Meena Kumari, the name itself speaks how special the personality we are talking about is. The 4 times Filmfare awarded actress, often called as the ‘hero’ in men’s world, Meena Kumari was an unparalleled actress. But even after all this, there are some serious questions as to how she became a superstar.
The powerful female face of Bollywood
Meena Kumari played some very important and pivotal roles on the screen. ‘Saheb Biwi Aur Ghuam’, ‘Parinita’, ‘Azad’, ‘Sahara’, ‘Jawab’, ‘Mere Apne’, ‘Gomti Ke Kinare’, ‘Arti’, ‘Baiju Bawra’ and ‘Kajal’ are some of her prominent movies among others. She got 11 nominations for including 4 Filmfare awards.
She started her career as a child artist and later worked as the lead female actress. She dominantly overshadowed other actors with her acting skills. That became the prime reason for many actors’ hesitation to act opposite to her.
Vinod Mehra once said, “Meena Kumari became so powerful that she would make or break stars.” Meena Kumari adopted an attitude of guardian, artistic mentor towards newcomers who worked opposite her like Rajendra Kumar in Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan and with Sunil Dutt in Ek Hi Raasta.
She was titled as ‘Tragedy Queen’ because of her emotional and tragic roleplays on silver screen. She did not even used glycerine for unreal tears, which was mostly used by the contemporary actors during emotional scenes. Instead, she wept real tears.
Parallel personal life and its professional effect
If we go through her personnel life, we find that she was emotionally distorted. She secretly married Kamal Amrohi who was already married and had 3 children from his first marriage. After her marriage she started working but on certain conditions imposed by Amrohi.
With the passage of time, she broke those conditions one by one and their relationship began deteriorating. The writer of her biography, Vinod Mehta wrote about how she was physically abused by Amrohi. As a patient of chronic insomnia her physician had advised her to take a peg of Brandy as a replacement for sleeping pills. But in 1964 she got separated from Amrohi and started drinking heavily.
It was at the same time that she worked in one of her most famous movies “Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam”. The movie revolves around the ‘servant’ (Guru Dutt) and wife of ‘thakur’(Meena Kumari as Choti Bahu). Thakur avoids Choti Bahu, which leads her to sorrow. In order to gain attention, she uses tactics in which she fail miserably. She is then supported by her servant. The affection between the two is the crux of the movie. If we relate it to her personal life, we find that the situations of her personal life were somewhat similar to the movie storyline.
She killed her versatility
Affected by her grief and sorrow, she channelised her emotions in every movie. Though, it gave her an edge over other actors, she eventually began using it everywhere. The scenes that simply needed sad projection were also performed with extra emotional intensity. In each and every scene she expressed excessive sadness.
Melancholy, sorrow and desperation became synonymous to Meena Kumari. She got so indulged in these type of characters that it created a bubble around her and a perception in the Bollywood that she was only fit for those type of roles. Her melancholy was conceived as “Meena Kumari Syndrome”.
So, she became a superstar and obviously she deserved it but her extra indulgence in sorrow in her acting posed concerns about her versatility. And that is why, Meena Kumari becoming a superstar still puzzles many.
Support us to strengthen the ‘Right’ ideology of cultural nationalism by purchasing the best quality garments from TFI-STORE.COM