Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif lead the mantle of female stardom in Bollywood. Both of them have a huge fanbase and following on social media. Leaving aside a few movies, both Deeps and Kats have been associated with some major blockbusters of the past few years.
There was a time when Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi ruled the roost. Such was the stardom of both these actresses that even the leading heroes like Anil Kapoor and Salman Khan were considered secondary to them.
Oomph, Beauty, and Craft of Both Madhuri and Sridevi was Unparalleled
It was Sridevi's unparalleled craft, glamour, and beauty that ensured that the audience went to the theaters to watch movies like Nagina and Chandni. Big directors like Yash Chopra had full faith in this South Indian beauty and hence offered her a double role in his ambitious project Lamhe. Be it Chandni, Nagina, or Lamhe, it was Sridevi's show all the way.
Rather it is believed that it was the stardom of Sridevi that gave a fresh leap to the career of Yash Chopra as he was struggling badly after the debacle of Silsila and Vijay.
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Even in Shekhar Kapoor's Mr. India, it was the first female superstar of Bollywood who attracted the most response at the box-office instead of Anil Kapoor who played the title role.
Even when she made a comeback with English Vinglish or impressed with Mom, it was Sridevi's X factor that kept on lingering in the minds of the audience.
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And the same goes true for Madhuri Dixit who sort of was handed over the baton of stardom from Sridevi.
Be it Saajan with Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt or Khal Nayak with Dutt and Jackie Shroff, it was Madhuri at the centerstage. From Tezaab to Dil To Pagal Hai she kept on setting new milestones of success.
Such was the impact of the dhak dhak girl that Indra Kumar's Beta was more known for Madhuri's dancing and acting than for Anil Kapoor's role.
These were the times when people went to theaters to watch Sridevi and Madhuri irrespective of who the lead star or director was.
Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif Are Yet To Give a Massive Solo Hit
Both Deeps and Kats are big heroines of Bollywood. However, both are yet to give a massive solo hit similar to Sridevi or Madhuri. Deepika Padukone's last movie Chhapaak which was her first solo-lead flick was a disaster at the box-office.
Based on real-life acid attack survivor Laxmi, Deepika was also one of the producers of this film. Many believe that her stint at the JNU supporting the tukade-tukade gang caused the movie to flop.
In the past few years, her blockbuster hits mostly included Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani, and Chennai Express. All these movies had big stars, famous banners, and a very strong script.
Deepika's performance in Cocktail, Piku, and Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani was widely appreciated. While Deepika's presence did add value to these movies, it certainly cannot be compared to the box-office pull that Madhuri or Sridevi had.
So in a way she is yet to prove that she can carry a movie entirely on her shoulders.
The same is the case with Katrina Kaif who recently started shooting for her first-ever solo lead movie of Ali Abbas Zafar. Katrina will be portraying the first-ever superwoman of India in this film.
All her previous hits including Bharat, Tiger Zinda Hai, Welcome, Dhoom 3, Jab Tak Hai Jaan mostly starred big superstars like Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Shah Rukh Khan.
After the failure of Zero, Phantom, and Thugs of Hindostan, Katrina now needs a big superhit.
Of course, she has a big movie of Rohit Shetty like Sooryavanshi with Akshay Kumar ready for release, but again its success more or less will be evaluated on Akki's box-office value. With Ali Abbas Zafar's next Katrina Kaif has a good chance to show whether she has the star power that Madhuri and Sriji once enjoyed.
But at present, neither Deepika Padukone nor Katrina Kaif can claim of the superstardom Madhuri and Sridevi enjoyed during the 80s and 90s.