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Monday, 6 February 2017

HIndie Awards 2017: Best Actor [Female] in a Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic/Musical]

Best Actor [Female] in a Leading Role 

Motion Picture Comedy/Romantic/Musical

So the first of five leading ladies get to showcase their brilliance right now.

It has been an exceptional year at least in terms of performance, specifically for the women. So much so that it has been a difficult task to find the right five that deserve to be showcased at the top, not necessarily because there's a lack of nominees rather because there are some amazing ones.

Before we get to those unlucky women that lost out on the cut, here is a look see at the women that make up the nomination ballot and what they've accomplished so far in the past 3 official HIndie Awards;

Sughanda Gharg gets her first ever nomination in any acting category for Jugni!

Anushka Sharma has had 2 nomination with 0 wins and this is her third nomination and her first one in this category.

Swara Bhaskar was nominated once in the first ever HIndie awards but lost out, this is her first fight for a leading award

In Hetal Gada's first film, the young gem of a talent secures a nomination

Alia Bhatt's first of two nominations this year in dual leading categories. She won the drama award formerly with 1 nomination for that 1 win, with Imtiaz Ali's Highway.

And now those honorable mentions;

Diana Penty in Happy Bhaag Jayegi-She gets points for trying especially doing well in the softer romantic moments, but Penty's return to the screen is marred by her inability to crackle like her co-stars in the screwball moments.

Neha Sharma in Tum Bin 2-The film might be a sappy melodramatic rehash of the original, but what it has over it is an in tune performance by Sharma who tries in vain to save the film. She proves the with an addition of years of experience and a better script, she too could one day be considered a top class actor if nothing else.

Now let us move onto those five that just trumped the whole year...

Sugandha Gharg as Vibhavari 'Vibs' for Jugni

As the far more subdued and mature foil to Behl's Mastana, Gharg plays Vibs with a restrained cool but passion as well as a crumbling romantic heart, however she also maintains to capture a spirit and cool attitude especially when Vibs and Mastana cross a line they should not have.

Sugandha Gharg has always been on the forefront of many independent projects in the past decade, proving to be a capable performer and this is just another showcase for such.

Jugni is very much the story of Vibs and by default it's filmmakers; so Gharg embodies the character with an emphatic but eventually individualistic sense that makes it absolutely refreshing to see a mature, independent but eventually self absorbed girl grow on screen.

It is to Gharg's credit that she never makes the dramaturgy of scenes feel short-changed nor reduces the characters standing in our eyes despite some of her actions and motives becoming questionable due to her own selfishness. It's a turn that beautifully reigns in the low energy points of the film.

Anushka Sharma as Alizeh Khan for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

With Alizeh, Anushka Sharma finds herself with another character that alludes to the fear of her getting typecast and makes one once again wonder whether Anushka Sharma is such a terrific natural actor or she just being herself in every movie; though her own home production NH10 would point to the contrary.

Indeed Sharma is a fascinating performer, that even her detractors can admit and with a role like Alizeh she can sleepwalk through it with ease yet Sharma finds something in a character she had admittedly said she found shallow.

The great thing about Johar as he matures in his writing has been that he has found undeniably better roles for his female stars [though some films would be the exception in his increasingly bettering filmography] and while Ae Dil is still a very raw and somewhat confused film; Sharma walks away with a performance that hints to far more depth then the surface gloss provides.

Here is a performer who will always have her haters and simply denounce as a one note actor, but peering into the depth of her work as Alizeh we find a ground maturity and sensibility in each action taken.

If indeed this isn't natural acting and just Anushka being Anushka, then we couldn't have asked for a better actor cast. She makes the breaker of hearts, heart breaking on screen.

Swara Bhaskar as Chanda Sahay for Nil Battey Sanata

The moment Chanda slowly bursts onto screen as the somewhat doltish but determined mother of a young girl, one knows this role could only be played by Swara Bhaskar. It's not cause of the wise maturity she brings to the role despite how young she is or the surface and deeper physicality she echoes in portraying a striving house help; but rather because Bhaskar deserves and merits a leading role of this strength and soft heroism.

Bhaskar like many actors from the same walks of life like her is the epitome of the underdog and in Chanda she finds the apt character to portray this. While she doesn't necessarily up the innoncence and naivety that Amala Paul perfected in Amma Kannaku, Bhaskar finds a more rough and tumble quality that makes you feel she is a well world versed mother without ridding her off her condition/status caused ignorance of the world around her.

It both makes the character easier to root for and a performance thus that can supply the narrative with the right zing enough to cheer for her persistence as well as not truly take away from her own daughters frivolity. It's the kind of turn that both leads and supports when need be.

Bhaskar has proven since her breakthrough role in Tanu Weds Manu that she knows when to take reigns of a scene and when to shine the spotlight the other way and this quality allows her to translate her performance into a character turn rather than a leading one.

Swara in turn become the kind of actor every director/writer would cherish, aiding to the film rather than distracting from it.

Hetal Gada as Pari for Dhanak

Age should be no factor when considering a nominee, last year Harshali Malhotra proved that and this year probably with the most confident performance; Hetal Gada does the same.

As the innocent yet determined and sharp Pari, Hetal Gada like her character heads on a transformative journey allowing to pay dividends to the fact that Nagesh Kukunoor is a great director of children. Her prowess rests in her sparkling eyes and expressions of wonderment and ambition she creates in believing that the superstar King Khan will get her brothers eyesight back.

It's a fan-tastic performance [see what I did there] that relies on her ability to build a budding chemistry with a co-star while taking rein of a sweet but nonetheless demanding film. Within the frame of few minutes, Hetal Gada earns a leading status.

One laments the case of children's films in India, which despite growing tenfold in the past few years have still a long way to go but such gems are made possible because of at the centre of them are such gem of performances and performers.

Alia Bhatt as Kaira for Dear Zindagi

Wow! Wow! Wow!

Who is this woman?

In her debut, Alia Bhatt looked like the weakest link of a film that showcased she could be nothing but a glorified star kid. How wrong we were.

Having mastered the art of breaking down on screen, once again Alia Bhatt succumbs to her baser instincts as an artist and revels in peeling back the layers on her own vulnerability and projecting such nuance on screen that it's unbelievable despite well earned star status, all we see on screen is Kaira.

The edit fails her and it shows a severely misplaced lack of faith by the director/producers of the film, during her crucial breakdown scene as Bhatt is faced right at the camera and the audience it cuts to flashbacks of her past trauma. I truly wish the scene had just been left on Bhatt's face because on her own she did well to paint the picture of her pain with utmost conviction and beauty that she'd bring you to tears and thought.

Bhatt consumes a film that stars King Khan at his charismatic best, just proving what a volcanic talent she truly is.

This will indeed be a generation defining performance by a generation leading actor who truly too good too soon.

And the Winner is...

Swara Bhaskar as Chanda Sahay for Nil Battey Sanata!!!

So there she is, Swara Bhaskar wins a major award from her first HIndie nomination, a talented performer who deserves no less. Hope for more leading turns from her. 

Up Next: A soulful old school singer trying in vain to learn the passions of her aloof son, A seductive poetess looking to break hearts but finding her own ripped apart, A specter like mother haunted by her jilted love and heartless for it, A mother tortured by her own secrets that threaten the happiness of her family and her sanity and a flaky daughter going throw growing pains but learning the sacrifices of her sweet mother...these women are the supporting gals of comedy/romantic and musicals!!!

'Nuff Said,

Aneesh Raikundalia

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