New Delhi: Uma Thruman's performance in Quentin Tarantino's 'Kill Bill' was so gripping that it's difficult to even imagine another actress in the same role. Her action sequences in the film were so much emotion filled that they looked more like poetry on the celluloid than a tale of blood and gore.
Therefore a spontaneous question raised its head when some media reports described Priyanka Chopra as Uma Thurman's Indian counterpart.
Most of these reports seemed to be based on the praise showered on Priyanka Chopra by fellow actors and directors. Without doubt, Priyanka is one of the better choices among Bollywood actresses to play an action oriented role but does this make her a good action heroine?
So far she has done three movies where she had to feature in so called daredevil stunts, out of which 'Asambhav' (2004) focussed chiefly on Arjun Rampal. Whenever Priyanka appeared on the screen, it looked more like a helping hand to Rampal.
'Don: The Chase Begins Again' (2006) gave Priyanka the chance to showcase her talent in action sequences. The scene where Chopra fights Vijay inside a stopped van did not look awkward simply because she was not stiff like other heroines.
Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta and Bipasha Basu are among the fittest heroines of this time but neither Lara nor Bipasha does action roles. Aishwarya Rai had done a fantastic job in 'Jodha Akbar' and was very comfortable in sword fighting scenes but that sequence did not need her to try somersaults and plunges.
Priyanka on the other hand flaunted gymnastic skills in 'Don'.
Although 'Drona' was a complete drab but thanks to Priyanka Chopra's stunts, it became watchable in bits and pieces. She was the only other factor than Dhruv Ghanekar's music that could hook the audiences for close to two hours.
Now the promos of 'Don 2' are again indicating her return to action. Skin tight dresses are easier to wear but to prove the designer's choice right is a difficult feat to achieve.
Indian heroines don't do anything other than hitting between the legs in most of the on-screen fights but western action sequences are more about hand to hand fighting.
Established Hollywood action heroines as Michel Yeoh and Milla Jovovich are more known for their in air stunts which eventually makes the film spectacular.
The Hindi films have also reached a stage where heroines need to step up and display their flexibility. This will also strengthen heroines' position as performers and will help them in barging into a genre entirely dominated by males.
'Don 2' may not bring Priyanka Chopra very close to assassin Beatrix Kiddo of 'Kill Bill' but a satisfactory performance in stunt oriented scenes can give other heroines the confidence to try their hands in action films.
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