PeepingMoon 2021: 'Pagglait' Sanya Malhotra, 'Mimi' Kriti Sanon to 'Atrangi' Sara Ali Khan, Taapsee 'Rashmi Rocket' Pannu, actresses who were driving forces of OTT films
It was an incredible year for the entertainment industry. Due to the digital boom, filmmakers are taking the risk and are exploring stories that were rarely told in the past. Unlike the bygone era in cinema, meatier roles for women are being written. This year, too, was no different. Actresses, likewise, were open to experiments and took risks by not choosing the regular subjects.
Now, as we bid adieu to 2021, let's take out some time to applaud these actresses who set the benchmark high and gave memorable and path-breaking performances in OTT films released this year. Be it Sanya Malhotra playing an unconventional widow in Pagglait, Kriti Sanon's career-best work in Mimi or Konkona Sensharma giving us yet another reason to love her with Geeli Pucchi, these actresses delivered rock-solid performances and were the strongest pillars of their respective OTT films.
Kajol (Tribhanga: January)
Renuka Shahane's Tribhanga was a sensitive take on the mother-daughter relationship. One of its three pillars was Kajol, who was cast as a film actress and Odissi dancer Anuradha Apte. Be it her sourness towards her own mother Nayantara or equation with daughter Masha, Kajol, as the abrasive Anuradha, was the driving force of Tribhanga. She steered the film's wheel in the right direction.
Parineeti Chopra (The Girl On The Train: February)
The Girl On The Train belonged to Parineeti Chopra and there is no denial. The story of her character Mira Kapoor formed the crux of the film. Despite a flawed character sketch, Parineeti made the most out of it and carried the film single-handedly. She attempted such a role for the first time and gave her best in every way.
Sanya Malhotra (Pagglait: March)
Losing your partner just a few months after marriage can be heart-shattering. The grief is unfathomable. But what if a widow shows no sign of sorrow? Sanya Malhotra took it upon herself to tell a sensitive and heartwarming story of such a fictional widow named Sandhya in Umesh Bist's Pagglait. Carrying the film on her shoulder, the actress displayed her impeccable talent that was hardly explored by filmmakers in the past. The new-gen star gave the biggest male and female superstars a run for their money with her performance in Pagglait which in itself was a great attempt.
Konkona Sen Sharma (Ajeeb Daastaans: April)
One of the best short films in Netflix's anthology Ajeeb Daastaans was Geeli Pucchi. It was headlined by power-packed performers, Konkona Sensharma and Aditi Rao Hydari. While the latter gave a superlative performance, it was the former who stole the show. Konkona as a Dalit factory worker Bharti Mondol wore a stone-hard face while she protected her feelings as well as her identity. With the character, Konkona shed light on the deep-rooted prejudices that still exist in our society.
Vidya Balan (Sherni: June)
One doesn't have to say much in praise of Vidya Balan's craft. It is pretty much clear even if unsaid that the actress adds weight and value to every film she signs and makes sure to set the benchmark higher each time. Nothing changed with Sherni. Like a true lioness, Vidya roared the loudest in the Amit Masurkar directorial. It won't be wrong to say that she was the heart of Sherni and won over everyone.
Kriti Sanon (Mimi: July)
Kriti Sanon is undoubtedly one of the best actresses we currently have in the Hindi entertainment industry. With every new film, she has proven her acting mettle but Mimi was on a different level. Kriti was the whole, soul and heart of Mimi, directed by Laxman Utekar. The subject tackled in the film required immense maturity and sensitivity. Kriti nailed it right from the word go. Physically, the svelte actress gained weight to fit the bill and shed the extra kilos to ooze oomph in the popular song Param Sundari. Be it emotional scenes or comic moments, she masterfully conquered everyone's heart.
Kiara Advani (Shershaah: August)
While most of us are aware of Captain Vikram Batra's sacrifices, not much about his personal life was known to people. The Kargil war hero was in a relationship with Dimple Cheema and both loved each other unconditionally. To be an Army wife is a tough task but to be as committed and resilient as Dimple is a challenge of a lifetime. Dimple has stayed away from public attention but thanks to Kiara Advani, her story was highlighted. In Shershaah, the actress portrayed the role of Captain Batra's ladylove and swept everyone off their feet with her innocent, sweet yet rock-solid act.
Taapsee Pannu (Rashmi Rocket: October)
Taapsee Pannu has carved a niche for herself in Bollywood. With Rashmi Rocket, the actress once again touched upon an important and necessary topic. She discussed and brought to light the problems faced by athletes due to the unfair practice of gender testing in sports. It was a delicate story and Taapsee got into the skin of her character effortlessly. She transformed herself physically to look like Rashmi, a sprinter, and understood the character to convey her story.
Nushrratt Bharuccha (Chhorii: November)
Nushrratt Bharuccha poured in her heart and soul in Vishal Furia's Chhorii, a remake of his Marathi film Lapa Chappi. She ably carried the horror film on her shoulder and delivered a memorable performance. In her first solo lead film, Nushrratt played the role of eight months pregnant Sakshi, who was forced by circumstances to relocate to a small village for a few years. However, the stay in a cottage in the middle of sugarcane fields wasn't as pleasant as she expected it to be.
Sara Ali Khan (Atrangi Re: December)
Aanand L Rai cast a rather new and young Sara Ali Khan as his leading lady Rinku in Atrangi Re. People had their own apprehensions about Sara playing the part, but she proved everyone wrong with her beautiful performance as an orphan from Bihar who desired the love of both her husband and her boyfriend. For the first time in her career, Sara has played a meatier role and has done justice to Aanand's trust and vision.