The last 24 hours of 2018… With December over, let’s take a moment to reflect on the 365 days that flew over Fridays. Sit down, analyse the past, revise it, so we can dive smoothly into the future! So here we are, discussing, the best actresses of the year.
Place your bets – it’s time to handicap the derby! A combination of big and small production houses dished out a cocktail of interesting films. Here’s looking at the female stars who put their best acting feet forward, creating the right buzz.
Sure, the list is arguably long, but let’s see if your favourite makes the cut!
Deepika Padukone – Padmaavat
Deepika scored a sixer again with her third historical drama with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. She walked the talk and talked the walk as the brave queen of Chittorgarh, Rani Padmavati. Just when we had lost count of the controversies surrounding Bhansali’s magnum opus, the makers took a leap of faith and went for gold dust. Of course, Padukone was the pixie spreading it, only second to Ranveer Singh though (we love you, Deepika!).
Her gait, dialect, and portrayal as the Mewar royalty only escalated her to the throne of our hearts, as Rani Sa. Nobody, but Deepika could have played Padmavati. better!
Alia Bhatt – Raazi
As the daughter of Mahesh Bhatt, Alia cannot be expected to be anything short of a volcano of talent. All of 25, she is leading THE life any millennial could ask for. Nipping the nepotism debate in the bud, Alia proved that Karan Johar made the right choice with this ‘student’! With critical and commercial acclaim in her kitty, Bhatt set out on another adventure with Meghna Gulzar’s, Raazi.
What is so different about this spy thriller you ask? Simple, Bhatt. The fireball thrilled with her performance as a patriot on an undercover mission. In an author-backed role, the talented actress came across as a natural and her unrestrained mature performance was captivating. It was natural to forget that Vicky Kaushal even existed in the plot…
Kareena Kapoor Khan – Veere Di Wedding
Let’s get one thing straight – you can do anything you please, but you can’t be Kareena Kapoor-Khan1 The sacrosanct of all things that spell DIVA, pretty much takes up the reins of whatever is termed as a breakthrough. In sync with her debunk-every-stereotype style, Kareena played Kalindi Puri in the Shashank Ghosh directed ‘not a chick flick’ drama.
Be it her expressions, dialogue delivery or sensitivity to play a commitment phobic lover – Kapoor Khan pretty much checked all the boxes! She was, perhaps, the most loved thing about the movie (besides Swara Bhasker’s screen time of course). IYKWIM.
Anushka Sharma – Pari
Merely six years after making a splash with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi opposite Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka ventured into production. But she also continued to prove her acting prowess with some unconventional choices and Pari is on this list. This ‘not a fairy tale’ spooky drama misses out on the screams…but Anushka’s blood-smeared face and riveting performance translated to chills.
The gruesome antic left critics and the audience impressed. So much so that a Tamil remake is on the cards. Need we say more? Sharma ji ki beti rocks!
Rani Mukerji – Hichki
Rani Mukerji’s return to the screen came with an emotionally moving and inspiring drama deemed fit for her stature. Armed with her beloved toolkit, Rani got under the skin of Naina Mathur, a teacher with Tourette’s syndrome, effortlessly. Balancing the emotional and physical drawbacks of the character, Rani’s class act met with no hiccups from the audience or critics.
The pain signalled by her, is a wondrous expression of her spat with fate. This light-hearted but stirring textbook tale was tailor-made for all Mukerji fans. And the fact that the focus was reserved
Katrina Kaif – Zero
Katrina Kaif as the forever sloshed screen queen Babita Kumari, ripped apart 70mm in Zero. Each time the dumped alcoholic lifted her kohl-laden eyes bathed in tears, she gave us goose bumps.
In one of her best accounts from the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer, Kaif dragged Bauaa Singh out of her party and herself out of a relationship that chained her to misery. Giving us the feel of a modern day Meena Kumari, Katrina pulled this one off with ease.
Taapsee Pannu – Manmarziyaan, Mulk
Taapsee is on a roll and how. Anurag Kashyap took us back to days of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam with his predictable love triangle, Manmarziyaan. Taapsee as Rumi, was as natural as it gets. A towering presence alongside Abhishek Bachchan and Vicky Kaushal, she was Rumi in every frame – spunky and brutally honest.
This love story with a difference kept you glued to the screen and Pannu was definitely one of the vital reasons.
However, the actor shifted gear in the courtroom drama Mulk. As defence lawyer Aarti Mohammed, Pannu drove the film hard, taking turns with Rishi Kapoor! She was effective and convincing.
Malavika Mohanan – Beyond The Clouds
South Indian actress Malavika Mohanan made her international debut with Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds. While the film also saw Deepika Padukone give what seemed like a look test, Mohanan outdid everyone in the running with her enchanting stint. Even with limited performance, the star doesn’t fail to clinch the scene and make the most of it.
In this rivetingly entertaining watch, Malavika as Tara rises from being a confident girl to a panicky one with extreme ease that makes the entire process seem laboured and effortless transition.
Nushrat Bharucha – Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety
Kartik Aaryan wasn’t alone in tasting glory with the huge success of Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. Nushrat, also a Luv Ranjan pupil, claimed her fair share of fame with her portrayal of the shrewd and cunning gold-digger. Her character came with shades of grey and fun in equal measure, so much so that you love to hate her! Straight out of an Ekta Kapoor serial, Nushrat is the mean bhabhi (to-be) and the difficult girlfriend we have all come across – personally or otherwise!
Sanya Malhotra – Pataakha
Sanya, along with debutante co-star Radhika Madan, were literally the firecracker performers of Vishal Bhardwaj’s Pataakha. Not trying to overshadow newbie Madan, Malhotra delivered in the right amount to maintain an equilibrium. Just like salt in a recipe, swad anusar!
Sanya slipped under the skin, wandered around freely and mouthed dialogues in the local dialect with a certain earthiness. Even the cuss words brought to life had us laughing! Her onscreen presence in this script made directors sit up and take notice, enough to book her appointments with major production houses!
Who would you cast your vote for? (In case anyone is really considering!)