ameesha patel

Two decade-defining blockbusters in just under a year – Ameesha Patel was ruling the Bollywood charts in 2000-01, with ‘Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai’ and ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’. Now, the uncharitable among you would say that the success of both had more to do with those whom she shared screen space. But Ameesha did enough even within the parameters of those roles to convince many that she had staying power. (She sure could match up to Sunny Deol on the decibel side, when it came to delivering power-packed punchlines in ‘Gadar…’) But a poor choice of subsequent roles, where she reduced nothing more than eye candy, meant the glitter of her first couple of years dimmed fast. And Bollywood does not exactly take kindly to prima donnas who are trying to live off successes from the distant past. Ameesha took a while to learn those time-honored rules of India’s hierarchical film industry, slipped into more inconsequential roles in south Indian movies, and by the end of the last decade, it was all over. Silver screen fortunes can be fickle, but for one 15-month run starting early 2000, it was felt that Ameeha would be a force to reckon with. But audiences had decided to move on… and it’s the only verdict that matters