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Aishwarya Rai's Charisma: A Hype?

By: Arya Aiyappan
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Former Miss World, one of the leading actresses of Bollywood, embodiment of flawless beauty that is Aishwarya Rai for you. Her name resounds in every movie buff's voice and is a revered figure amidst the controversies in which she has landed centering on her love life, the tie-ups and break-ups. Hardly does one name Bollywood without her name.

It needs to be unearthed with the question lurking in the backdrop as to whether she deserves the much praise and attention showered on her or it is a mere media gimmick. That she is a wonderful actress with a flair for acting is beyond doubt, with the ease and elegance she puts into every movie. But beyond that it is more of a hype, which sustains her image as one of the topmost actresses of today in the India to shine in the international scenario.

Ash as she is lovingly known on her 33rd birthday was the first bollywood actress to be acknowledged internationally with her interviews on the "Oprah Winfrey show" as well as the Emmy winning prestigious American Talk Show, "Late night With David Letterman". Commended as the most popular face by American actress Julia Roberts, she is undoubtedly 'the most beautiful woman in the world' and compared to Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly, Hollywood's mesmerizing ladies. It is beyond doubt that her beauty and grace is nearly unrivalled in the Indian context, but what is disquieting is whether that holds well as regards her acting talent.

The hype generated regarding her acting proficiency and the well connected personal relations that she maintains has definitely a major hand in her success. The stupendous beauty coupled with the controversies surrounding her love affairs has conferred upon the classic celebrity status. Hitting the headlines with her affair with Salman Khan, the consequent break up raising much hullabaloo, her relationship with Vivek Oberoi, and at present with Abhishek Bachchan, her stint at Cannes, the hot smooch with Hrithik Roshan in Dhoom 2 or for the matter her statement at the "Oprah Winfrey Show" that India is the land of Kamasutra. The grapevine goes that Aishwarya and Abhishek did exchange garlands in secret.

Beauty is her hallmark though in acting one should acknowledge that actresses like Madhuri Dixit far outweigh, as she is perfection with dignity personified, though she has never been able to achieve the international recognition that Aishwarya Rai gained. Actresses like Rani Mukherjee and Kajol the epitomes of versatility are unfortunately not much acclaimed internationally. What keeps probing is whether beauty overshadows the flair for acting and the innate ability to vibe well with the audience' psyche.

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