By Priyaankaa Mathur
She enchants her audiences with barely a glimpse, while her beautiful smile and her dance moves palpitate the hearts of every onlooker. The queen of Bollywood, the Dhak Dhak girl Madhuri Dixit not only ruled the tinsel town from the 90s till 2000, she still captures a very special place in the hearts of her audiences.
She has done over 70 films in Bollywood and happens to be one of the highest-paid Indian actresses of her times. She has received numerous accolades for her breathtaking performances to include 6 Filmfare Awards. She has been honoured with the fourth highest civilian Award Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2008, while she has made India proud being on the Forbes India’s celebrity 100 lists seven times. Filmifiles brings to you some of the best performances of Madhuri Dixit, the heartthrob of the Indian cinema.
One of the most iconic films of the Indian cinema Tezaab (1988) was the first breakthrough for Madhuri Dixit staring with Anil Kapoor in the leading role. Anil Kapoor plays her lover Munna, who becomes a criminal due to unforeseen circumstances.
Madhuri plays a gentlewoman, Mohini, who’s forced to dance and earn in nightclubs by her drunkard father Shyamlal played by Anupam Kher, who doesn’t want to marry her. Mohini grows up witnessing how her father torchered her mother and threw acid on her, when she refused to dance, and one day she commits suicide. Eventually, Mohini dances before a group of men as she counts down the number of days she has been waiting to meet her beloved, singing the iconic dance number ‘Ek Do Teen’.
Composed by the legendary music composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelji, the song ‘ Ek Do Teen’ was choreographed by ace choreographer Saroj Khanji. The song turned out to be phenomenal on the silver screen with Madhuri’s magical touch when she danced to its beats with utmost grace and innocence. She enthralled the audiences with her sense of the beat, elegant dance moves, and impeccable expressions taking the entertainment world by storm, becoming an overnight star. The song became a chartbuster and the film ran in theatres for more than 50 weeks.
Directed and produced by N Chandra, Tezaab became the highest revenue generator at the box office that year. The film received critical acclaim and grabbed 4 Filmfare Awards including her first Best Actress Nomination for the film while Anil Kapoor received the Best Actor Award.
After Tezaab there was no looking back for her as she signed the top-grossing Bollywood films like Dil, Beta, Saajan, Hum aapke Hain Kahun, Dil to Pagal Hai, Khalnayak and Devdas to name a few.
Beta stars Madhuri Dixit as Saraswati who’s married to Raju an illiterate youth played by Anil Kapoor. Raju loses his mother at an early age and his father remarries Laxmi (Aruna Irani).In the quest of finding motherly love from his stepmother, Raju devotes himself completely to her, however, she exploits him to extort his wealth.
The time passes and Raju chooses to marry saraswati who’s an educated girl, who eventually understands his mother’s motives and protects him from her vicious deeds. Madhuri Dixit bestows a very powerful character and outshines the two actors in pivotal roles Anil Kapoor and Aruna Irani in the film.
The film showcased Madhuri’s versatility as an actor while she demonstrated her range from performing the most powerful,emotional, comic and sensual scenes in the film. The song ‘Dhak Dhak Karne lega’ from the film is regarded as one of the most seductive and bold songs of the Indian cinema. Madhuri yet again teamed up with Saroj Khanji recreating a masterpiece. Her Producer Indra Kumar once talking about the song gave credit for the song’s phenomenal success to Saroj Khan, cinematographer Baba Azmi and his heroine said, “Madhuri ne to gaane ko nagena bana diya”.
Although Anil Kapoor as her co-star did a good job in the song, everyone’s eyes were fixed on Madhuri. While she glowed like a wildfire in her orange saree, her elegant moves depicted sensuality with grace. The song eventually gave her the title of the ‘Dhak-Dhak’ girl, making her truly the heartthrob of Bollywood.
Madhuri won the Filmfare for the best actress and Anil Kapoor won the Best Actor Award for Beta.Aruna Irani received the Best supporting actress, Saroj Khan for best choreographer and Anuradha Paudwal won the Best playback singer for the song Dhak Dhak Karne Laga.Beta was the highest-grossing film of 1992.
Sajan was a romantic saga depicting a love triangle between two brothers Aman (Sanjay Dutt)and Akash (Salman Khan)who both fall in love with Pooja (Madhuri Dixit) and wanted to sacrifice their love for the sake of their friendship, while in the end Pooja decides whom she chooses to marry.
Both the brothers possessed very different personalities. Akash being a rich brat and a womanizer, AmaI is an orphan and is of a serious type of a person who writes poetry with the pen name Sagar, while he’s also handicapped. Pooja who becomes an ardent fan of Sagar’s poetry falls in love with him and wants to meet him.
While Akash gets to meet her and falls in love with her, introducing himself as Sagar. He convinces Aman that this time it’s true love for him and tries to impress Pooja with his poetry. After fumbling many times with words, he decides to quit and realises that Aman loves Pooja.Pooja finds out the truth and lashes at both men, which is one of the most powerful scenes of the movie. Finally, Akash helps in uniting both the lovers and they live happily ever after.
The story weaves many shades of emotions to depict true love, friendship, sacrifices, sadness & comedy which were rendered marvellously by Madhuri along with her co-stars. Madhuri Dixit received the Filmfare Award for the Best Actress along with Sanjay Dutt who received it for the Best Actor category. Sajan was just shot in 36 days, which was a rare sight to happen in those days. The film became the biggest grosser at the box office that year and was also dubbed in Telugu which ran for around 12 weeks.
Apart from its scintillating star cast, the highlight of the film was its music by music composer duo Nadeem Shravan, and lyrics by Sameer and Faiz Anwar. The album became the highest-selling of the year especially for its songs ‘Dekha hai pehli bar and ‘Tu shayar hai ‘sung by Alka Yagnik in her velvety soft voice. Kumar Sanu sang for Sanjay Dutt’s character and received the Filmfare Award for the Best playback Singer for the Song ‘Mera dil bhi kitna pagal hai’.Singer SP Balasubharmanium sang for Salman Khan’s character, while singers Pankaj Udas and Anuradha Paudwal also rendered for the album.
Hum Aapke Hain Kaun
Sooraj Barjatya’s ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’ (HAHK) was a romantic drama in a 3 hour Marwari family wedding affair format.The film had such an impact that the audience even came dressed to the theatres as if they were attending a family wedding. The movie’s popularity spread like wildfire with word of mouth which ran for 125 weeks.
Starring Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan the film Hum Aapke Hain Kaun saw instant chemistry between the actors, which missed in Sajan. The film celebrates the Indian wedding traditions as it intervened the story of a married couple and a budding relationship between their younger siblings Nisha (Madhuri Dixit) and Prem(Salman Khan) who try to sacrifice their love for the family,but were caught timely and were united for eternity.
Madhuri Dixit looked super gorgeous in the film, while her costumes created a style statement amongst the youth. She created such a vibe with ‘Didi tera dewar diwana’ with her grace, beauty and dancing skills, that even the painter MF Husain went Dhak Dhak over her and dedicated the film ‘Gaja Gamini’ to the Diva, while he also drew her portrait.
HAHK emerged as the biggest hit of all times, breaking all box office records. The film took home five Filmfare awards including Best actress for Madhuri Dixit. The film also won the coveted National award for Best Film for providing wholesome entertainment that year(1994).
Dil To Pagal Hai
Yash Chopra blockbuster ‘Dil to Pagal Hai’ was indeed a visual treat, with exquisite dance sequences, light and photography. The story is a love quadruple where Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan)and Pooja( Madhuri Dixit) are being loved by their best friends Karishma Kapoor (Nisha)who played Rahul’s friend and a dance partner and Akshay Kumar(Ajay) who played Pooja’s childhood friend.
The film revolves beautifully around Rahul and Pooja where the key element of their life is the love for dance as they work for the production where Pooja played “Maya” who according to Rahul is a girl who believes in true love and is waiting for her prince charming to come and take her away. The film gradually unfolds on how they meet for a dance production and eventually fall in love depicted well through their sensual chemistry and finally union.
Shahrukh was much appreciated in the film for being more serious, calm and mature in the film, suiting his romantic counterpart Pooja who’s a traditional Kathak dancer. While his dance partner. Nisha faces a foot injury, Shahrukh in search of a dancer reaches Pooja’s dance studio and watches her dancing, and gets astounded in her very first look. He follows her and literally pleads to her to take up his production since his lead dancer had fractured her leg. Pooja reluctantly agrees to his offer after he literally begs getting down on her knees, creating an instant comedy,making audience burst into peels of laughter.
The film saw brilliant choreography by Shaimak Davar and became a landmark film, which gave prominence to dance. The audiences still remember the standoff between Madhuri and Karishma which is the first of its kind. Nisha returns after her injury and flawlessly dances and combats with Pooja in absolute fury, while she enters her practice session. Madhuri watches her dance,while you see shades of both awe and compassion in her eyes, as she senses, how Nisha felt while she replaced her as a dancer. Both Madhuri and Karishma received thunderous applause for their performance in the film and both were awarded the National Award for that year.
The film is known for its melodious music, especially the rock piece created by Uttam Singh, the track on which the Divas competed. Lata Mangeshkar’s mesmerizing renditions and melodious duets with Udit Narayan enhanced the romantic mood creating magical chemistry between Shahrukh and Madhuri in the songs ‘Kab Tak Kuch bolen’ and the title song ‘Arere arey ye, Kya Hua’.
Dil To Pagal Hai earned a gross of over ₹598 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing Bollywood film of 1997. The film received positive reviews for Yash Chopra’s direction, the storyline, soundtrack, and performances of all the four actors becoming a mega-hit of all times.