They came & they ruled

Debarati Palit
Tuesday, 26 December 2017

ST brings to you the top five female performers of 2017 — loved by critics and audiences alike

Bollywood actresses are no longer restricted to playing the love interests of our ageing superstars on screen. In the last few years, we have witnessed some very fine performances that have made the films stand out. During a recent interview, Ratna Pathak Shah had said that it’s the best time for Bollywood actresses because they can experiment with different kinds of roles. From playing a homemaker to a character that redefines social norms, our desi girls get to do it all. And they do not need A-list actors to get their films an audience.
Here’s looking at roles that won our hearts this year:

Vidya Balan (Begum Jaan and Tumhari Sulu)
The actress gave two memorable performances this year. In Begum Jaan that released in April, Vidya played a brothel owner and in Tumhari Sulu, she played a middle-class homemaker with a zest for life. Although Begum Jaan flopped at the box office, Vidya’s role was highly appreciated. She even won an award for Tumhari Sulu and experts suggest that Vidya will take home each and every award this year. And why not? Everytime she is on screen, she owns each and every scene.

Bhumi Pednekar (Toilet Ek Prem Katha and Shubh Mangal Savdhan)
The actress had two important films this year and both raised issues that needed to be addressed. Her role in Toilet... was highly appreciated not just by the rural audience but those living in the cities could connect with her too. While the film starred Akshay Kumar, who is known for his strong screen presence, Bhumi stood out. Shubh Mangal... was no different.

Anushka Shetty (Baahubali)
In a multi-starrer film like Baahubali where each character was beautifully sketched, Anushka Shetty as Devasena made a huge impact. From her opening scene where she is seen fighting with the sword to romancing Prabhas and standing for her own rights, Devasena happens to be the most loved character in the film. The actress in the first part was shown as an aged Devasena and the transformation to her youthful form, was a delight to watch.

Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkana Sen Sharma, Plabita Borthakur and Aahana Kumra (Lipstick Under My Burkha)
Though Ratna Pathak Shah’s role of a 55-year-old widow who has a crush on a much younger swimming trainer and who reads romantic novels secretly impressed the audience the most, Konkana, Plabita and Aahana were equally impactful. Lipstick... could create such an impact only because of the four leading ladies.

Seema Pahwa (Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhaan)
Seema Pahwa is changing the image of traditional mothers in Bollywood. The actress this year gave not one but two power-packed performances in Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhaan. Who could forget her conversation with her on-screen daughter Bhumi about what happens on the first night of the marriage or a mother trying to find suitors for her daughter in Bareilly... The theatre actress absolutely deserves to be on this list.


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