Madhuri wanted to become a micro-biologist - however that just wasn't destined to be. An offer from Rajshri Productions brought Madhuri her first role, the film `Abodh' (1986) released and forgotten, it wasn't until godfather Ghai saw Madhuri and gave her a tiny dance sequence in `Karma' (1986), that things improved. The dance sequence was omitted from the final cut. Ghai promised Madhuri better roles, on the condition that she stop doing tiny roles in insignificant films. Thus, Ghai gave Madhuri `Uttar Dakshin', and then a proper launch in `Ram Lakhan' (1988). Ghai also took the step of putting an eight page advertisement in the trade magazines featuring Madhuri, proclaiming that producers of the calibre of Boney Kapoor, Yash Chopra and six others had signed Madhuri for their forthcoming projects. It was all together another matter that none of the forementioned producers had signed Madhuri for their films.
Madhuri however, didn't have to wait for Ghai's `Ram Lakhan', N.Chandra's `Tezaab' and ek, do, teen char took the nation by storm, Miss Dixit had arrived, and the whole world knew. Tezaab went on to complete a golden jubilee, and was thus a bigger hit than Ram Lakhan.
A superb performance followed in Dil (1990) - which brought Madhuri her first Filmfare award, a rapport was struck with Indra Kumar which resulted in two more blockbusters Beta (1991) and Raja (1995). 1990 onwards, a hit film per year followed including Saajan, Khalnayak, Prem Pratigaya, cumulating in Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994), hindi cinema's biggest blockbuster to date. Madhuri mania ensured the success of `Raja' (1995), a film with many flaws, thus Madhuri was renamed `the female Amitabh Bachchan'.
Unfortunately after the success of `Raja' (1995), Madhuri's films started to collapse at the box office. Yaarana, Rajkumar, Prem Granth, Mahaanta, one after the other. Luckily for Madhuri she gained praise for her performance in `Prem Granth' (1996) and for her looks in `Rajkumar' (1996). By now it had dawned on the industry that Madhuri's lataks and mataks ensure a films success, not.
The presswallas had by now written Madhuris obitury, and annouced that it was time for Madhuri to pack her bags and get married. An issue was made of Madhuri co-starring with Akshaye Khanna who was younger in age to Madhuri in Mohabbat. It was also widely stated that Madhuri favoured films produced by her secretary Rikhu, even though all of Rikhus productions failed at the box-office. Madhuri was never far from controversy, her much publiced affair? with Sunjay Dutt caused a storm, when Sunjay's wife issued a press statement proclaiming her desire to have Sunjay back. The Choli ke peeche song in Khalnayak also caused a stir. With women liberation groups asked for a ban on Madhuri. After the not so great Koyla, director Rakesh Roshan stated that Madhuri could no longer play the youthful type, and continued to make unsavoury comments. Madhuris response was a dignified silence. Madhuri is on top of the league when it comes to being unaffected by what is written about her. Very rarely if ever has Madhuri retaliated to comments made about her in the press, by either journos or collegues.
Prakash Jha's `Mrityudand' (1997) ensured critical acclaim if not box-office success, Madhuri still had the fire that was shown in Tezaab, the intensity that came to light in Beta. Age, said the industry was catching up, Yash Chopra's Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), proved otherwise. A phenomenal success at the box-office, mass acceptance by the audience. Madhuri never looked better, danced better or acted better, her latest offering was indeed her best till date. Madhuri went on to win a handful of awards for her performances in Mrityudand and Dil To Pagal Hai, and even dedicated her Filmfare award to her critics.
In 1998 Madhuri had only one major film to her credit CN Chandra's Wajood, unfortunately the film failed to recreate the hysteria of Tezaab (1988). 1999 it seems will be Madhuri's golden year, for an actress who rarely trends the path of unconvential roles, this year has Madhuri in a host of different characters. MF Hussain's `Gajagamini' is an art film that has Madhuri playing arange of characters. In Boney Kapoor's `Pukar' Madhuri's got a negative role, as well as the usual dose of triangular love stories, Madhuri's first south Indian film, `Engineer', is a techno thriller.