Deepika Padukone’s Top 7 Performances
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Deepika Padukone’s Top 7 Performances

Deepika Padukone has always been one step ahead of other actresses when it comes to giving power-packed performances. We look at her 7 best movies

As  the  undisputed diva  of  Bollywood prepares   to wow us with her acid survivor’s  role in Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak  it’s time to  look at Deepika Padukone’s  most  acclaimed  performances since  2007 when she made her  debut in a  double role in  Om Shanti Om, soon followed  by another double role in Nikhil Advani’s  Chandni Chowk To China. How  many actresses get the  chance to play two double roles at  the start  of  the career, and then to go to these….

  1. Love Aaj Kal(2009):

Paired with Saif Ali Khan, Deepika  played  Meera a working girl in London  not sure of where  to draw the line between her heart and head. This  was  the  first inkling of what Deepika was  capable  of doing when  given a chance.  It was a  performances  with nuances that later blew into a Tamasha. But that’s another Imtiaz Ali story,  best left untold. Deepika and Ranbir were also heaped with praise  for Yeh Jawani Hai  Deewani. But simply throwing off her spectacles  and breaking into a spirited Holi song is  not my idea  of an evolved  performance.

  1. Lafange Parindey(2010):

Since this Pradeep Sarkar-directed film flopped, not too many  know  how  brilliantly unobtrusive Deepika  was as a blind girl who won’t  give  up her dreams of  making it as a skating champ because  of  her disability.  With Neil Nitin Mukesh as her  guilt-ridden paramour Deepika shone  like  a majestic meteor. This is  my favourite  performance  by Deepika and the one that most captured the beauty, fragility,  strength and muted determination  of  her personality.

  1. Goliyon Ki Raas Leela Rama Leela(2013):

Sanjay  Leea Bhansali’s colourful splashy Gujarati Romeo & Juliet where Deepika danced the Garba like there was  no  tomorrow. No wonder Ranveer Singh fell in love with her as she swung to the rumbustious beats with a magnificent elegance. The rest of the  performance found Deepika trying to be raunchy. It was like Waheeda Rehman doing a  Rakhi Sawant.

  1. Chennai Express(2013):

This is where Deepika discovered her funny bones. Playing a  South Indian runaway bride her accent,  comic timing and  her sheer joie de vivre in an innately  thought innocuously  silly  film was  priceless. She was  far better here in her grasp over the  grammar  of giggles than in  Ram Leela.

  1. Piku(2015):

A  road movie with a soul Piku presented ‘Deepu’  as a working girl with an unrealistically demanding father. More than her  chemistry with her screen dad Amitabh  Bachchan  I  liked  what she did with Irrfan Khan as  they took a road trip  from Delhi To  Kolkata with Piku’s cantankerous  father in  tow. Piku’s  reined-in acerbity  was what we feel when a parent  makes  unreasonable  demands.

  1. Bajirao Mastani(2015):

Performed like  a true warrior, I especially liked a sequence where Deepika’s Mastani, armed with the confidence of a woman consumed by love no matter how forbidden, barges into the christening ceremony of her lover’s legitimate baby boy. When taunted for tainting the occasion with green, Mastani gently reminds the congregation that saffron and green, are at the end of the day, blood brothers used in Hindu and Muslim religion. Birju Maharaj’s exquisite choreography for Deepika’s Mohe rang do laal dance number echoes Madhubala’s Mohe panghat pe nandalal from the Asif’s war-romance epic. And when Deepika is swathed in chains of captivity she is as much a figure of tragic grandeur as Madhubala singing Beqas pe karam kijiye sakar-e-Madina in Mughal-E-Azam. Here she was as statuesque as Madhubala, riding horses and destiny with equal grace and dignity.

  1. Padmaavat(2018):  

Sanjay Bhansali and I have endless arguments on  what Deepika  could have  done with this role of a firebrand queen  stuck with  a nerdy king-husband  and compelled to face a ferocious lustful invader all on her own. Deepika’s eyes should have been  spewing a fiery rage. Instead she held back. Just giving  us glimpses of her wrath at  the thought of violation. This is a performance  that should have shook us. Instead  it had me desirous of  shaking up the actress. Girl, where was  the  passion?

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