Leading ladies in Bollywood are finally getting their due in the industry. With leading ladies getting meatier roles as well as front lining several female-centric films, this is probably the best time for them in the male-dominated industry. The actresses are also putting their best feet forward and ensuring they make the most of this golden opportunity with their impeccable acting skills and impressive stints in films.
Half the year is over and 2019 has already seen a bevy of impressive and impactful performances from our leading ladies. Kangana Ranaut, Alia Bhatt, Taapsee Pannu, Katrina Kaif and several others have garnered immense praise for their performance.
Here’s a list of female stars that put their best acting feet forward, creating the right buzz in the first half of 2019!
Kangana Ranaut – Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi
Kangana Ranaut opened the year with a bang by playing the role of Rani Laxmi Bai in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. She not only acted in the film but also co-directed it and that is why the film belongs to her. Kangana excelled in the high-intensity, emotional scenes in the film and effectively to portrayed the iconic warrior effortlessly.
The film released on January 25, 2019, and became the third highest grossing female-centric film.
Sonam Kapoor – Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
First and foremost we must salute Sonam Kapoor for picking up an unconventional love story and playing a homosexual character in mainstream Bollywood. The film directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar showed the turbulence Sonam’s character undergoes as she is unable to reveal her sexual preference to her family and profess her love to her partner played by Regina Cassandra. She portrayed her pain, anguish and confusion through her eyes than dialogues. After Neerja, this has been another sensitive performance of Sonam. The film’s bold script gives a strong message about gender identity and homosexuality.
The film released on February 1, 2019, but although was critically acclaimed could not light up the box office.
Alia Bhatt – Gully Boy
Alia Bhatt was class apart as the bold, possessive and feisty Safeena Ali in Gully Boy. Starring opposite Ranveer Singh in this Zoya Akhtar directorial, Alia left a lasting impact on the audience with her performance. She played the role of a middle-class Muslim girl aspiring to be a surgeon whose temper hits stratosphere when she finds other women moving in on her boyfriend. Her vents of anger were pretty violent and her simmering jealousy worked in symphony with Murad’s (Ranveer’s) insecurities of making it big, the fear of dreaming more than reality had unfairly dumped him with.
The film released on February 14, 2019, and went on to score a hit at the box office, in true 'dhoptungi' style.
Kriti Sanon – Luka Chuppi
After Bareilly Ki Barfi, Kriti Sanon once again donned the garb of a small-town educated and modern young woman with a mind of her own and a personality to boot. She was smart, bubbly, effervescent as well as bold in Luka Chuppi. Kriti stood out in her role of a forward-thinking educated woman who wants to live with the love of her life before they actually take the plunge in holy matrimony. Her character perfectly synced in with Kartik Aaryan’s boy-next-door persona, and the together the two created a breezy rom-com experience.
The film released on March 1, 2019, but was panned by the critics apart from the lead actors performance. However, this didn't deter the film from raking in moolah at the box office.
Taapsee Pannu – Badla
Taapsee Pannu as Naina gave a strong and impactful performance in the suspense thriller Badla. Teaming up once again with Amitabh Bachchan and Sujoy Ghosh after working with them in Pink, she essayed the role of an accused, sometimes resigned and frustrated by her fate, other times sharp as a whip and calculating how she might escape the charges with finesse and fine detailing. With her expressions on point and her acting prowess at its zenith, Taapsee packed a punch in Badla expertly matching footsteps with veterans like Big B and Amrita Singh.
The film released on March 8, 2019, and turned out to be the sleeper hit of the year.
Rasika Dugal – Hamid
Bollywood has found a trustable talent in Rasika Dugal. After impressing everyone with her performance in Manto, she returned back with a bang in Hamid playing a mother to seven-year-old Hamid (Talha Arshad Reshi). In her role, she was seen grappling with the anguish and stress of trying to find her husband like how thousands of Kashmiri women do; by going to the police and later to the morgue. Shackled by her own grief to such an extent that she cannot even hug her son who is also grappling with his own grief of missing out on the love and support of a father, Rasika didn't fail to evoke lump in our throats.
The film released on March 15, 2019. Sadly, a few people only witnessed the magic of this underrated gem.
Radhika Madan – Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota
For the ones who are unaware, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota was supposed to be Radhika’s debut film but Pataakha already introduced us to this talented actress. In Pataakha, we saw her boisterous personality and crude lingo winning accolades, but here her punches and kicks did all the talking. She was vulnerable but didn't mind beating the shit out of the gundas and mind you, she was good!
The film released on March 21, 2019, but did not fare too well at the ticket window. The cherry on the cake is - it gained a lot of acclaim in the International Film Festival circuits.
Shweta Tripathi - Gone Kesh
Not all Rapunzels need their long magical hair to break free is what Shweta Tiwari’s film Gone Kesh aims to portray. Shweta played Inakshi, a young girl diagnosed with alopecia leading to acute hair loss and baldness. The constant feeling of embarrassment and ridicule turned Inakshi evasive and casts a shadow on her bubbly spirit. Playing a schoolgirl half her actual age, Shweta was effortless, loveable, adorable and yet highly relatable. Her anguish of losing hair and vanity became the audience’s pain and one couldn't help but root for her. Gone Kesh by far has been Shweta’s most remarkable and impactful role.
The film released on March 29, 2019, but failed to keep the cash registers ringing at the box office.
Katrina Kaif – Bharat
Katrina Kaif outshined Salman Khan in Ali Abbas Zafar’s Bharat. Playing the role of ‘Madam Sir’ Kumud Raina the actress managed to leave everyone impressed with her Hindi diction as well as screen presence. Her chemistry with Salman was bang on and felt natural. She effectively portrayed the role of a woman who is self-assured, confident and has a mind of her own without being cocky. With Bharat, Katrina finally broke the glass-doll image that she was bestowed with and managed to prove her detractors wrong by giving a flawless performance.
The film released on June 5, 2019, to positive reviews and turned out to be the third highest grosser of the year.
Taapsee Pannu – Game Over
Taapsee has become one of the most appreciated actresses of the younger lot. With every performance, she has managed to wow the audience as well as the Bollywood filmmakers. She also has the distinction of taking up varied roles in her repertoire. Taapsee plays the role of Swapna, a game developer who is suffering from the ‘anniversary effect’ and ‘nyctophobia’. However, things take an ugly turn when on New Year’s Eve Swapna becomes the target of a serial killer as the clock strikes midnight. Taapsee did a terrific job; a timid and submissive woman who fought her own demons in Game Over.
The film released on June 14, 2019 and Taapsee's pained expressions made her act believable, drawing applause from the critics and fans.
With so many path-breaking performances by our leading ladies of Bollywood, we absolutely cannot wait to see what they have in store for us in the next half of 2019.