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Monday, 4 April 2016

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Actor [Female] in A Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic]

Best Actor [Female]

in a

Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic]



Year by year, Hindi cinema is taking great strides in making sure female actors have prominent roles in cinema especially when it comes to headlining their own films. The Comedy/Romantic genres have always catered to this notion. 

This year once again, we have a list of five actors who comprise of women at the top of their game and some real genuine finds of the year. To this women and more, this award is dedicated. 

Speaking of the more, a small select of women couldn't make the top cut but their non-nominations are not a reflection on the flaws of their performance but rather how dazzling a year it has been in the progress of applause worthy female roles. Here are these honorable mentions; 

Sonam Kapoor for Doli Ki Dolly: She's growing from strength to strength, this one is a small step stifled by a terribly constructed film but still Sonam manages to leave a strong mark. 

Kangana Ranaut for Katti Batti: Mired by one of the most terrible films, Kangana doesn't manage to come out unscathed but kudos to her for trying as hard as she can [and this effort shows] with the material. 

Nushrat Barucha for Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2: Stuck in a rut with bitchy girlfriend characters, Barucha's talents in general not just for comedic gold, are being wasted. She's a fine actor and with a few changes to her character from the prequel version, manages to give a different performance all together.

Alia Bhatt for Shaandar: With such an affable and charismatic persona, Alia Bhatt catches your eyeballs despite how tedious Shaadar is. Giving it a little bit of spark, unfortunately not enough to light up the film completely. 

Deepika Padukone for Tamasha and Bajirao Mastani: A career best year, each role of Padukone's this year takes a spot in the top three with these two slightly missing the cut .

As you can see with the above listed names, most of them were affected by their respective films and the content delivered to them. It's a telling sign that there are hungry actors busting with talent that can send this equality matter to the stratosphere and toss it away once great content [which is slowly growing] blooms. 

Anyways, let's turn our eyes to the five. Now, the fact is simple; whoever wins this award gave the best Leading Performance and to be honest, Best Performance of the past year in Hindi cinema. That's a great statement. 

Anyways onto the nominees for the HIndie Award for Best Actor [Female] in A Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic]...

Kangana Ranaut as Tanuja 'Tanu' Trivedi/ Kusum 'Datto' Sangwan for Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Last year's winner returns with the role that made her a household name. In Tanu, Ranaut is able to find new dramatic angles despite how harsh and hyper the film acts with characters funny bits [as is any case in a comedic sequel].

Tanu's antics are dialed up to eleven from the original, but her erratic behavior is also benefited by a renewed vigor and inner sadness. Weepy romance will always be a struggle for Kangana considering her voice, but she is able to break that for moments and add real tension to a point that is narritively flat and predictable. 

The moment Tanu tries in desperation to become Kusum, in a heart breaking sequence the character is defined by the performer. 

Then what can one say about Datto, a polar opposite. On a writing front she adds the zing to a tepid narrative and Ranaut is a game companion to this. 

One of the finest moments is when the two characters meet [their only sequence together]. Never in my life in Hindi cinema, honestly have I seen an actor able to portray dual roles and not at least hint that they are played by one person. Here Kangana is consumed wholly by both characters that they feel like their own entities. 

To put it simply and honestly, among a packed house; Datto was cheered wildly as she retorted back sharply to Tanu's mocking words. The audience did this out of sheer joy, without ever questioning or laughing at the fact that both characters physically are one in the same. 

That is the true prowess of Kangana Ranaut. That's what will make her a legend, is she already isn't. 

Priyanka Chopra as Ayesha Sangha-Mehra for Dil Dhadakne Do

My oh my, when will this champion ever stop. She's moving mountains in her quest to become a global superstar but she also manages to dole out one great performance after the next. 

In true Priyanka Chopra Fashion [pun intended], she takes reign of an ensemble film and leads with example with a meaty part that she turns on her head. 

I truly wish that bloody dog and his Aamir Khan voiced exposition had been killed in the film, among other reasons mostly because Chopra manages to convey every little tick of her performance with such absolute control that no matter what she doesn't say; we already know it. 

The sadness in her marriage, the feeling of not being a part of the family and the regrets of losing Sunny [Akhtar] always resonate in Ayesha's mind and she is constantly calculating her own confidence and assertiveness against the wishes of her father. All these internal moments are easy to spot in her effortless turn. 

This makes her both the Captain and the Anchor of this ship, which Priyanka pulls of with a breezy wonder just like the wind running through. To finalize the pun-ness of this; she is the stirring heart beat [dhadkan] of the film. 

Deepika Padukone as Piku Banerjee for Piku

Never has Deepika Padukone seemed so natural, so comfortable on screen. Never in my mind, in this past decade has a female actor completely assumed her role without ever indicating of the popular star within. 

In 2013, Deepika Padukone left a statement with blockbuster after blockbuster. But she still wasn't as such, a refined actor. 

In 2015, three mind blowing performances later with this gem coming first; she has left her mark. 

The nuances and flavor Padukone brings to the role are a joy to watch. She builds the chemistry with her co-actors, she leads them through, shouldering the film on her own merits and performing with such grace and diligence that Piku is an earned title. 

Padukone is at the pinnacle of her career, and this is the zenith of her abilities [hopefully a zenith with a ceiling she is waiting to burst through from]. 

As far as acting goes, this is what one wants to see; not the luminous Deepika Padukone but the nice yet conflicted Piku Banerjee and that is what we get, plain and simple. 

Bhumi Pednekar as Sandhya for Dum Laga Ke Haisha

Tackling the top three female actors working today is a new comer who would have secured the breakthrough had it not been for the heavy driven resurgence of Radhika Apte. That takes nothing away from her though. 

Pednekar in fact makes a statement cracking the top five, in a performance that could have been a risky undertaking for any actor no matter the material or whether she is a rookie or not. 

Forgoing the fact that she added so much weight for the role. The passion, confidence and even vulnerability with which Sandhya is defined as a character is translated so perfectly that I'm sure writer/director Sharat Katariya was floored. 

A delight to watch, Pednekar is the make or break element of DLKH with it being her debut but she carries herself with a passion for the craft, confidence but also a hint of vulnerability with the form that makes it a well rounded turn. 

Wait, isn't that the same description I gave for the character? Then I guess, that, says it all. 

Harshali Malhotra as Munni/Shahida for Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Oh my god, was there anything more adorable than the pairing of Bajrangi [Salman Khan] and his little Munni last year. 

Credit where credit is due for Salman being the other half of the pair, but Harshali was such a delight on screen that she stole his and even Nawazuddin's thunder when she wanted. 

Sure it's not a transcendent child performance and yes Kabir Khan keeping her away from the limelight had a lot to do with us being convinced that Malhotra is mute like her character but even then she brings such a bursting energy that you cannot help but be captured. 

Harshali Malhotra gives Munni a feel with those oh so expressive eyes and some nice moments of body language. Her hand hitting head gesture is one that will remain for a years as a classic comedic visual. 

The title may be Bajrangi but Munni is the heart and soul of the film and it's beating with fervor thanks to what young Harshali does with it.

And the Winner is...

Deepika Padukone as Piku Banerjee for Piku!

I'm sorry National Awards, I have to disagree [though only little]. No doubt Kangana was terrific in TWMR, but Padukone hits just a new level this year with her performance. 

Continuing this years [coincidental] tradition of the much more subtle natural performance beating the showy acting turn; Padukone nabs her first win after multiple nominations. 

She was sublime and the best of the year and the best of her film which included the like of Sir Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan. 

That's truly saying something. 

Anyways here is the leading ranking;

4. Gulshan Devaiah [Hunterrr]
3. Richa Chadda [Masaan]
2. Randeep Hooda [Main aur Charles]
1. Deepika Padukone [Piku]

Well now onto my favorite part, and the most important piece of the puzzle without which the film can never be made...

Up Next: The Writer is the Main Man/Woman of the Film, if there's no script what you going to make? Well you could make something, but it'd be definitely pretty bad, so beginning with the juicy dramatic side...HIndie Award for Best Screenplay [Drama]

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

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