2018 was certainly a better year for Bollywood in terms of better stories and some strong performances. There was a time when female actors playing meaty roles was a topic of discussion but 2018 has played a significant role in changing that mindset as more and more female actors are only picking up roles where they get to show their craft. Commercial viability of female actors has always been a discussion among trade analysts but the work of female actors in 2018 has proved that the audience is only drawn to good material, be it from a woman or a man.
Here are the top female actors of Bollywood of 2018:
With her performance in Raazi, Alia Bhatt completely knocked it out of the park. Alia played Sehmat in this story based on a real life incident. The Meghna Gulzar directorial was applauded by critics and audience alike and set an example that it’s not just the big hero films that are crowd pullers.
The much controversial film, Padmaavat, finally got a release in January 2018 and even though the subject matter was criticised by a few, Deepika made sure that her performance left a mark. Here, Deepika was praised not just for her looks but her strong performance as well. Padmaavat also gained a lot of praise for Ranveer Singh’s Khilji.
2018 was a stand out year for Taapsee Pannu as she delivered convincing and varied performances in Mulk and Manmarziyan. In Mulk, she played a Hindu lawyer fighting to save her in-laws after they are accused of harboring a terrorist. The Indian Express critic Shubhra Gupta stated in her review of Mulk, “Pannu starts out tentative but grows into her part as she goes along, and has a terrific climactic turn.”
In Marmarziyan, Taapsee played a moody and predictable woman who can’t make up her mind about the love of her life. About this, Shubhra Gupta wrote, “Pannu stands out, trying to work past the clichéd role.”
Anushka Sharma is a great performer but consistency is not her strong suit. In Pari, Sharma delivered a brilliant performance in an otherwise mediocre film. She played Rukhsana in her production venture and even though she captured the screen in every frame that she appears in, it’s hard to fall in love with the film that had a paper thin narrative. The Indian Express reviewer Shubhra Gupta wrote, “Anushka Sharma plays Rukhsana with a great deal of bloody enthusiasm. You cannot accuse her of not trying hard, but the film is so poorly-written, and so scatter-brained that nothing can rescue it.”
We also saw her in a de-glam avatar in Sui Dhaaga and Zero.
Tabu has been around for a while and has time and again shown that there is no character that she can’t play well. In Andhadhun, Tabu played a cunning wife who is a poor planner. The film was headlined by Ayushmann Khurrana but Tabu was shining in every frame that she appeared in. The Indian Express critic Shubhra Gupta mentioned in her review, “Tabu is marvelous, Sriram Raghavan finally having created a fitting role for this uber-talented actress, whom we really should be seeing much more of.”