On Thursday, actress Sonakshi Sinha was in for a double celebration: her debut movie Dabangg completed 10 years in Bollywood, and so did she. With 30+ movies already done, and more upcoming, Sonakshi is surely an established actress. However, a close look at her filmography reveals a lack of powerful roles. How then, has she maintained a strong foothold?
Sonakshi's debut with Dabangg in 2010 had presented her as a promising talent. The audience appreciated her strong screen presence as Salman Khan's love interest, playing the coy village girl Rajjo. This were followed by movies such as Rowdy Rathore, Son of Sardaar and Dabangg 2 among others, where she followed the same category of roles. While all of the films were well received at the box office, Sonakshi's scope-less roles were obvious and the same was called out by film critics.
Year 2013, however, did show a ray of hope. The actress left the critics speechless with her performance in Vikramaditya Motwane's Lootera. Based on O. Henry's novel, the last leaf, Sonakshi took a bold step to star in a period drama despite just being 3 years into the industry. Despite being paired with powerful actor such as Ranveer Singh, it was mesmerising to see the actress acing an intense role of Pakhi Roy with ease and grace. But sadly, that was that! 7 years later, we haven't come across even a close match.
Looking forward, it seems she has stuck to the same mould, with her characters having a limited scope for her to act in and explore. No matter the movie genre she stars in, critics have called her for being 'repetitive' and 'non-challenging' in her roles. The actress mostly plays the 'damsel in distress' who will stand beside her lover/husband, even if he is a goon, a thief, a corrupt police officer, and wait to get rescued from any and every situation as seen in movies like Once Upon A Time in Mumbaii Dobara, R...Rajkummar and the Dabangg franchise.
So, what is then that works for the junior shotgun, despite starring majorly in uni-dimensional roles? By her own choice, Sonakshi has expressed her inclination to masala commercial entertainers. The films usually have larger-than-life plots, actions and dialogues. Her roles fit perfectly to pave way for the mighty hero, adding on the glories of the protagonist- the superstar male leads. A lack of experimentation also makes her a go-to for filmmakers with typical Bollywood storylines.
Adding to that, Sonakshi's love for dance is apparent in all her songs, which at times make more noise than her films. She has even done special dance sequences in various films such as OMG-Oh My God, Himmatwala, All is Well, and Total Dhamaal to name a few. Being cast with A-list main leads also makes Sonakshi enjoy big banner projects, even as her the meat of her own role takes a cut.
Unfortunately, her female-centric films such as Akira, Noor and Khandaani Shafakhana, where she explored a different sets of genres and characters, were opportunities lost as they turned out to be both commercial and critical disappointments due to a weak storyline. But that should not be the end of it.
We believe, Sonakshi needs to choose her projects with more explanatory roles, and come out as the hidden warrior she is. In spite of her sincerity, she is yet to steal the applause she deserves.