The Hindi film industry has, over the years, seen many actresses. While some have managed to stay relevant until the end of their careers, some blossomed initially and eventually had an unexpected downfall. Call it a patriarchal mindset, but history has it that when it comes to the Indian film industry, actresses don’t work as actively and as long as their male counterparts, especially post-marriage. Although things are much different now due to which husband and wife both tend to divide roles and focus mutually on the child’s growth, it was pretty different earlier. We had had enough instances where some of our country’s heroines were top of their careers when they got married post which things only went downhill and how. Be it responsibility towards family or other items, time and again, we have seen women take a backseat in their professional career to take care of the house while the man goes out with their merry ways. While some women do it willingly, some have no option but to sacrifice their professional careers to groom and condition their families. The Hindi film industry witnessed many such heroines no longer active in the acting department after marriage. They say that “out of sight, out of mind” is a really serious thing, and well, which industry knows it better than showbiz? At the end of the day, “jo dikhta hai, wo bikta hai”. Right?

As an actress slowly isolates herself from the limelight, things change regarding stardom and how. Suddenly, big-ticket films are no longer offered to you because prominent filmmakers have the notion that “Oh, she’s not working actively…must not be interested…Let me approach someone who’s more visible in media and limelight.” In the past, we have seen so many actresses vanish from the limelight and public eye after all that. However, Rani Mukerji seems to be a completely different breed altogether. It just feels like yesterday when in the year 1996, Rani made her on-screen debut in the Bengali film ‘Biyer Phool’. Soon after, her first mainstream leading role in the Hindi film industry happened with the 1997 social drama ‘Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat’. Right from her debut film, the audience realized that she’s an actress who’s here to stay and for good. Post that, a spree of successful movies like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Ghulam, Badal, Saathiya, Chalte Chalte, Veer Zaara, Mujhse Dosti Karoge, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Hadh Kar Di Aapne, Bunty Aur Babli, Black and many others cemented her niche in the industry like no other. Post 1996, Rani Mukerji has actively worked in several films with the best in the business. That was undoubtedly the golden phase of her career, where she was delivering good hits and actively having a release every year.

Towards the latter half of the 2000 decade, she did a few exciting movies like Him Tum, Dil Bole Hadippa, Ta Ra Rum Pum, Baabul, Yuva, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag; No One Killed Jessica, Talaash: The Answer Lies Within and many more. Given her kind of filmography and success quotient, she has to be easily rated as one of the best in the entertainment space. However, post her marriage in the year 2014, somehow, we have seen a 2.0 version of Rani Mukerji that we never witnessed before. Now, she was picking movies that had more in-depth roles and, most importantly, a message for society, too, in some way or the other. Suppose one looks closely at her career after 2014. In that case, it can easily be pointed out that she’s focused on quality over quantity and, most importantly, hasn’t bothered about the frequency of her releases. We saw Mardaani released in August 2014, and it was a huge success. After that, for her reasons, she took a bit of a break from movies, so she didn’t have any releases for quite a few years. Her next film ‘Hichki’ was released in 2018 and was about a woman with Tourette syndrome. The film was a critical success, and people loved her the same. Post that, we saw her in Mardaani 2 in 2019, where again, she seems to have continued wonderfully from where she left in Mardaani. The movie fetched her many accolades and deservingly so. Post that, and we saw her in Bunty Aur Babli 2 alongside Saif Ali Khan, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Sharvari. Although the movie didn’t win hearts as much as Part 1, movie watchers still found it entertaining. And then, post that, we saw her with a release directly in 2023 with Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway. The movie has a rating of 7.5 on IMDb, and most importantly, it is highlighted as one of her strongest performances to date. The story is about an immigrant Indian mother who’s fought the Norwegian foster care system and legal machinery to win back the custody rights of her children. The story was very moving at an emotional level, and her performance struck chords with the audience in every way.

So, if we look closely at Rani Mukerji’s career in the last 9 years, she’s only had 5 releases but is good enough to be spoken about for a long time. At a time when actresses are busy activating their pr machinery to a great level to do 3-4 movies in a year, someone like Rani still seems to get the game right with this frequency of releases. Despite having such a low frequency of releases, Rani Mukerji’s acting mettle and, most notably ‘impact’ of movies are still being compared to modern-day actresses. Well, that’s undoubtedly a massive thing for her. It just validates the fact even more that perhaps, you don’t need to do even 1 film a year to stay ‘relevant’. If it’s a genuinely good film that has quality in it, you can still be relevant in the entertainment space. You don’t need too much social media visibility to engage with your fans. Remember that Rani Mukerji isn’t even there on any social media platform.

So, for an actress like her to consistently be relevant in today’s time right from the 90s till now for every age group and that too with a low frequency of films and ‘zero’ social media presence, is nothing less than a remarkable achievement. Kudos to you ‘Rani’. Keep up the excellent and credible work. You are indeed the ‘queen’ of our hearts and will remain so.