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Most Memorable Performances of the ‘Bombay’ Actress

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One of the most respected and fine actresses of Hindi cinema, Manisha Koirala celebrates her birthday today. She has worked with some of the famous filmmakers and actors in the industry. The critically acclaimed actress is known for her works in commercial as well as art-house cinema. Extremely popular through the 90s, Manisha was rather underrated during her golden period. Her first film in Bollywood debut was the 1991 film Saudagar directed by Subhash Ghai.

She established herself as a leading actress after enduring a series of commercial failures. Manisha was on a hiatus for five years after her cancer diagnosis in 2012. She came back with films like Dear Maya, Lust Stories and Sanju, all of which were commercial and critical successes. On Manisha’s birthday, let’s revisit some of her best acts:

1942 A Love Story (1994)

In the Vidhu Vinod Chopra directorial, Manisha was at the top of her game and proved her mettle. She convinced viewers in a short span by displaying the amazing transformation her character undergoes in the film.

From a bubbly and cheerful girl-next-door, Manisha goes on to become an anguished woman towards the end of the film. She received her first Filmfare nomination for Best Actress. RD Burman’s melodious tracks only added to the beauty of this acclaimed patriotic romance.

Khamoshi: The Musical (1996)

In Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s directorial debut, Manisha played the role of a caring daughter whose parents are deaf and mute. The actress didn’t put a foot wrong in this one and her performance was highly acclaimed.

Her portrayal of the musically-inclined Annie won Manisha her second consecutive Filmfare nomination for Best Actress. She won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Critics) and Star Screen Award for Best Actress.

Bombay (1995)

Mani Ratnam directed romantic drama is an incredible example of Manisha’s versatile acting skills. People fell in love with Shaila Bano, the village schoolgirl who played a lover, wife and a helpless mother to perfection. Based on the 1992 riots in then-Bombay, the film gave Manisha a stamp of a quality performer.

Her chemistry with her co-star Arvind Swamy was appreciated by critics and audience alike. Manisha got Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Critics) and Filmfare Filmfare Awards South Best Actress – Tamil for her performance.

Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995)

The love story between Aamir Khan’s Rohit and Manisha’s Kiran was a musical hit. Manisha’s multi-rendered character consistently developed over the duration of the film. From a dutiful wife to a superstar, Manisha gave life to each nuance and expression.

Regarded as one of Indian cinema’s most sensitive and real depiction of husband-wife relationship, this film directed by Mansoor Khan was an unofficial remake of the Oscar-winning 1979 film Kramer vs. Kramer.

Dil Se… (1998)

Mani Ratnam clearly brought the best out of Manisha. Despite essaying the role of a terrorist in the film, Manisha did not evoke a negative vibe in her performance. Her intense portrayal of Meghna brought in the mystery element in good measure.

Dil Se.. was the first Indian film ever to make it to the top 10 in the United Kingdom box office charts. Manisha earned a Filmfare and Star Screen nomination in the Best Actress category.

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