Oh Lara! I like her. Not really sure why. I mean, there’s no reason to dislike her, but I don’t know enough about her to be able to justify why I like her so much.
Lara! Won Miss Universe at 22 in 2000, already a successful model and semi-celebrity in India. And then she did the inevitable follow up and was cast in a non-Hindi film for practice, and then a Hindi film for real, Andaaz. Despite the tempting poster, Andaaz is NOT, in fact, a lesbian love story (booo!). Lara was okay in it, but didn’t make a major splash. She kept acting regularly without ever being given really good roles, just being the eye candy love interest types. No one seemed to notice really, but towards the end of her full time acting career she started to get really good! Her performances in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Billu, and finally Challo Dilli were fun and funny and different.
Challo Dilli was her first movie as a producer, naturally immediately after marriage. Marriage is an actresses “retirement” announcement, and then you can move on to producing with everyone taking you seriously. Her husband seems like a nice man, a tennis player who is the real deal (Olympics, internationally ranked, and so on. Not just a sports celebrity, a real athlete).
And then Lara had a baby, took it slow for a few years, and now is back doing character roles! I love it! She’s actually really good at comedy, and the idea that this woman who could just be a glamorous guest at awards shows for the rest of her life has chosen to start a new career as a character actress is a kick.
And finally, let’s look at some songs! Not that many great Lara Dutta songs, but still a few. Well, “great” meaning “fun and entertaining but not necessarily high quality”. Actually, looking at this list, Lara was in a remarkably high number of insanely stupid but insanely happy songs.
For instance, I have a definite soft spot for “On the Roof [in the rain]”
It’s not a dark revenge heist movie without a silly “cheer up” song for the guy who’s father died which started his revenge journey! “Andarlu Mandarlu”.
We just watched Jhoom Barabar Jhoom as a group, and who can forget “Ticket to Hollywood”
And then there’s Billu! Lara doing a surprisingly good job as a village woman, with this pretty silly song of her dreaming of Shahrukh, “Khudaya Khair”
The first Housefull! Which had the biggest name female cast, before actresses realized what a drudge these movies are. Anyway, Lara and Dips! And that poetic song, “Oh Girl, Your Mine”
And finally, after seeing her be thrown into these silly silly somewhat demeaning songs, let’s end with something where she plays cool and smart and sophisticated, “Zaraa Dil Ko Thaam Lo”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LARA!!!!!!