Konkana Sen Sharma
In one of the most sensitive tales told on the big screen this year, Konkona Sen Sharma remained amazingly restrained. She is the grief-stricken mother of a slain teenager in Talvar, a Meghna Gulzar film based on the Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj murder case. She is impressive while enacting the confusion and fear that engulf them when following a botched-up investigation she finds herself and husband charged with the murders.
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Moushumi Chaterjee has been the original bubbly girl of Hindi cinema. Shoojit Sircar’s Piku showcases a throwback to her bubbly and bindaas days. She is the aunt who nonchalantly talks with her niece about sex when she is not discussing her third marriage or engaged in a war of words with Amitabh Bachchan.
She was the seductress in Ahalya, a short film by Sujoy Ghosh, and a loving wife in Manjhi. But it is as a gullible wife, who would go to any length to protect her conman-turned-restauranter husband that she got a wider appreciation in ‘Badlapur’.
With Hunterr, Marathi actor Sai Tamhankar made her Hindi cinema debut with a role that would have been considered a taboo a few years ago. Playing the next-door bhabhi, with pent up sexuality and vulnerability, Tamhankar captured the kind of forbidden `fantasies that are never acknowledged in mainstream cinema.
In Anup Singh’s Qissa, she is the playful and flirtatious nomad Neeli who is married off to Kanwar (played by Tillotama Shome), a girl raised as a boy by her father Umber Singh (Irrfan). While most of the characters in Qissa are tied down by their past, prejudices, desire and traditions, she is free-spirited. She challenges the autocratic and
patriarchal ways of Irrfan. A perfect foil for Shome, Dugal helps the former to come to terms with her gender. According to Singh, Dugal never builds a character with familiar expressions, tics or gestures. “Like a cat, she remains unexpected. As an actress, Rasika disorients everyone,” he adds.
In Tanu Weds Manu Returns, she is the friend who stands by Tanu even as the latter commits a series of blunders that lands them in a mess. She is supposedly wiser than Tanu. However, she too has her quirks. She is wants her whiskey when she should be breastfeeding her child. She is also bold enough to opt for a sperm donor when she realises her husband has a problem and considerate enough to hide this fact from him. Bhaskar adds zing to the role of this best friend that everyone needs.