'Why should boys have all the fun?' - And so exclaimed Priyanka Chopra in one of her popular commercials. By the look of things, it is clear that 'women empowerment' was pretty much in her mind. So much so that she has now turned out to be the first ever mainstream Bollywood actress to claim that if at all a leading lady deserves to celebrate a '100 crore success', it has to be 'apne dam par', and not by piggy-banking on one's make counterpart.
Quite a statement from someone who herself boasts of as many as four centuries!
Well, it is indeed graceful on her part to make an admission like this. However, the question that comes to one's mind is - 'An actress may not stake her claim to a 100 crore film but then can a 100 crore film afford not to have an actress worth her salt? In other words, what are the chances for a film to cross the 100 crore barrier, if not powered by the presence of a saleable heroine?'
The 100 crore game
With Singham Returns being the latest entrant in the century club, Bollywood today boasts of as many as 32 centuries. Out of these, the lion's share (27 centuries) is taken up by actresses like Kareena Kapoor Khan (5), Deepika Padukone (4), Priyanka Chopra (4), Sonakshi Sinha (4), Asin (4), Katrina Kaif (3) and Jacqueline Fernandez (3).
Now each of these is an A-league actress with Jacqueline being the latest entrant. As a matter of fact, the only leading ladies active today (who were unknown entities when their debut film itself entered the 100 crore club) are Sonakshi Sinha (Dabangg) and Asin (Ghajini). Now this pretty much establishes the fact that when most of these 100 crore affairs were designed, the idea was to make it a package that was complete enough to warrant some good footfalls, hence leading to some massive inflow of moolah.
No one thought of just putting together a film with just the hero driving the show. Heroine was also a part of the deal, and most of the times good investment was made to rope in a saleable name which brought in the audience.
Can a heroine be dispensable?
'But then a heroine didn't have anything to do?' - Now that's a common refrain one comes across when a hero led film goes on to be a huge success at the box office. Fair enough,