Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Manto:
He lived breathed and exhaled the life of the great Urdu author Saddat Haasan Manto in this curvaceous bio-pic directed by Nandita Das. Nawaz didn’t unravel the mystique of the artiste-litterateur. He simply wrapped his personality around Manto, absorbing and ingesting Manto ’s pain-lashed words. This was Nawaz at his best.
Rani Mukherjee in Hichki
The danger of portraying disabled characters is that the ailment ends up being a gimmick to gain audiences’ sympathy. It is to Rani Mukerjee’s credit that she did not allow her affliction to be reduced to a formula. Not once did that alarming sound from her throat become an irritant. We were watching the character Naina Mathur struggle with Tourette Syndrome. Who is Rani Mukherjee?
Diljit Dosanjh in Soorma
Playing the real-life hockey champ Sandeep Singh Diljit breathed life into the character. He didn’t ‘play’ Sandeep Singh. He internalized the struggles of the character so effortlessly that we could no longer see Diljit on screen. A truly award-worthy performance.
Alia Bhatt in Raazi
What I found more exceptional than Alia ’s performance (no doubt outstanding in its own right) was her ability to understand a world she had never encountered in her life. The true hallmark of great talent. Playing an Indian spy-bride in Pakistan she shone in every frame as only Alia can.
Varun Dhawan in October:
Varun moved away from his comfort zone to get into the skin of a character who believes a girl in a coma has feelings for him. The flimsy emotional ground was built into a character whose obstinacy defines the very essence of unconditional love. For Varun, this was a jump into another world, not quite as alien to him as the Pakistani bride-spy’s world was for Alia. But still distant enough to prove Varun’s evolving talent.
Akshay Kumar in Padman
Yet another real-life character, this time the man who invented the economical sanitary pad for financially challenged women. Make no mistake, Akshay is back playing the social crusader. In Toilet Ek Prem Katha he fought societal prejudices to build a toilet for his wife. Here in Padman, his character goes to great lengths to conceive create and promote economical sanitary napkins because….well…because when a woman bleeds, our Padman’s heart bleeds. In just two minutes Akshay communicates to us the urgent need to end the feminine race’s menstrual discomfort.
Tabu In Andhadhun
Seriously vampish, Tabu playing a husband-killer effortlessly conveyed her pleasure in being bad. She loved every evil moment of her character’s existence.
Ranbir Kapoor In Sanju
In a film fatally flawed and felled by its uncontrollable desire to turn its criminal hero into a martyr, Ranbir dazzled as Sanjay Dutt. Dutt may not be anything like how Ranbir played him. But I am sure Dutt would like to be the way Kapoor played him.
Ranveer-Deepika In Padmaavat
Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh bring an exquisite operatic duet-like feeling to their antagonistic parts. Though they sing the same song from different scales, they are like the earth and sky never destined to meet.Ironically they met in real life. Till death do they part.