Bollywood has been charmed all year with powerful performances from its leading ladies who have overshadowed their heroes. BizAsia counts down the top actresses of 2015, who have made the world sit up and take notice.
Deepika Padukone -����Piku�۪,��Tamasha, & ��Bajirao Mastani�۪
Padukone has mesmerised the audience all throughout 2015 with performances in not one, but three big budget films. Starting her year of with the title role in Shoojit Sircar�۪s ��Piku�۪, Padukone proved that she can portray a realistic and non-glamorous role, while adding substance to the same film. ��Piku�۪ took us through a modern father-daughter relationship, and Padukone performed the role of today�۪s working family woman with much ease. In Imtiaz Ali�۪s ��Tamasha�۪, Padukone played the much in love Tara Maheshwari whose love for Ranbir Kapoor�۪s Ved, travelled from the beauty of Corsica to the mind boggling present Delhi. Through the ups and downs of her emotional love story, Padukone kept the audience alive with her consistent performance. She ended the year with her most anticipated film, ��Bajirao Mastani�۪. Playing the role of warrior princess Mastani, this was not just a film where Padukone reported to the sets and read her dialogues. She went through extensive training for the war sequences in the film, and did admit that her character drained her, but it was all for the audience to savor in this Sanjay Leela Bhansali film&
Priyanka Chopra – ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ & ��Bajirao Mastani�۪
Priyanka Chopra has proven that she is an undefeated champion at the box office year after year. While she had only two releases in 2015, it was worth the audience�۪s wild. In Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, Chopra played her role of a modern dutiful wife, daughter, sister and daughter-in-law in true cliched style as the story required. The cracks in the different parts of her character’s life were believable all the more because of Chopra’s performance. In her second film, her riveting performance as Ranveer Singh�۪s first wife Kashibai in ‘Bajirao Mastani’, has left the worldwide audience in awe. She proved that while her character did not make it to the title, her character lead the film and left the most impactful impression.
Kangna Ranaut -����Tanu Weds Manu Returns�۪ & ‘Katti Batti’
A follow-up to her 2011 sleeper hit, ��Tanu Weds Manu�۪, Kangna Ranaut kept critics and audience on their toes with her runaway performances in ��Tanu Weds Manu Returns.�۪ With a double role in this rom-com, she proved that she is not all seriousness, not once but twice. Through her double role as eccentric Tanu and independent Datto in ��Tanu Weds Manu Returns�۪, she left moviegoers in sympathy and splits. Although in her second film, ‘Katti Batti’, Ranaut seemed to be effortless in a role that didn’t really challenge her in the first place. The final hour or so is where she is able to show some performance but it wasn’t really enough to have as much impact as her film earlier in the year.
Anushka Sharma -����NH10�۪ & ‘Bombay Velvet’
Starring in your first production is not an easy task, but Anushka Sharma proved that not only did she have a good story in her hands, but the talent to drive ��NH10�۪ to the bank. Sharma�۪s eye-grabbing performance from a naive young Meera, to a vengeful and passionate warrior, was a treat for the eyes. From the dark highway, to a rising dawn, Sharma�۪s performance left the audience in goosebumps, and asking for the next route. In ‘Bombay Velvet’, Sharma was seen as Rosie in a cool and calm on the exterior kind of role. She was well-suited to it and even though the film didn’t quite strike the right chord, her performance was indeed decent.
Kalki Koechlin – ‘Margarita With a Straw’
Kalki Koechlin was simply outstanding for ��’Margarita With a Straw’. Playing a character with cerebral palsy and who discovers her sexuality is something so many would have shied away from. Hats of to Koechlin for not only accepting such a role but also for putting out there the real challenges of such a condition.
As always, there are certain actresses that give their absolute best performances but who don’t make our list. After a five year sabbatical, Rohit Shetty brought Kajol back to mesmerize the audience with ��Dilwale�۪. Over a fifteen year love story, Kajol in fact, stole the scene from co-actor Shah Rukh Khan. Her performance as Meera Malik made audiences wonder as to why it took Bollywood so long to get this powerhouse back on screen. Meera brought much sanity to the car chases and colorful characters that Shetty is known all too well for.
Richa Chadda as Devi in critically acclaimed ‘Masaan’ won hearts across continents. The actress portrayed the small-town role with ease and made the viewers believe in her story and her determination to move forward. She definitely deserves a mention on our list.