Preity Zinta

- Vikram Chandiramani 

If you will observe the movements of Preity Zinta carefully you will notice an unseen presence of someone saying one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four as she makes her movements. Unlike actresses like Sridevi who could give a dozen expressions in a single shot (like she did in 'Khuda Gawah') Preity Zinta has to work at her movement and expressions. She did begin as a model and the old belief is that models cannot act. Yet, she could charm the audience when she sneakily bit into a 'Perk' chocolate behind a banner of 'Hunger Strike', with a naughty grin giving others in the strike the same idea and as a Liril girl.

That she is among the top three is partly because Aishwarya Rai’s has lost focus, is working on a career in English films, and SRK as well as Salman Khan have limited options. Preity, Rani Mukherjee, to some extent Kareena Kapoor and now Priyanka Chopra and Bipasha Basu are the only regining queens. Preity was more than noticed when she made her beginning. Mani Rathnam signed her for a guest appearance in 'Dil Se' and soon Preity charmed her way in to the hearts of people as the beloved of Bobby 'Soldier' Deol. She was also paired opposite the elder brother Sunny Deol in 'Farz' and is sure to make more waves in Kundan Shah's 'Friends'.

Whether it is the limitation of her image or her choice the characters Preity has played have always focused an `illegitimate` child whether it is in 'Kya Kehna' or 'Chori Chori Chupke' or 'Salaam Namaste'. A profile is certainly not an ideal place to discuss this complex issue. Preity certainly is complex and headstrong whether it has to do with her off screen behaviour or relationships or, for that matter her public utterances.

Take for instance the way she stood by her version in a court hearing where every film star turned hostile (out of fear) or the way she has dragged Hindustan Times to court for publishing a tapped conversation supposed to be between a drunk Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai in which he passed derogatoriy comments on her implying that he had slept with her and many others. When the tapes were established as fake and when it was also established in a government lab that this voice didin’t belong to Salman Khan, Preity went to court suing the newspaper even as Salman avoided any action on the publication or the journalist.

In the recent years, Preity has appeared in some good and successful films like Salaam Namaste, Veer Zaara, Lakshya, Kal Ho Na Ho, Koi…Mil Gaya (and a guest appearance in the sequel 'Krrish' and is counted among the front rank heroines. Preity Zinta was part of 'Jhoom Barabar Jhoom' (2007) which was a box office disaster. Critics also felt she looked haggard. A Rediff review of Preity Zinta and 'Jhoom Barabar Jhoom described her as 'heavy on both Botox and frustration' and 'insufferable' while recommending sister roles for her.

She also worked in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, and has been in news for her relationship with Wadia group scion, Ness Wadia, son of Nusli Wadia. Preity has admitted to dating Ness Wadia and insiders say she is considering marrying him.

Actress Suchitra Krishnamurthy broke up with her husband, filmmaker Shekhar Kapoor and blamed Preity Zinta for causing the break up. Preity has denied this and alleged that Suchitra Krishnamurthy is 'mentally disturbed'.