Over the last few years, the OTT platform has introduced India to strong women characters who have imbibed qualities from real-life heroes. Conquering everyday challenges with their understanding and intelligence, common Indian women have inspired some brilliant shows. In 2021, we saw actresses take over the webspace and reach out to the audience and find a place in their living rooms.
As we say goodbye to a fantastic entertaining year, let's give these actresses a huge round of applause for sharing thought-provoking, relevant and thrilling stories of human strength, flaws and determination. From Sushmita Sen's Aarya to Raveena Tandon's Kasturi Dogra, these actresses gave in their best.
Pooja Bhatt (Bombay Begums)
Pooja Bhatt, in Alankrita Shrivastava's Bombay Begums, breathed life into Rani Singh Irani, the CEO of Royal Bank. The actress convinced the audience to believe in Rani, her aspirations and motive behind running in the rat race. She carried herself gracefully and was more than just another female character. Her silences in Bombay Begums spoke louder than words.
Amruta Subhash (Bombay Begums)
Amruta Subhash immortalised Lily in Bombay Begums. There is no doubt that she is a powerhouse of talent and the series is just another addition to her hat. Despite being in an ensemble cast show, Amruta held herself well and delivered a knockout performance. It won't be wrong to say that she lived the life of Lily just to showcase what sex workers have to go through for something as basic as respect.
Ridhi Dogra (The Married Woman)
Ridhi Dogra left everyone impressed with her work in ALT Balaji's The Married Woman. She played the role of Aastha, a middle-aged housewife who did not feel the love or attention anymore from her husband. Over a period of time, she grew closer to a free-spirited director. But, circumstances brought Aastha and the director's wife Peeplika closer. Ridhi took a risk by signing the role of Aastha and it was all worth the efforts.
Huma Qureshi (Maharani)
Huma Qureshi took OTT by storm with her work in Maharani. She played the role of Rani who was forced to take up the responsibilities of the CM's post after her husband's health deteriorated. She took us on a journey along with Rani as she understood the male-dominated nature of politics and planned to take a stand by smashing the patriarchy with her newly gained power.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu (The Family Man 2)
In her first web show and maiden Hindi project, Samantha Ruth Prabhu played the role of a Sri Lankan Tamil rebel named Raji. With vengeance as her primary motive, Raji was no ordinary person. Though Samantha had barely some dialogues, she spoke the loudest with her eyes, body language and slight shifts in her facial gestures. Mind you, the delicate and pretty looking Samantha can steal your breath by packing some punches, swiftly.
Shreya Dhanwanthary (Mumbai Diaries 26/11)
Shreya Dhanwanthary, the new OTT favourite, played the role of a journalist named Mansi Hirani in Mumbai Diaries 26/11. Given the fact that electronic media had a key role to play in the terrorist attack, Shreya had a key role in the show and did her job with honesty. She got the nuances right and possessed grey shade. The actress left an impact with her performance in an ensemble cast series.
Sushmita Sen (Aarya 2)
Sushmita Sen as the modern-day 'working mother' was a Sherni in Aarya 2. The show's heart and soul belonged to her and she did justice to a layered, complex character. As compared to Aarya Season 1, Sushmita's role was more detailed and multi-dimensional. It was tough to differentiate between strong-headed Sushmita and determined Aarya. The last episode of Aarya 2 was a masterclass headed by the actress. Especially the Holi sequence wherein Digambar Khele Masane Mein Holi played in the backdrop and Aarya, in all her glory, celebrated victory over evil.
Raveena Tandon (Aranyak)
After ruling Bollywood, Raveena Tandon made her OTT debut in Netflix's Aranyak. She played the role of Station House Officer (SHO) Kasturi Dogra, who had to strike the right balance between her family life and professional commitments. The actress expressed the character's vulnerability, insecurity, determination and commitment towards her duty with uncanny ease. Raveena, known for choosing relevant and meaningful films, commanded attention using the weapon of her craft in Aranyak.