Madhuri Mania
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She won countless admirers with her dazzling smile and set the screen on fire with her incredible dance moves. She has also won many awards in the best actress category. But, beneath all that razzle dazzle, lies a fire that quite often translates into a fiery performance on celluloid.

That's Madhuri Dixit in a nutshell.

There's something so inherently potent about her persona that it rubs off on her characters as well be it as the mild-mannered Chandramukhi of Devdas or the playful Nisha in Hum Aapke Hain Koun...!.

And motherhood does not seem to have slowed the actress in any way. She is all set for
Aaja Nachley, her comeback film.

As she celebrates her 40th birthday, takes a look at the Ek do teen's star's most powerful performances till date.


Madhuri Dixit in Devdas
Devdas The role: Chandramukhi -- a selfless courtesan in love with a man in love with another woman.

Power play: There is a lot more to Madhuri's Chandramukhi than glittering gold and rich brocades. Sure, she looked drop dead gorgeous performing kathak in all that finery, but it was her skill as an actress that impressed us the most.

Snubbed, and yet soaring, Chandramukhi didn't let Devdas get the better of her. Neither did she let her inelegant status in society mar her passion or principles.


Madhuri & Manisha in Lajja
The role: Janaki -- Unwed mother and lead actress in a small-scale nautanki group.

Power play: It is hard to imagine anyone except Madhuri playing the complex maverick, Janaki. Both defiant and vulnerable, she is not afraid to speak her mind or shield her actions, taking on the unconventional society. She has her own ideas living her life.

To Madhuri's credit, her layered act and dramatic conviction was nothing short of electrifying.


Madhuri Dixit in Pukar
The role: Anjali -- a tenacious woman obsessed with her object of affection.

Power play: With Rajkumar Santoshi's Pukar, Madhuri moved to greyer pastures. Her character Anjali is willing to go to any extent to win the heart of the man she loves. Her actions might be questionable but her belief in her goal is unrelenting.

The same ardour can be seen when she realises her folly and wants to repent. Madhuri's uninhibited dynamism came in foray to portray this unusually unpleasant character.


Madhuri as Ketki in Mrityudand
The role: Ketki -- an exceptionally righteous and sensible wife of a landlord's son.

Power play: Madhuri Dixit's powerful persona makes her characters come alive and spit storm in the face of adversity. As Ketki, the actress fights injustice with steely determination -- whether it's getting her mislead husband back on track or battling village tyrants.

A wonderfully nuanced performance that won accolades galore.


Madhuri Dixit in Khalnayak
The role: Ganga -- an undercover policewoman attempts to nail a 'most wanted' terrorist disguised as a dancer.

Power play: Think Khalnayak and Choli ke peeche comes to mind.

Madhuri's spicy number took the nation and censors by storm. But that's not the only reason for Khalnayak to feature in the list. Rather it's her tough cop-on-the-job act that deserves special mention. Whether she's sizing up baddies or playing along the tune of a goofy terrorist, Madhuri rocks.


Anil & Madhuri in Beta
The role: Saraswati -- An literate and smarter better half of an equally illiterate, naive villager, remote controlled by his scheming step-mom.

Power play: If you thought only K-soaps are all about saas-bahu, think again.

The point-and-shoot camaraderie between the warring mother (Aruna Irani) and daughter-in-law was caustic enough to entertain the audience and earn them a Filmfare trophy. Except, Madhuri being Madhuri could easily put a fire-breathing dragon to shame with her cutting looks and acerbic repartee.


Dil 1990
The role: Madhu -- a petulant collegian who falls for the very guy she loves to hate.

Power play: The 1990 love story is the typical A to Z of loudly played cliches, except for the final airport scene, which was imitated to death in a series of wannabe romances.

But Madhuri and Aamir Khan's refreshing chemistry and a chartbusting soundtrack ensured Dil a prosperous run at the box office.

Dil also won her the 'Best actress' award, her first. And rightly so. Besides looking stunning, the Dum dumma dum girl shone in a routine romance with seasoned spontaneity and awe-inspiring intensity.


Madhuri Dixit in Tezaab
The role: Mohini -- a popular singer/performer still hoping to reunite with her long lost beau.

Power play: Madhuri matched her co-star Anil Kapoor word for word in this one. She infused Mohini with appropriate doses of attitude, mischief and sentimentality. Indeed, N Chandra's action drama was a smash hit. And thank God for that. It gave Madhuri's career a glowing start and us an actress to treasure.


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