Her next movie was Ghulam, which was a hit, followed by her break through movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998 which was a major India-wide hit. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai got Rani her first Filmfare Award, for the Best Supporting Actress role. The blockbuster established Rani as a superstar and directors started noticing her. The actress was signed to many films but unfortunately most of them were flops or fared average on the box office. Films like Baadal and Hadh Kar Di Aapne flopped at the box office and began to cast a shadow on her career. Even the much anticipated Hey Ram failed to propel her career and there was no critical appreciation of her performance in the film. In 2002, Rani played the lead role in the movie Mujhse Dosti Karoge opposite Hrithik Roshan and this was her first overseas hit, though the movie did not do that well in India.
Rani’s next release was Saathiya, which was a major hit and revived her career. From here on, it was a success story for Rani. In 2003, her film Chalte Chalte along was a hit and she received nominations for the Best Actress category at all major award ceremonies. Rani even ventured into a comic role with Chori Chori, her last film of 2003. Although the movie failed to do well, Rani’s comic timing was critically appreciated. In 2004, Rani won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her performance in the film Yuva. Her next movie Hum Tum was yet again a huge commercial success and also won her the Filmfare Best Actress Award in 2004.
Her last movie of 2004, Veer Zaara was as expected – a hit and won her various awards as well. In the 2005 movie Black, Rani played the role of a mute and blind girl. With no dialogues in her lap, Rani had to convey through expressions and she made a terrific impact. Rani received critical acclaim for her performance in Black and won several awards for it. Her next movie Bunty Aur Babli was one of the biggest hits of the year and Rani was nominated for the Best Actress award in both IIFA Awards as well as Filmfare Awards. Following her great success in Bollywood, Rani was offered the lead role in the Hollywood movie The Namesake.
However, due to clashing dates with Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna she rejected the offer. Nevertheless, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna was a big hit in India and emerged to be the most successful movie ever overseas. Again, she received many Best Actress nominations and consecutively won her third IIFA Best Actress Award. Rani played the role of a widow in her next release Baabul which again, was an overseas hit. In 2007, Rani had a semi-hit in Ta Ra Rum Pum.
Throughout Rani Mukherjee’s career, she has been romantically linked with many many industry figures including Abhishek Bachhan and Aamir Khan. Apart from acting, Rani has constantly been active in humanitarian work. In 2004, she visited Rajasthan to boost the morale of Indian jawans in far flung areas. The actress helped to raise funds for the National Centre For Promotional of Employment for Disabled People by involving herself in the Temptations 2005 show in New Delhi. Rani was also the guest of honour to General Pervez Musharraf at a state dinner with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Rani has also been a part of two world tours, once in 1999 along with Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Akshaye Khanna and Twinkle Khanna and in Temptations 2004 along with Shahrukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal and Priyanka Chopra.