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Rani’s hiccups charm Chinese fans

Promoting Hichki in central Asia and beyond has been a unique experience for Rani Mukherji

Rani Mukherji is on a five-city tour of China this week, promoting Hichki in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guang-zhou and Chengdu. This is her second film projecting a differently abled person, the first being Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black (2005), where she played a blind and deaf college student. Even at 40 plus, after her marriage to Aditya Chopra and giving birth to a daughter Adira, Rani is still going strong.

Hichki, in fact, is really going places. It was dubbed in Russian and released in that country on September 6, right after our Teacher’s Day. On November 2, it will be shown in Taiwan as My Teacher with Hiccups. It has already been shown in Hong Kong and Kazhakhastan.

In her endearing role as a school teacher with Tourette Syndrome, Rani got a standing ovation at the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) and then at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) where she got the Best Actress award. She received a special jury award for brilliantly portraying the role of a rape victim in her debut film Raja ki Aayegi Baraat, although audiences found the storyline distasteful, as a judge orders her character to marry the predator.

In the Hindi film world, very few good scripts that are written for a female actor once they cross into their thirties. But there are few actors who are trying to break out of such silos. Rani Mukh-erjee is one of them. She did one of her strongest roles in Mardaani, a film that her husband produced (2014) on the theme of human trafficking. Here she plays a tough cop.

It has been 22 years since she started her career in 1996 with a supporting role in Biyer Phool, a Bengali film directed by her father, the late Ram Mukherjee. She shot to fame with Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, where she played a supporting role. Later on, she acted with Aamir Khan in the action film Ghulam. Her role as a reporter in the 2011 crime thriller No One Killed Jessica got her a Best Supporting Actress trophy at the Filmfare Awards.

Most of Rani Mukherjee’s films were produced by big banners like Yash Raj films. She has worked with filmmakers such as Reema Kagti, B.R. Chopra, Kamal Hasan and Siddarth P Malhotra. She has acted opposite all the leading actors, notably the Khans.

 

Due to its strong social message, Hichki was made tax-free in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. In Europe, Mardaani premiered in Poland at Warsaw’s Kino Muranow theatre and received a standing ovation from the audience.

Next, Rani Mukherjee will be seen in a cameo in SRK’s much awaited film Zero this year. The film also has guest appearances of Salman Khan, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, among many. But the real treat would be to see her in a full-fledged role, as unusual as the ones which have given her a memorable place in the Hindi film industry. For this star has many years of acting left in her, that too in unforgettable roles.