The year 2018 saw some great and author-backed roles for the female leads. Be it one of the biggest blockbusters of the year, Padmaavat or then the small budget but a massive hit spy thriller Raazi. 2018 saw the talented leading ladies of Hindi cinema make a solid impact at not just the box office but also amongst fans. While big superstars like Salman Khan and Aamir Khan did mint big numbers, they did not taste the kind of success that Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt or then Neena Gupta did. What was even more gratifying was the fact that most of these performances came from different genres - be it a thriller, a social drama, a historical epic, an espionage thriller or a slice of life film - actresses this year delivered stupendous performances and headlined huge hits.
Let’s take a look at the list of best acting performance by a female lead in 2018…
It was her performance in the unnecessarily controversial film Padmaavat that set the ball rolling in 2018. Deepika carried the character of Rani Padmavati with the right amount of grace and attitude. She not only looked royal but also sank her teeth into the role. Be it her romantic scenes with Shahid Kapoor, the game of one-upmanship with Ranveer Singh or the goosebumps-inducing climax, Deepika Padukone was at the top of her game.
The movie itself was a well-crafted and executed project, but it was Alia’s mature performance that made Raazi the Rs 100 crore success it became. Her character was fleshed out in such a way that even a single false note could work adversely for the film. But, Alia Bhatt hit the home run with a character that had so many shades.
Rani Mukerji made a comeback after a gap of four years and proved that she is here to stay. Hichki turned out to be both a critical and commercial success and it was Rani Mukerji’s flawless performance that was the driving force. Playing a woman suffering from Tourette syndrome, Rani delivered a powerful and endearing performance.
As the mother to two grown adults and dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, Neena Gupta was the life and soul of Badhaai Ho. Be it her subtle romance with Gajraj Rao or her banter with Surekha Sikri, it is shocking that an actress with her calibre failed to find work in the industry. Guess Tabu’s loss indeed became Neena Gupta’s big win and we’re not just rooting for this powerhouse of talent to take home most awards in this category, but hope to see more of her on the silver screen in the coming days.
Probably one of the best performances of 2018 is Tabu as a trophy wife/ evil seductress in Andhadhun. The actress once again showcased why she will never run out of good roles. Tabu was indeed the highlight of one of the best films of the year. Tabu’s impeccable performance in Sriram Raghavan’s thriller is one of her best works till date.
We adore Anushka Sharma for being one of the bravest heroines in the industry. While she’s working with the Khans in big banner movies, the actress is also churning out movies under her production house that not many top actresses would dare. While horror is a genre that is often associated with sleaze in India, Anushka’s Pari broke the stereotype. As Rukhsana, Anushka was scary, grim, gross as well as endearing. Rarely does it happen that one forgets the actor/the star and the character takes over. Rukhsana was one such performance by Anushka Sharma where, after the first five minutes, one sees nothing but the character.
One wouldn’t expect a chic-flick like Veere Di Wedding in the best actress category. But then one also did not expect a movie starring four ladies with no major hero backing it to fare well at the box office. Swara Bhaskar is a fiery woman in real life and on screen too the actress managed to stand her own amidst bigger stars like Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam Kapoor. In fact, it is Swara’s character who had to most variety and shades in VDW and we totally loved how the actress broke the mould that her previous work and Bollywood had cast on her with this movie.
We did carry out a Twitter asking fans to vote for their favourite one and well, Alia Bhatt turned out to be the clear winner.
Sanya Malhotra (Pataakha), Taapsee Pannu (Mulk), Rasika Dugal (Manto), Renuka Shahane (3 Storeys), Radhika Madan (Pataakha), Mrunal Thakur (Love Sonia), Radhika Apte (Padman), Geetanjali Rao (October).