Madhuri Dixit: How The Fame Game Star Evolved With The Changing Film Industry
It is the 90s.
On a huge film set, a gorgeous actress, known to be Bollywood’s dancing diva, is waiting in a corner. She is wearing glowing make-up and a breathtaking costume. She is sitting by a huge fan so as to keep her makeup and hair intact in the unforgiving humidity of Mumbai. It has been a while now since she has been waiting patiently. Finally, she asks, "Where are the dialogues?"
On the other end of this magnanimous set, a man is working in a corner with his paper and pen. Scribbling at a lightning speed, he hears the actress call for her dialogues. He lifts his head slightly and shouts back to ensure his voice is heard, "Just give me two more minutes. I am writing them."
That is how Madhuri Dixit Nene worked her way through the 90s era, to become the legendary superstar that she is now. The Hindi film industry was not always as systematic and organized as it is now. Back then, the scenes and dialogues used to be written on sets, and the actors used to just mug them up and perform them. Every actor used to work for two-three shifts in a day. Therefore, playing different characters in the span of a few hours.
The life on sets was hectic and disorganized, yet it managed to churn out spontaneous and talented artists. A product of the chaotic 90s, Madhuri Dixit Nene was relieved with the transition that occurred with the organization of the industry.
With the advent of a new cinematic style and workflow, the filmmaking process is now strictly divided into pre-production and production. This refined work pattern helps her to prepare for her roles better by involving herself in the script reading and workshop sessions. She is finally receiving scripts before signing the contract.
Speaking about changes in the industry, the actress has also seen the evolution in the way female characters have been written over time. In the podcast with AIB, Madhuri Dixit Nene admitted that her children are very critical of her roles and plots of the film. She narrated that while watching Mrityudand, her kids kept interrogating her why did she not tell her husband in the film that there was a bomb in the car. In her defense, she tried to explain that her character was unaware of the placement of a bomb. Her sons countered, “But you read the script, you knew there was a bomb there.”
Madhuri Dixit in the AIB Podcast (Credits: AIB)
What may come across as frivolous and comical was actually a reflection of the rationality and logic that the Indian audience has seemed to ground themselves into. They can longer be fed baseless plot lines. The actress observed this transition and has effectively contributed to it by picking sensible and satisfying roles.
The queen of hearts has been working in the industry for the last 38 years and she has witnessed the growth of the industry.
The marvelous and evergreen actress now be seen in the Netflix original The Fame Game making her debut in the OTT space. Quite clearly, the actress still has her metal intact and a hunger for picking on challenging and fresh roles. In The Fame Game, much like her real life, she is playing a Bollywood superstar who is adored by the masses who goes missing suddenly on a random day. When the investigation begins, it unfolds layers of hidden mystery and facets of the superstar’s life transitioning from ‘Where is she?’ to ‘Who is she?’.
However, this world depicting the industry is only partially relatable to the life of the renowned artist herself. Therefore, after witnessing the shift in the real film industry, Madhuri Dixit has entered the realm of a fictional depiction of the world she has so closely observed and walked in for the past so many years.
Check out the trailer of The Fame Game here:
Author Biographical Note: Vanshika Lakhani is pursuing her degree in Mass Communications and Journalism from Jai Hind College. She is also an alumnus of St. Xavier’s College from where she studied Arts. She reviews films, web-shows, books, and music. Her reviews have also been published on other portals like Film Companion and Café Dissensus Everyday. She is a huge content enthusiast and enjoys talking to people who tell her about new content to consume. Now she is associated with Explore Screen: The Cognitive Dialogue as an intern.
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