Happy Birthday Lara Dutta!

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.

Nadeem Shravan, Sameer - Andaaz (2003, Cassette) | Discogs

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).

CINEMA GALLERY: Mahesh Bhupathi - Lara Dutta Wedding Photos

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.

Akshay Amy Jackson & Lara Dutta Singh Is Bling wallpapers

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!!!!!!

10 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Lara Dutta!

  1. I thought Lara was great in No Entry as the eternally suspicious wife of Anil Kapoor. I thought she had a real flair for comedy and didn’t understand why she didn’t do more such roles. She did another comedy with Salman, Partner. She was OK, but the focus of the film was really on Govinda and Salman, so she didn’t have much of a role, not like in No Entry. Check that out if you haven’t already seen it.

    Aside: Have you noticed that of all the beauty queens who have gone into Bollywood, it’s the Miss World’s who have been more successful — bigger stars, steady careers — while the Miss Universes, usually much more intelligent than the Miss World of their year — tend to fizzle out or not really focus on their acting careers. Both Sushmita and Lara are extremely intelligent, especially compared to the Miss World that year (this is where the second place winner of Miss India gets sent), namely Aishwarya and Priyanka.

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    • I had never thought about Miss World/Miss Universe before! that’s really interesting. I had thought “boy, Lara and Sush are so much more interesting and outside the box as people versus PC and Aish” but I didn’t realize it broke down across pageant lines. On the other hand, both Lara and Sush went on to have far less spectacular Hindi film careers. Which I always chalked up to them being just too smart for it? Not that successful actresses can’t be smart. but if you come in from the pageant side of things, you tend to be pushed into these glamour roles and the only way to make a mark is to do a lot of personal publicity stuff. Sush and Lara seem like they just get bored with playing the publicity game. And now they both seem far more happy with their lives than PC and Aish (from what we can see at a far distance).

      On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 8:09 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • “Too smart to play the silly games required to make a mark in Bollywood” was my take on the situation. And the more intelligent girl is the one who usually wins and goes on to the Miss Universe pageant, because they need that intelligence to have a strong finish in the “interview” portion of the final round (because at that point, everyone left is going to be drop dead gorgeous). You should watch that portion of both Sush and Lara’s competition. They really do make an amazing impression.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The funny thing is, I feel like Dia Mirza (third runner up I’m assuming since she went to Asia Pacific?) is also smart. Maybe she was too smart to play the pageant games right?

          On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 8:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Dia is intelligent (though not as much as Lara and Sush, I think), but she is not as assertive or “strong.” In psychological terms which I’ve been reading lately, she has too much “agreeability”, and such people find it hard to stand up for themselves. Sushmita and Lara could say “the heck with you” to the industry and do their own thing. Dia I think would have liked to have continued acting, but was more or less forced out and found production a better path because she has more control over her surroundings.

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  2. Wait you forgot the biggest Lara Dutta song!

    I love Lara quite a bit! I agree that her and Sush were “too smart” for the industry. Either way I just love watching them whenever they show up onscreen!

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    • But that song is almost too good to be included with the other stupid songs!

      I love Lara, and I feel like she just couldn’t believably act out stupid scripts. But put her in a comedy where the script is in on the joke of how dumb it is, or in an actual good movie like Billu, and she is fabulous.

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      • Oh! Are only looking at stupid fun songs?? Here’s my new addition then!

        Those pants! So early 2000s!

        More Riteish! I really find it funny how out of the three guys in Masti he’s the one that ended up working with Lara the most (and just generally had a longer career)

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        • Thank you! Yes indeedy, those songs fit. Why was she in so many dumb songs?

          On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 3:55 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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