Amrita Rao

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Amrita Rao
Amrita Rao at the First look launch of 'Singh Sahab The Great'.jpg
Rao at the first-look launch of Singh Saab the Great, 2013
Born Amrita Deepak Rao
(1981-06-07) 7 June 1981 (age 35)[1]
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Ethnicity Indian
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 2002–present
Spouse(s) RJ Anmol (m. 2016)
Relatives Preetika Rao (sister)
Deepak Rao (father)

Amrita Rao (pronounced [əmriːt̪a ːraːʋ], born 7 June 1981) is an Indian film actress and model. She has appeared in Hindi films of Bollywood and a few films in Telugu. Rao was born and raised in Mumbai; she made her screen debut in Ab Ke Baras (2002), for which she was nominated for the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award in 2003. One of her most popular roles was in the romance film Vivah (2006).[2]

Rao's roles in Welcome to Sajjanpur (2008) and Main Hoon Na (2004) earned her a Stardust Best Actress Award and a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award nomination respectively. She has made special appearances in Heyy Babyy (2007), Shaurya (2008), Life Partner (2009) and Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai (2010). She has been called "Bollywood's quintessential girl next-door" by various media outlets.[3] Times Of India named Rao one of its "50 Most Desirable Women of 2011."[4]

Early life[edit]

Rao was born in Mumbai. Her father Deepak Rao owns an advertising agency.[5] Her younger sister Preetika Rao is a model and a southern film actor. Rao attended school at Canossa Convent Girls School and graduated from Sophia College with a psychology degree.[6] Rao describes her family as a "very conservative family—a traditional, Hindu, Indian family" and herself as very liberal.[7] Her native language is Konkani; she also speaks Marathi, English and Hindi.[5]

Career[edit]

2002–2006: Early career[edit]

Before starting her career as an actor, Rao appeared in several commercials during her college days. Her first public appearance was in 2002 when she was seventeen; she was featured in the music video for Alisha Chinoy's song Woh Pyar Mera.[8]

refer caption
Amrita walking the ramp for Archana Kochar at Lakme Fashion Week 2012

In 2002, Rao played her first leading role as Anjali Thapar in Raj Kanwar's fantasy thriller Ab Ke Baras.[9][10] Film critic Planet Bollywood wrote, "Amrita Rao comes out the real winner, with her dancing skills, innocent looks and decent acting skills".[11] In May 2003, Rao starred with Shahid Kapoor in the coming-of-age romance film Ishq Vishk as a college student. Rao's portrayal earned her several awards, including Filmfare Best Female Debut Award (2003) and IIFA Award for Star Debut of the Year, (2004).[12]

In 2004, Rao starred in Indra Kumar's adult comedy Masti, opposite Vivek Oberoi. The film received positive responses from critics[by whom?], and was a financial success at the box office.[13] Her performance as Anchal, who is obsessively possessive about her husband, was also received positively.[14]

Rao next had a supporting role in the Farah Khan action comedy Main Hoon Na, where she co-starred alongside Shah Rukh Khan, Sunil Shetty, Sushmita Sen and Zayed Khan. Her role as an army officer's daughter Sanjana (Sanju) Bakshi earned Rao Best Supporting Actress, her second filmfare nomination. Rao had a minor role in Milan Luthria's Deewar; she played Radhika, Gaurang Kaul's love interest.[citation needed]

Rao co-starred alongside Shahid Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt in the 2005 drama Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!. Critical response towards the film was negative, although Rao garnered acclaim for her performance of a school teacher. Glamsham said the only thing that made the film watchable was the acting of Amrita Rao.[15] That same year, Rao took the lead role in the John Matthew Matthan drama Shikhar, in which she portrayed Madhvi.[citation needed] She then appeared in the 2006 low-budget comedy Pyare Mohan opposite Vivek Oberoi The movie was not well received by critics; Rajeev Masand wrote, "Amrita hit career lows, producing the low-fashion chemistry".[16]

Although highly regarded for her acting abilities, Rao's films to date had often not appealed to a wide audience. Vivah (2006) made her a national star; it depicted the journey of two individuals from engagement to marriage. Co-starring alongside Shahid Kapoor, Rao portrayed Poonam, a traditionally raised young woman. The film was given mixed reviews by most critics but became one of the highest-grossing films of the year, as well as Rao's biggest commercial success to date. Taran Adarsh wrote, "Amrita Rao gets a new lease of life with Vivah. She looks the character and is splendid all through."[17] At the 13th Star Screen Award, Rao received a Best Actress nomination.[18]

2007–2011[edit]

Rao was cast alongside Mahesh Babu in the 2007 Telugu action film Athidhi. The film was directed and co-written by Surender Reddy. She played the girlfriend of Mahesh's character. Athidhi achieved success at the box office, grossing over 35 crore (US$5.2 million) in 4 weeks, despite having had a limited theatrical release. She received mostly positive reviews, with critics praising the chemistry between Rao and Mahesh Babu. Rediff noted, "Amrita Rao, who makes her debut in Telugu films, makes a mark."[19] Other critics, such as Sify wrote that, "Amrita Rao is not only beautiful but also glamorous. She has proved that she could be yet another native girl for Tollywood. She emoted well with convincing histrionics fit for Telugu screen."[20]

In 2008, she appeared in the drama film My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves opposite newcomer Nikhil Dwivedi. She played Riya, an orphan who lives a middle-class lifestyle in Mumbai and works as an assistant director for a movie producer. The film received overwhelmingly negative reviews and performed poorly at the box office.[21] Rao's performance was praised by some critics; OneIndia Entertainment noted, "Amrita Rao looks gorgeous, but her role isn't substantial enough."[22] She took a guest appearance as Nirja Rathore in Shaurya in 2008, a film which revolves around the court-martial of a Muslim officer in the Indian army, for shooting his commanding officer. The film is set against the backdrop of the Kashmir Conflict in Northern India. Mainly inspired from the Hollywood movie A Few Good Men, Shaurya received positive reviews from the critics, and the film did average business at the box-office.[23]

In 2008, Rao appeared in her third blockbuster, Shyam Benegal's comedy film Welcome to Sajjanpur. She played the role of Kamala, a woman who is desperate for communication from her husband Bansiram (Kunal Kapoor), a labourer at a dockyard in Mumbai. The film tells the story of several villagers, including a child widow, an abandoned wife, a harried mother, a corrupt neta, a romantic compounder and their serious and mischievous problems. The film received positive reviews and earned 20 million (US$300,000), making it the second-highest-grossing film in Rao's career. Hindustan Times noted, "Amrita Rao is sweetness personified."[24] She received a Stardust Best Actress Award for her performance.

Rao starred with Harman Baweja in Victory, an Indian cricket-based sports film which focuses on a struggling cricketer who defies all odds to realize an almost impossible dream. The film received generally mixed reviews from critics, and Rao garnered acclaim for her performance as a Herman's childhood friend Nandini. The film faced competition from other films such Raaz 2 and Dev D and failed to do well. With a huge budget, it only managed to gross 1 crore (US$150,000) and was declared a disaster by Boxoffice-India.[25] That same year, Rao took on the lead role in Neeraj Vora's comedy drama Short Kut: The Con is On opposite Akshaye Khanna, produced by Anil Kapoor. The film stars Rao as Mansi, girlfriend of Akshaye's character. Critical response towards the comedy film was negative and, though having grossed its budget back, it was considered a financial disappointment.[26]

Rao's only film of 2011 was Love U...Mr. Kalakaar! and her second movie under Rajshri Productions.[27] She was generally praised for her physical performance, but the movie generated mostly negative reviews and became a commercial failure. Nikhat Kazmi of the Times of India wrote, "Amrita Rao at best, but the film is so predictable and so long, it loses impact."[28] Rao has also made special appearances in Heyy Babyy (2007), Life Partner (2007) and Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai (2010).

2013–present[edit]

After a two-and-a-half-year absence from the screen, Rao starred in the national award-winning, courtroom, comedy drama film Jolly LLB (2013). She played the lead role of Sandhya, girlfriend of Arshad Warsi's character. The film received mixed reviews and won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor.[29] Rao's performance was praised.[30][31][32]

Rao co-starred alongside Sunny Deol in the action film Singh Saab the Great (2013), which was directed by Anil Sharma. Rao portrays a journalist Shikha Chaturvedi.[33] The film was controversial and ran into trouble with the SGPC, which objected to its title.[34] The film was largely panned by critics but Rao's performance earned positive reviews. Namrta Joshi of Outlook said, "Amrita Rao plays a role that definitely feels like something she has already done, all the emotional support".[35] The film received predominately negative reviews but was a moderate box-office success with revenues of 29 crore (US$4.3 million).[36]

Later that year, she appeared alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpai in Prakash Jha's political drama Satyagraha. Rao played the role of Sumitra, the daughter-in-law of Amitabh Bachchan's character. Rao was praised in particular; Resham Sengar of Zee News wrote, "Ms. Rao has the sweetly cherubic looks. She is convincing in most of the emotional scenes. But again, her scope of performance is just limited to mouthing a few important dialogues."[37] The film was poorly received by critics and failed to make a profit at the box office. Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV said, "Satyagraha spares no effort to reflect the rising tide of public anger against a creaking, corrupt and callous system that treats citizens of the country like a load of dirt. The script draws inspiration from several real-life scams and political shenanigans, and constructs a predictable narrative that underlines the undeniable might of social media."[38] Despite having moderate reviews, the film grossed over 60 crore (US$8.9 million) at the domestic box office.[39] She is also featuring in the TV show Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai on &TV, a re-telling of the famous Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle rivalry where Rao is playing Lata's character.[40]

Personal life[edit]

She married her boyfriend, Anmol, a Radio Jockey after 7 years of dating on 15 May 2016 in Mumbai. [41]

Filmography[edit]

Key
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Actor
Title Year Role Notes
Ab Ke Baras 2002 Anjali Thapar/ Nandini
The Legend of Bhagat Singh 2002 Mannewali
Ishq Vishk 2003 Payal Mehra
Masti 2004 Aanchal Mehta
Main Hoon Na 2004 Sanjana (Sanju) Bakshi
Deewaar 2004 Radhika
Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi! 2005 Priya
Shikhar 2005 Madhavi
Pyare Mohan 2006 Piya
Vivah 2006 Poonam
Heyy Babyy 2007 Special appearance in song "Heyy Babyy"
Athidhi 2007 Amrita Telugu debut
My Name is Anthony Gonsalves 2008 Riya
Shaurya 2008 Neerja Rathod
Welcome to Sajjanpur 2008 Kamala
Victory 2009 Nandini
Short Kut: The Con is On 2009 Mansi
Life Partner 2009 Anjali Special appearance
Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai 2010 Tara's sister Special appearance
Love U...Mr. Kalakaar! 2011 Ritu
Jolly LLB 2013 Sandhya
Singh Saab the Great 2013 Shikha Chaturvedi
Satyagraha 2013 Sumitra
The Legend Of Kunal Films that have not yet been released 2015 Kanchanmala Pre-production[42]
Satsang TBA Pre-production[43]

Television[edit]

Actor
Title Year Role Notes
Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai 2016 Kalyani

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Film Result
2003 Star Screen Awards Most Promising Newcomer – Female Ab Ke Baras Nominated
2003 Filmfare Awards Best Female Debut Ab Ke Baras Nominated
2004 Zee Cine Awards Best Female Debut Ishq Vishk Nominated
2004 IIFA Star Debut of the Year – Female Ishq Vishk Won[12]
2004 Stardust Awards Superstar of Tomorrow – Female Ishq Vishk Won
2005 Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actress Main Hoon Na Nominated
2007 Star Screen Awards Best Actress Vivah Nominated
2007 Star Screen Awards Jodi No. 1 (along with Shahid Kapoor) Vivah Nominated
2009 Stardust Awards Best Actress Welcome to Sajjanpur Won

Other awards won[edit]

Year Award Category Film Result
2004 Sansui Awards Best Female Debut Ishq Vishk Won
2007 GR8 Women Awards Young Achiever Vivah Won
2007 Dadasaheb Phalke Award Vivah Won[44]
2007 Anandalok Awards Most Promising New Talent Vivah Won
2007 Sports World Awards Jodi of the Year (along with Shahid Kapoor) Vivah Won
2012 Kolkata Kalakar Awards Best Actress Category (Bollywood) Love U...Mr. Kalakaar! Won[45][46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ekta, Amrita Rao share birthday". Sify. IBNS. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "Want to work in films which remain memorable: Amrita Rao". The Indian Express. 30 August 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "I don't intend to change the 'Girl-next-door' image: Amrita Rao". Dainik Jagran. Dainik Bhaskar. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Times 50 Most Desirable Women of 2011 : The Winners". The Times of India. Times Group. 4 February 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Amrita Rao biography". oneindia.in. One India Entertainment. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Saran, Renu (25 February 2014). Encyclopedia of Bollywood–Film Actresses. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. p. 12. ISBN 978-93-5083-691-0. 
  7. ^ Wilkins, Sandra (February 2012). The Celebrity 411: Spotlight on Amrita Rao, Including Her Personal Life, Famous Blockbusters Such as Mein Hoon Na, Vivah, Heyy Babyy, Her. Webster's Digital Services. ISBN 978-1-276-23340-8. 
  8. ^ "Amrita Rao's Debut Hit". YouTube. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Ab Ke Baras- review, responses". bollywoodhungama.com/. Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Movie review- Ab Ke Baras". rediff.com/. Rediff.com. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ab Ke Baras- Movie review (Planet Bollywood )". planetbollywood.com/. Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "IIFA Through the Years : Singapore". International Indian Film Academy Awards. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Masti (2004) – Full Cast & Crew". Box Office India. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Amrita Rao is the Prettiest Woman Alive". rediff.com/. Rediff.com. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi failed to impress". Glamsham. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "Pyare Mohan: Masand's verdict". CNN-IBN. CNN. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Vivah review- Bollywood Hungama". bollywoodhungama.com. Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "13th Annual Star Screen Awards Nominations". Asian Outlook. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Amrita Rao does well in Athidi". rediff.com/. Rediff.com. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Glamorous girl charms Telugu audiences". sify.com/. Sify. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Victory failed to perform well". boxofficeindia.com. Boxoffice India. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Rao justifies her role.". oneindia.in. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  23. ^ Tuteja, Joginder (2 May 2008). "Box Office Analysis". indiaglitz.com. India Glitz. Retrieved 27 February 2016. 
  24. ^ "Review- Welcome to Sajjanpur". Hindustan Times. HT Media Ltd. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  25. ^ "Victory failed to perform well". boxofficeindia.com. Boxoffice India. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "Victory failed to perform well". boxofficeindia.com. Boxoffice India. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  27. ^ "Rao back on the big screen.". NDTV movies. Press Trust of India. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  28. ^ "Love U... Mr. Kalakaar: Movie Review". The Times of India. The Times Group. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  29. ^ "61st National Film Awards For 2013" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  30. ^ K Jha, Subhash (16 March 2013). "Review: 'Jolly LLB'—An engaging courtroom drama enlivened by sparkling performances". Daily News and Analysis. Deepak Rathi. Dainik Bhaskar. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  31. ^ Chopra, Anupama (15 March 2013). "Anupama Chopra's review: Jolly LLB". Hindustan Times. HT Media Ltd. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  32. ^ Kamath, Sudhish (21 May 2014). "Jolly LLB: Emotional, not legal". The Hindu. N. Ram. The Hindu Group. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  33. ^ "Amrita pairs with Sunny Deol in next". The Times of India. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  34. ^ "Singh Saab the Great runs into trouble". The Indian Express. ndian Express Group. Indian Express Group. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  35. ^ Joshi, Namrata (23 December 2013). "Singh Saab The Great: Public review". Outlook. Outlook Publishing India Pvt. Ltd. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  36. ^ "Singh Saab The Great' box office collections". boxofficecapsule.com/. Boxoffice Capsule. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  37. ^ "Rao's character weightage". Zee news. Zee News Ltd. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  38. ^ "Satyagraha movie review". New Delhi Television. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  39. ^ "Challenging roles for Amrita". NDTV. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  40. ^ "Amrita Rao all set for her TV debut". The Times of India. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  41. ^ Amrita Rao’s husband RJ Anmol announces their marriage on Facebook; read here. The Indian Express (15 May 2016). Retrieved on 15 May 2016.
  42. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan, Arjun Rampal, Tabu and Amrita in a periodical titled The Legend Of Kunal". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  43. ^ "Amrita Rao to feature in Prakash Jha's next, 'Satsang'". Pinkvilla. Pinkvilla. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  44. ^ "Phalke Award Make Amrita Proud.". FilmiBeat. FilmiBeat. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2007. 
  45. ^ "Most Promising Actress trophy for Vivah.". The Telegraph. ABP Group. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  46. ^ "List of Awardees" (PDF). kalakarawards.co/. Kalakar Awards. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 

External links[edit]