The "Let's talk about" series is typically one where I just get to ramble about my favourite actresses and actors for a post, and feature some lovely pictures of them to boot. But I can't quite honestly claim I consider Lara Dutta a favourite. Or do I?
The fact is, this former pagent queen is a consistent positive surprise in my books, but her filmography is filled with movies I just don't really want to watch. I first saw Lara in No Entry, which was the biggest hit of 2005 (yeah, bet you didn't remember that fact, did'ja?). The film itself is an absolutely unbearably unfunny Salman Khan comedy that also has Anil Kapoor and Fardeen Khan (remember him?) as two hapless husbands and one cheating playboy (can you guess who Salman plays?) in another one of those "oh ha ha isn't cheating-except-not-cheating hilarious?" genre comedies. Lara is a gross stereotype of a mistrusting wife of Anil's character, and yet she won me over.
Then there are films like Jhoom Barabar Jhoom which is fairly unpopular (depending on who you talk to), but which I absolutely loved her in! Chalo Dilli is a nice smaller film, too.
Billu Barber gave Lara a fair opportunity to showcase her acting alongside the always magnificent Irffan, and she was definitely good in it. (Overall the film is my favourite from Priyadarshan, the only Hindi film he seems to have actually put some thought and effort into.)
However, about 80% of her career seems to be special appearances or random big cast dumb comedies, or just horrendous flops like Blue and Zinda. I have to wonder, as I do with many actresses and actors who just can't seem to catch a break no matter how much I personally enjoy them on-screen, what gives? Is she just not an actress good enough to be seriously considered for more substantial roles? Is she unpopular in B-town? Or is she, now that she's married, just actively cutting down work to focus on raising a family? Does she just enjoy making big cast dumb comedies where she forms a mere fraction of the insanity?
I haven't got the slightest clue, but the point is, I like her. And I really wish she was in more things I actually wanted to watch. But if she's moving to family life (and seems to get replaced by younger actresses, because that's sadly the way the world works...), I of course respect that choice, but can't help but feel a little annoyed. Something about her choices in films makes me feel like she never got her fair due.