Katrina Kaif - Career - Initial Success (2007–2009)

Initial Success (2007–2009)

In 2007, Kaif appeared in four films, all of which were successful at the box office. Her first release was Vipul Shah's romantic-comedy Namastey London. Kaif portrayed the character of a British Indian girl named Jasmeet "Jazz" Malhotra, alongside Rishi Kapoor, Akshay Kumar and Clive Standen. Upon its release, the film became a major hit, with Nikhat Kazmi, of the The Times Of India praising the chemistry between the leading couple. She next played a supporting role in Anil Sharma's melodrama Apne. Featuring Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Kirron Kher and Shilpa Shetty, the film was a box-office hit. Her next release was David Dhawan's unofficial remake of Hitch, Partner, where she starred alongside Salman Khan, Govinda, and Lara Dutta. Her final film of 2007, Welcome, directed by Anees Bazmee and co-starring Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal and Anil Kapoor, was declared a blockbuster in India, despite negative reviews from critics.

Her first release of 2008 was Abbas-Mustan's action-thriller Race; she played Saif Ali Khan's secretary, Sophia, who is secretly in love with his hostile stepbrother (played by Akshay Khanna). The film also featured Anil Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and Sameera Reddy in leading roles. Despite its success, Kazmi wrote, "Katrina is too pale as the blousy secretary who comes into her own only when she gets seductive with a Touch me, kiss me tenor. "

Kaif was next seen in Anees Bazmee's action comedy Singh Is Kinng, portraying Akshay Kumar's love interest and Ranvir Shorey's fiancée. After its release, the film was declared a blockbuster, making it Kaif's sixth consecutive success at the box office. The movie also emerged as the third highest grossing film of 2008. Kaif's final release of the year, Subhash Ghai's Yuvvraaj, was a commercial failure, but its script made its way into the Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for artistic merit, original screenplay with a substance, and the film as a whole.

In 2009, she featured in Kabir Khan's terrorism drama New York, with John Abraham and Neil Nitin Mukesh. It was a critical and commercial success in both India and overseas. Kaif's performance was highly praised: Taran Adarsh wrote, "Katrina gives you the biggest surprise. Known for her glamour roles, Katrina proves that she can deliver if the director and writer offer her a role of substance. She's outstanding. In fact, people will see a new, different Katrina this time." For her performance, Kaif received her first Filmfare nomination in the Best Actress category. She next had a cameo in the star-studded action-thriller Blue, popularly known as India's first underwater thriller, with Akshay Kumar and Zayed Khan. However, it was declared a flop. In November 2009, she appeared along with Ranbir Kapoor, in Rajkumar Santoshi's blockbuster comedy Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, as Jennifer Pinto. Critics mostly praised her fresh chemistry with Kapoor rather than her performance as a whole. Her final release that year was Priyadarshan's star-studded De Dana Dan with Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal and Neha Dhupia. The film had a promising opening, although dropped in collections throughout the following days. Despite this, the film was a moderate commercial success, receiving an "above average" status at the domestic box office by Box Office India.

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