The question again was which of 11 listed female actors you consider to share the best onscreen chemistry with Mr. Shahrukh Khan…
KAJOL: No surprises here. The unibrowed-one captured 54 of your votes, to win this poll. SRK and Kajol have actually only done a handful of films together, but almost all of them have been super-hits (some have even attained iconic status), with the pair leaving an indelible mark on the minds and hearts of audiences worldwide. From ‘Baazigar’ to ‘Karan Arjun’ to ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (DDLJ), to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (KKHH)’, to ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ (K3G), this couple has always struck just the right note.
I think what makes the SRK/Kajol work is that they look great together (two unconventionally attractive and interesting-looking people), they are both good at expressing the emotions of their characters, and they have a great vibe between them – so that whether its humour or trauma or passion or drama; they just bounce off each other and make their jodi both believable and lovable. I have loved all the SRK/Kajol pairings that I’ve seen, and I have a very soft spot for the picturisation of ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’ from K3G, a film which (ironically) is not one of my favourite SRK/Kajol films (for me, DDLJ and KKHH are much better films) – I simply love SRK and Kajol in that song.
RANI MUKERJI: Again, this actress has made just a few movies with Shahrukh Khan, but apparently those few movies have made such an impact that Rani has received a very decent score of 32 votes in this poll, second only to her cousin Kajol. I think Rani is a very different kind of actress from Kajol; where Kajol is more instinctive and gives freer rein to the emotions of her characters, Rani is more thoughtful and controlled. But I think SRK is equally adept at creating a vibrant and interesting dynamic between himself and each of the very talented and lovely Mukerji cousins.
In her first pairing with King Khan, Rani played Tina, the third character in the KKHH love triangle. Since then, she’s had memorable performances opposite him in ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ (KANK), ‘Paheli’ and ‘Chalte Chalte’ (as you can see from my screencaps, I love the picturisation of ‘Tauba Tumhare’ to bits). And I should also mention ‘Veer Zaara’ – I think Rani and SRK did a great job together even though they weren’t THE couple of the film.
JUHI CHAWLA: I have to say I love SRK and Juhi together. In fact, if I were to vote alone in this poll, Juhi and Kajol would tie for first place, and Rani would be second. Kyun ki I absolutely love Shahrukh Khan with Juhi. I think they are just excellent together. What I like best about this jodi is the sheer fun and joy that they exude together in most of their films together (with the exception of ‘Darr’, of course, in which SRK’s character basically hunted ‘K-k-kiran’ down – I actually liked them both in ‘Darr’ as well).
Juhi and SRK are so cute together, adorable really; and they always just seem to be laughing and having a blast, making me (the viewer) want to jump right in and join them. Their real-life friendship really shines through. SRK/Juhi have shared the spotlight in films like the oh-so-fun ‘Yes Boss’ (‘Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaon’ is one of my favourite Hindi movie songs ever, and I just think SRK and Juhi are tres cute and charming in the film), ‘Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman’, ‘Duplicate’, ‘One 2 Ka 4’, ‘Phir Bhi Dil Hindustani’ and ‘Ram Jaane’. The cute Juhi garnered 28 of the votes cast in this poll, to come in third… very close to Rani.
MADHURI DIXIT: The gorgeous Mrs. Dixit-Nene grabbed 15 of all the votes cast in the poll, putting her in fourth position. I’m a huge fan of Mads, I think she is so awesome – she’s just a star in every sense of the word. And one of the great things about her is her professionalism, the way she throws herself into every performance and does her best to create the right dynamic between herself and her leading men. Sometimes the chemistry is so convincing that it’s unforgettable, as in the otherwise-unmemorable ‘Dil’ with Aamir Khan; but even when it’s not quite that striking, it’s still thoroughly convincing.
I’ve liked Madhuri and SRK together in the films I’ve seen in them in together (not as much as I’ve liked either of them with other actors though), and I think that’s down to their hard work, professionalism and star quality. Films which have featured Ms. Dixit and Shahrukh Khan in lead roles include ‘Koyla’ (I really liked them together in this), ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ (which I loved more for the Madhuri/Karisma dynamic than for the Madhuri/SRK jodi, actually), ‘Devdas’ (not a great pairing here in my opinion, but a great performance by Madhuri), the oft-criticised ‘Anjaam’ and the pretty darn awful ‘Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam’.
PREITY ZINTA: As far as I know, SRK and Preity have only co-starred in a movie thrice – they’ve shared the marquee in ‘Veer Zaara’, ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ (KHNH) and KANK. In KANK, they aren’t a romantic couple even though they’re playing a married couple, so I would guess that Preity earned 12 of the votes cast in this poll (placing her in fifth position) on the strength of her memorable pairings with Shahrukh in ‘Veer Zaara’ and KHNH.
I am not a HUGE fan of Preity, but I do think she’s a good actress given the right roles, and I think her performance as Zaara in ‘Veer Zaara’ was one of her best. SRK also handed in a superb performance. One striking thing about this couple is the way they were able to portray such a strong emotional bond so well… there wasn’t too much physicality or even sentimentality about them in the film, but they still made you believe in their prem kahani. Great job by both actors. I am less enamoured with Preity’s performance in KHNH (and with the film in general) – I really liked Saif Ali Khan’s dynamic with SRK in the movie, but I was less taken with SRK and Preity as a couple. I still think that they were still pretty good together in the film – and I actually loved the melodramatic scene in the storm (after Preity’s character discovers the truth).
SUSHMITA SEN: Up next is the gorgeous Ms. Sen, in sixth position with 7 of the votes cast. She and Mr. Khan (in a nice, age-appropriate pairing) burned up the big screen in ‘Main Hoon Na’. I remember thinking how nice it was to see these two more mature characters together, both just enjoying their mutual chemistry and doing the whole silly-serious thing. I also thought they were too cute together with the whole sexy-teacher thing and the spontaneous-bursting-into-song thing… I just thought they were great together and played off each other well. Ram and Miss Chandni were really into each other and they were also having fun. Works for me.
AISHWARYA RAI: In seventh position, we have the poised and beautiful Aishwarya Rai, with 5 votes. The lovely Mrs. Bachchan has co-starred with SRK in films like ‘Devdas’, ‘Mohabbatein’, and ‘Josh’ (in which they play siblings). This jodi also had a very memorable dance number together in ‘Shakthi - The Power’. The thing that struck me about this number was that although both dancers were technically brilliant (two of my favourites, actually) and executed some very difficult moves extremely well, the whole thing just didn’t move me. It was like a very beautiful work of art that just doesn’t speak to your heart. I think this is true of a lot of the work SRK and Ash have done as co-stars – beautiful but sorta ‘soulless’ and just not very interesting or compelling. I think they just don’t make a very good couple for some reason. (But she was great opposite Hrithik Roshan in 'Dhoom II' and Akshaye Khanna in 'Taal' (well the first half of it, anyway)).
There are three actors in eighth position, and each one garnered 1 vote in the poll -
MANISHA KOIRALA: ‘Dil Se’ is a film that is difficult to forget – in addition, it’s not happy viewing, it’s disturbing and leaves you wanting some comfort food or a phone conversation with your mama… it’s very tough viewing – especially at the end. But at the centre of it all, we find two central characters that, when they encounter each other, bring home to us all the pain, longing, angst and suffering that are such a reality of our world. I think Shahrukh and Manisha did some amazing work in this brilliant film – I think Ratnam chose just the right cast for his story. Manisha also acted opposite SRK in ‘Guddu’, which I haven’t seen.
SHILPA SHUKLA: This actress, who played the fiery senior player Bindya Naik from ‘Chak De! India’ handed in a very strong performance. I really liked this young lady opposite SRK, she just did the business and ‘brought it’. No-nonsense acting. Not a single sign that she was over-awed by SRK’s star presence. The scene in the locker room was excellent – the way they eyeballed each other. Loved it! And it seems that at least one of you liked it too.
GAYATRI JOSHI: I really liked this elegant actress with a very restrained mien in ‘Swades’. What I liked about the couple in this film was that both the man and the woman were mature – no silly childish mucking around. Gayatri’s character came to SRK’s character when she was good and ready, and she told him exactly how she felt about him – with no hysterics or unnecessary emotion, but quietly and with conviction – like you would expect from her strong, independent character. She knew what she wanted and I loved that. I really liked Gayatri and Shahrukh together in this film. And at least one person agreed, which is cool.
And finally, down at number nine, we have -
MAHIMA CHAUDHARY: To the best of my knowledge, Mahima and SRK have only done ‘Pardes’ (which my mother calls ‘I love my India’ after the film’s super-saccharine signature number) together… ‘Pardes’ is not that bad, but I didn’t like it much either. For me, it was a one-watch-only kinda movie. It was Mahima’s first film, though, and her performance struck me as being quite young and fresh. I think she and SRK were good together, but not memorable, which I guess explains why she didn’t pick up any votes in this poll.
So that’s it… I would have liked to have Bebo in the poll to see how many votes she’d have picked up, but it skipped my mind until it was too late to include her. I actually liked her opposite SRK in ‘Asoka’. Anyway, we’re done with this poll… another will be up soon! Take care…