Celebrating 20 years of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in cinema Advertisement

Celebrating 20 years of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in cinema

That's two decades of unfair beauty, immortalised on screen

By ELLE team  January 19th, 2017

Imagine what the Indian movie-going population must have felt 20 years ago, when the emerald-eyed perfection that is Aishwarya Rai first appeared in 77 mm. Making her debut in Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar opposite Mohanlal, the 23-year-old pageant queen was an overnight sensation, instantly setting the standard that female beauty in this country would henceforth be measured against. Unfairly.


Thirteen years later in Ratnam’s Raavan, she played a captive being dragged through muddy forests, hair tangled and forehead badly bruised. The Cannes red carpet it was not, and yet, there was no dulling Aishwarya’s special brand of radiant beauty. Seriously, it’s like the woman swallowed a lightbulb, while bathing in the fountain of youth as nymphs from the garden of Eden tossed rose petals at her.

Are we exaggerating? Have you watched Ae Dil Hai Mushkil? The woman is 43, for crying out loud. 

From Iruvar and Devdas to Guzaarish and most recently, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, we track Aishwarya’s most flattering onscreen appearances. Click through the gallery (above), assuming your self-confidence is 100% intact.