Deepika Padukone has had a roller-coaster ride at the movies. She started with the blockbuster Om Shanti Om in 2007, but the number of people who realized the potential she’s brimming with was few and far between. She was at a personal and professional nadir before the release of Homi Adajania’s Cocktail in 2012. And then began the journey of self-discovery and self-established repute.
As the newly wedded bride completes 33 years today, let’s have a look at her most memorable performances yet:
1. Cocktail (2012)
Veronica was the kind of girl sanskari parents would ask their sons to stay away from. Externally, she was a perpetually inebriated chick who didn’t shy away from sex and swindles. But Adajania made us peep inside the philandering persona and dekko a woman who yearns for true love and passionate liaison. Padukone was never this fierce and fluent in her performance before. This was the beginning of an admirable repertoire.
2. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)
Following a similar template and arc of the Naina from Kal Ho Naa Ho, this college girl was a meek and geek. It’s only after she has discovered herself and her love for Kabir (Ranbir Kapoor), we see the spark that was inside this otherwise solemn student. Displaying both the emotions with ease, the actress showed what a good actor can bring to a good part!
3. Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013)
Just five months after the tenderness and shyness of her character from YJHD, we saw the actress’ maiden collaboration with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. This was a volatile, violent, fast-paced and ferocious love story that ultimately became a victim of family friction. Both the leads were at their vibrant best and made Ram and Leela one of their most cherished characters, if not for the ages.
4. Piku (2015)
A curiously titled film about a dysfunctional Bengali family in Kolkata, Padukone played the eponymous character who juggles between a hectic office life and a cantankerous and constipated father. The dialogues felt more of an everyday conversion in most of the households, but the actress, with her commanding aura and piquancy, delivered a self-assured performance that felt more real than rehearsed.
5. Tamasha (2015)
There was a lot more in this Imtiaz Ali directorial than the love story of Ved and Tara. Ali, who derives immense pleasure in writing flawed characters that are ameliorated by their inamoratos, developed Ved Sahni in a similar manner. Tara was the shine in his un-illuminating life. Padukone infused Tara with such warmth and fragility; it was hard to imagine any other actress who could pull the emotional tropes off. And given the man to be healed was Ranbir Kapoor, the performance seemed a lot more fluid and fantastic.
HONORABLE MENTION: Love Aaj Kal
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