There are so many fish in the ocean. I had to be a different kind of fish
This quote of Taapsee Pannu defines her the best. Unconventional, bold, rare and empowering. The actress with an illustrious career in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil films, never fails from trying new things that push her out of the envelope. Starting her career as an actress with the Telugu film Jhummandi Naadam, Taapsee made her Bollywood debut with the successful rom-com Chashme Baddoor in 2013. Since then, Taapsee hasn’t looked back.
In the past seven years, Taapsee has broken stereotypes that characters in Bollywood have fallen prey to. Trotting down the path less used, she emerges to be a winner with every new film. Becoming one of the few actresses for whom roles are specifically being written, Taapsee commands respect like none other. Hitting back at trolls like a true boss, the actress never fails to spring up a pleasant surprise on and off the screen.
Today, as Taapsee turns 33, let’s take a look at the actress’s best eight films that proved she is a force to reckon with. Be it starting a conversation on the need to be sensitive and sensible about women's rights and dignity in Pink to the reiterating the fact that’ just a slap isn’t okay’ in Thappad, she is indeed an artist par excellence.
Pink – 2016
The Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury social thriller featuring Taapsee with the marvelous Amitabh Bachchan follows the developments and tedious trials of a sexual assault case. As Meenal Arora, Taapsee shook up consciences and made the audience question the ills of the society that is being ignored under the unjust shelter of age-old regressive patriarchy. Her body language, mumbling, fear, tears seemed real and left behind an impact that is hard to be erased.
Naam Shabana- 2017
In the spin-off of Neeraj Pandey’s Baby, Taapsee documented the journey of an aggressive young girl with a dark past who then becomes a powerful spy for the intelligence agency of the country. Though the film has enough loose ends, Taapsee managed to string them together. She is especially brilliant in dangerous action stunts.
Outstanding is the word for Taapsee in Mulk. Sharing the screen space with veteran actor Rishi Kapoor, the actress held her own ground and shone brightly as the Hindu daughter-in-law and lawyer of a Muslim. She was fearless, independent and set the foundation right for the film to excel in every frame. The lifeline of Mulk, Taapsee was a revelation.
Take Taapsee out of Manmarziyaan, the film would have crashed. As Rumi, a girl with her own share of insecurities, the actress proved one doesn’t have to be loud and brash to transform into a strong character. With confusion and emotional manipulation creating obstacles in her life, Taapsee’s Rumi emerged as a feisty person.
Taapsee played the role of Naina, a successful entrepreneur and married woman who gets caught in a web of accusations when her boyfriend is found dead. Hiding dark secrets within, she appoints a high-profile lawyer to investigate the case. As the film unfolded, Taapsee’s effortlessness reflected beautifully. She was elegant, graceful yet enigmatic. She kept the audience hooked on in this revenge drama with her spellbinding act.
Saand Ki Aankh- 2019
It is indeed difficult to differentiate between the real-life Prakashi Tomar and the reel one played by Taapsee. She was feisty and made a sincere attempt at imbibing the key traits of the character she was playing. She led the show efficiently with Bhumi Pednekar.
Game Over- 2019
Fighting her own demons, Taapsee was terrific as Swapna, a game developer who stays with her household in a bungalow in Delhi. Playing a person who is suffering from ‘anniversary effect’ and ‘nyctophobia’, Taapsee hit the ball out of the park in an engaging and terrifying thriller.
‘Bas ek thappad, par maar nahi sakta’. Packing a powerful punch with this dialogue, Taapsee gave a tight slap to societal norms in Thappad. Considered as one of her most matured performances, she perfectly portrayed emotions of love, pain, disgust, regret and rage. Being Mrs. Amrita Sabharwal, she made one feel uncomfortable and that’s where she stole the show. Filling hearts with pride, Taapsee left behind a strong impact.