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Women Rocked The Digital Domain In 2021




The female hero took over the  digital domain in 2021. She  was seen bolstering show after show during the  year. Here’s saluting  the women who  made a  difference

  1.  Kajol in Tribhanga: Kajol   is  no stranger  to the  centerstage.  In Tribhanga directed  by debutant Renuka Shahane , she  killed it as  an estranged daughter trying to connect with her daughter. While  Tanve Azmi and Mithila Palkar provided  able  support  from  both ends Kajol took to the author-backed role like  fish to water. She was  angry and bitter and  sarcastic and funny. In  effect, the quintessential Kajol.
  2.  Samantha  Ruth Prabhu in  The Family Man 2:  Samantha’s digital  debut was  a  smash  hit. During  this season of  the  hit franchise the action moves to Chennai where Rajalaxmi, a.k.a Raji and her rebel friends are planning a massive attack. The most gripping sequences in the entire narrative spectrum recur each time Samantha’s Raji is on screen. She is ominous in her silences. You know when she erupts there will be pay hell to pay.The story of her stint as a fearless soldier in Sri Lanka and a cowering sexually harassed civilian in Chennai and …well , whatever happen as the plot explodes into a show of strength between Srikant and his team’s Task Force and the rebels, has a life of its own. I would love to see a feature film based on Raji’s character. Samantha   appears as  Tamil rebel affiliated  to a terror organization. It  is  a welcome  change  of pace  for  the  actress  known to play sweet  cute characters in her  native tongue Telugu. Samantha  takes the plunge from her mother tongue  to a murder tongue in Tamil  with a feral force. She  was  the  USP  of the second season.
  3. Taapsee Pannu in  Haseen Dillruba  &  Rashmi Rocket:  Taapsee who  has now attained   the  reputation  of  being a force  to reckon   with scored a double whammy  in  2021. Rashmi Rocket    is  again Taapsee’s  drama , and she embraces it with a confident  hug, manly shoulder  and all. Her  expressions of Rashmi’s  humiliation and defiance  are so faithful as to lift the drama  notches above  the routine.When it comes to selecting roles, Taapsee is  clearly  proving to be the Aamir Khan  among actresses.In  Haseen Dillruba Taapsee delivers yet another titillating tongue-and-taang-in-cheek performance, rendering Rani a slut hard to slot. Taapsee’ s  Rani seems  to be  a fan of one such pulp  writer named Dinesh Pandit.Is he modeled   on Gulshan Nanda?  She  is  a travesty,  a non-conformist  wife and a middle-finger daughter-in-law who seems  to have bumped off her angelic(read: boring)   husband (Vikrant  Massey) for a  roaring affair  with  the  town’s stud(Harshvardhan Rane). Haseen Dillruba was a film Taapsee had a very strong gut feeling about . Unfortunately she  wasn’t the first choice for the film and it came to her after all their options were exhausted.
  4. Sushmita Sen Aarya 2: Sen’s  Aarya Sareen  is at once Diva and  Don.Macho  and Feminine.  She is fire and ice without  making a song and dance of  the  fusion process.It’s hard  to imagine what Ram Madhvani’s series would have been without  his leading lady.Sushmita  anchors the  violent heart  of  the plot with a  bedrock of macho muliebrity.If Aarya’s family is her  weakness, her children are  also her strength. She  nurtures  the mother within her  with her  sweat and blood.  It’s  a  performance steeped in a history  of  fiercely  protective  motherhood  from Nargis in  Mother India to  Sridevi in Mom. Madhavani who is master of dramatic crisis, uses Sushmita Sen’s powerhouse presence to fuel the  kind of  agile angry emotions that show  her character  as   a  woman in charge  without masculinizing her character.
  5. Raveena Tandon  in Anarya:  Raveena  in  her  OTT  debut is impressively transformed . Her scrubbed face, suspicious eyes and tense alert  body-language  constantly convey that Kasturi Dogra knows more than she  is  willing to  divulge. Tandon’s effort to be  a good mother and a good wife(the latter includes buying sexy lingerie ,a  desperate  move that  prompts  a sarcastic comment  from her  husband on  “supermom,  masterchef and  Sunny Leone”) while being a conscientious  cop , are  well conveyed .
  6. Shabana Azmi in  The Empire:  While the debutant director   Mitakshara Kumar’s Empire Strikes Blank, the one  redeeming (f)actor is  the  great Shabana Azmi.Since this is  Babur’s  story, the  plot needed  an actor with an imposing implosive presence. I am afraid flaring nostrils just won’t do. Kunal Kapoor comes  across as weak and  not only because history  often caught him on  the wrong foot. His troubled relationship with his  grandmother Aisan Daulat Beghum is fuelled  by Shabana Azmi’s stately presence. She is  not only shown as the power  behind the throne  but as  a ferociously formidable  presence on screen.The Empire proved  the one truism about  great actors. Shabana  shines even when the skyline  dims.
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