Neetu Kapoor's transition from animated to subtle acting: Her journey from Suraj, Yaadon Ki Baarat to JugJugg Jeeyo

Published on Jul 08, 2022 09:05 AM IST

On her 64th birthday, we take a look at the films Neetu Kapoor featured in, and how her acting style changed with time.

Neetu Kapoor celebrates her birthday on Friday.
Neetu Kapoor celebrates her birthday on Friday.

Neetu Kapoor celebrates her 64th birthday on Friday, and she made her comeback on the silver screen recently with the family entertainer, JugJugg Jeeyo. Ahead of the release of the film that starred Anil Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani, she had talked about the difference in her acting and how she made herself get to the floors after all these years. (Also read: Is Neetu Kapoor going to meet Alia Bhatt in London? She reveals)

Having worked as a child artist in films such as Suraj and Do Kaliyaan in the 60s, Neetu was quite comfortable in front of the camera when she made her debut in the lead role with K Shankar's Rickshawala (1973) that also featured Mala Sinha and Randhir Kapoor in lead roles. She got her big break the same year with Yaadon Ki Baarat in which she played a dancer.

Neetu's popularity grew in the second half of the 70s that saw her in hit films such as Deewar, Khel Khel Mein and Kabhie Kabhie. Rishi and Neetu worked together in Khel Khel Mein and Kabhie Kabhie.

Neetu's performance in the films, in sync with the times, was dramatic and animated. The anger or jealousy of the character was shown through textbook versions of facial expressions and body language corresponding to the emotions.

After working in many popular films, she quit acting in the early 80s, when she had her children - Riddhima Kapoor Sahni and Ranbir Kapoor. Neetu returned to cinema after more than three decades when she made a cameo in Imtiaz Ali's 2009 film Love Aaj Kal and played the role of Rishi Kapoor's onscreen wife. She also featured with him in films such as Do Dooni Chaar and Besharam.

Neetu continued to play the animated, Punjabi woman in her films in the second stint as well. In both Do Dooni Chaar and Besharam, she essayed the role of Rishi's wife. Neetu did not work in films for nine years after Besharam. It was only after Rishi's death in 2020, that Karan Johar and her kids persuaded her to go back to acting.

In JugJugg Jeeyo, she plays a Punjabi woman, but one who does not break into bhangra each time she hears the slightest good news. Neetu expressed her happiness, disappointment and pain through subtle expressions in the film that has a typically loud Punjabi atmosphere. Released in June, the Raj Mehta film had a decent performance at the box office and grossed 100 crore worldwide.

Speaking with News18, Neetu had said in an interview, "Acting is like cycling, you never forget. But I needed to gain confidence. When I was working earlier in the ’70s and ’80s our acting was very animated and loud. Today, it has become subtle, and sometimes you also need to underplay. So I needed some guidance. I decided to keep an acting coach who helped me with the lines. So it was acting as well as diction classes. It is different from acting which is very natural."

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