its first week with business of around INR 9.50 crore and is a disaster.

The  four films she has done after taking a small break post the birth of her daughter Aaradhya six years ago, have been  received with varying degrees  of non-success. Immediately after she returned from motherhood, Aishwarya did her author-backed  part as a single mother trying to retrieve her kidnapped daughter  in  Sanjay Gupta’s  Jazbaa. It  was a  tailormade  role for the real-life  yummy mummy and  one that  Aishwarya  should have  sunk her pretty teeth  into.

Unfortunately she looked neither convincing nor convinced in  the  role of the traumatized  mother and her chemistry with her screen daughter was woefully  nil. Next came director Omung Kumar’s Sarbjit where for the first time in her life she  played a real-life character, that of  Dalbir Kaur, the spunky sister  of  the  real-life Indian soldier, Sarbjit Singh held prisoner  in Pakistan.  The  film bombed in spite of every effort to build her up as the prospective recipient  of  a National award. Sadly, Aishwarya looked neither Punjabi nor  a determined sister  who had to get her brother back from the enemies. There were ugly rumours of Richa Chadha’s role as Sarabjit’s wife, being cut. But all the cutting and  pasting couldn’t help the film or Aishwarya’s  ambitious role. It sank.

After this, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan  was seen crossing the  firing  line to play a Paikistani poetess in Karan  Johar’s Ae Dil hai Mushkil who has  fling with a  younger man.Now, this was a bold role and Ash gave it her all. She also looked like a million bucks and exuded sex appeal and mystery. But perhaps because of the controversies it attracted (the film also starred Fawad Khan and there was a campaign against Pakistani actors), it didn't do too well at the box office. Moreover, Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor had very strong roles too, in the film so it wasn't her success alone. 

Over the last few years, both Aishwarya  and Kareena Kapoor Khan, have been held as examples of the fact that married actresses or real-life mothers are no long taboo for playing the lead. It's a welcome change from the past but by a huge coincidence, both the ladies have chosen to work with younger stars.  Kareena was paired with 35-year old Sumeet Vyas  in  her post-motherhood  comeback film Veere Di Wedding while Aishwarya was paired with  Ankur Bhatia, Ranbir Kapoor and now Rajkummar Rao (Fanney Khan) in her three post-maternity films. All her three co-stars are several years her  junior. The ladies deserve all the praise for their moves as all these years, we have seen actors unquestioningly being paired with actresses who are years younger to them. But somehow, in the case of Aishwarya, the movies simply don't seem to be working. 

Says a leading trade analyst, “Somehow Aishwarya’s comeback films are not working. It could be her selection of roles. It certainly can’t be  the way she looks. She is looking better than in any of her films. But a role like Fanney Khan with a Rajkummar Rao as  her co-star, is  just not working.

Apparently  Aishwarya contributed a  whole lot of inputs to her chracater  of  the kidnapped singing diva in Fanney Khan.“Even the  idea of the tattoo on her wrist was Aishwarya. She walked  holding debutant director Atul Manjrekar’s hand because she  knew they were treading on wobbly ground. But finally the  outcome was  far from appealing,” says a source close to the Fanney Khan team.

What perhaps Aishwarya needs  is a Sanjay Leela Bhansali  to  harness her  illimitable beauty into something far more substantial than the  eyecandy she ends up portraying these days.

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