Kriti Sanon: On the road to stardom | Sunday Observer

Kriti Sanon: On the road to stardom

21 November, 2021

Kriti Sanon (born 27 July 1990) is an Indian actress who appears predominantly in Hindi films. She made her debut with the Telugu psychological thriller 1: Nenokkadine in 2014. Sanon won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut for her performance in Sabbir Khan’s action-comedy Heropanti (2014), which marked her first project in Hindi cinema.

Sanon has since starred in the commercially successful romantic comedy films Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017), Luka Chuppi (2019), Mimi (2021) and Hum Do Hamare Do (2021). Her highest-grossing releases came with the comical action romance Dilwale (2015) and the comedy Housefull 4 (2019). She has also launched her own line of clothing and endorses several brands and products, and appeared in Forbes India’s celebrity 100 list of 2019.

Early career

Sanon debuted into acting in 2014 with Sukumar’s Telugu psychological thriller 1: Nenokkadine as a journalist who is the love interest of Mahesh Babu’s character Gautham. The film received mixed reviews from critics. A reviewer for The Times of India wrote that Sanon “looks pretty” and “acts well” while a reviewer for said that she “looks gorgeous” and considered her performance to be “okay” for a newcomer.

Later that year, Sanon entered Hindi cinema through Sabbir Khan’s action romance Heropanti with debutante Tiger Shroff. The film had a mixed reception, but nevertheless was a surprising success earning 726 million (US$9.6 million) worldwide.

Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama wrote that she “looks gorgeous and handles her part with certainty and confidence” and that she “has the trappings of a star”, whereas Rajeev Masand said she “looks lovely and makes an impression despite her harebrained role”. Conversely, Srijana Das of The Times of India criticised her emoting, calling it “more cheesy than sharp.” For Heropanti, Sanon won the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award.

Sanon began 2015 by featuring in her second Telugu film, Sudheer Varma’s crime drama Dohchay co-starring Naga Chaitanya. She was next cast in Rohit Shetty’s comical action romance Dilwale with Varun Dhawan, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol which broke several box office records to become one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time, grossing more than 3.72 billion (US$49 million) worldwide. Anupama Chopra disliked the film and wrote that Sanon and Dhawan “work as bait, meant to bring in the critical youth segment”.

After a year of absence from the screen throughout 2016, Sanon teamed up with producer Dinesh Vijan, for the first of many films, in his directorial debut Raabta, which saw her and Sushant Singh Rajput as star-crossed lovers who are reborn. In a scathing review, Sukanya Verma of labelled the film “embarrassingly daft” but took note of Sanon’s “statuesque, spirited presence”. The film flopped both critically and commercially.

Sanon’s subsequent portrayal of a headstrong rural Indian woman who aspires to a better life in Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s romantic comedy Bareilly Ki Barfi was better received, with Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao starring opposite her in an adaptation of French writer Nicholas Barreau’s novel The Ingredients of Love. Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV said that “the burden of making Bareilly Ki Barfi work rests upon Kriti Sanon and she doesn’t put a foot wrong”, but Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express thought that despite Sanon’s effort, her performance lacked naturalism.

It earned over 548 million (US$7.3 million) against its 200 million (US$2.7 million) budget. Her sole appearance in 2018 was a special song appearance for the music video of the song “Aao Kabhi Haveli Pe” in Amar Kaushik’s comedy horror film Stree, produced by Vijan in conjunction with Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K., who also wrote the film while making their debut as producers.

Further success

Sanon teamed up with Vijan on two films in 2019, the first of which was cinematographer Laxman Utekar’s Hindi directorial debut Luka Chuppi, a satire on live-in relationships, which paired her opposite Kartik Aaryan. Devesh Sharma of Filmfare wrote, “Sanon is spontaneous throughout and seems to be finding her feet in comedy, having a gala time of it all in the process.” A superhit, Luka Chuppi did a global accumulation of 1.29 billion (US$17 million).

She collaborated with Vijan again on Rohit Jugraj’s spoof comedy Arjun Patiala, starring Diljit Dosanjh as the titular character, which saw her play the role of a journalist who serves as the protagonist’s love interest, and later teamed up with Nadiadwala after a special song appearance in Kalank on Farhad Samji’s reincarnation comedy Housefull 4, in which she played dual roles of a princess and the daughter of a rich London-based businessman, opposite Akshay Kumar, with whom she was originally slated to collaborate on Singh Is Bliing, whence her role was filled in by Amy Jackson after she opted out due to scheduling conflicts with Dilwale.

While the former was a critical and commercial failure, the latter emerged as a major commercial success despite unfavourable reviews. For her final appearance that year, she portrayed Parvatibai opposite Arjun Kapoor’s Sadashivrao Bhau in Ashutosh Gowariker’s period drama Panipat, based on the Third Battle of Panipat. It ended up as a box-office bomb. That year, Sanon appeared in Forbes India’s celebrity 100 list, ranking 38th with an estimated annual income of 80.9 million (US$1.1 million).

Sanon next played the titular role in Utekar’s drama Mimi, featuring her as a surrogate mother in a remake of Samroudhhi Porey’s 2011 National Award-winning Marathi film Mala Aai Vhhaychy!. The film released on Netflix India on July 26, 2021. Taran Adarsh wrote, “Mimi is a heartwarming saga, aimed at families. It will keep the audience thoroughly entertained. Kriti Sanon delivers a very entertaining performance. This is surely her most accomplished performance and is sure to get appreciation from all quarters.” Mashable India called Sanon’s performance her career-best saying, “Sanon has outdone herself. In fact, as you see her shoulder the film with her craft, you will also see her deliver her career best performance; Mimi is Sanon’s labour of love all the way”.

Sanon’s next release was Gujarati filmmaker Abhishek Jain’s debut Hum Do Hamare Do opposite Rajkummar Rao, also produced by Vijan.

Upcoming films

Sanon has finished shooting for Samji’s film Bachchan Pandey alongside Akshay Kumar in January 2021. Early in February 2021, it was announced that she will reunite with Heropanti co-star Shroff in Vikas Bahl’s dystopian martial arts actioner Ganapath and will appear in Stree director Amar Kaushik’s horror comedy Bhediya alongside Dhawan. Late in March 2021, she was cast as Sita in Om Raut’s film Adipurush (2021), co-starring Prabhas and Saif Ali Khan. Sanon will reteam with Kartik Aaryan on Shehzada, official Hindi remake of Telugu-language film Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo starring Allu Arjun and Pooja Hegde.