End of the year 2021: the actors who took us by surprise in 2021

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There are those who are expected to shine in everything they do. And they still managed to stun us this year. And then there are those who hit us out of the blue. A look at the Mr & Ms Marvels who exceeded expectations. During the 2021.

1. Konkona Sen Sharma in Geeli Puchchi: This is a miniature masterpiece with a central performance that’s hard to put aside. Playing the performance of a Dalit Konkona lesbian deftly avoids overloading the character’s personality. Among this segment of Netflix’s Ajeeb Daastans, many prominent virtues try this: Abha’s husband is not a kid providing an alibi for his curvy heart. He is a caring man who even cooks for her. As she confides guilty to her new friend Bharti Mandal, “Shiv bachche ki soch raha hai aur main ussey pyar bhi nahin karti.” Having someone who loves you is not a sufficient reason to love that person back. Geeli Puchchi is filled with painful passion and restrained wisdom. Director Neeraj Ghaywan has the always reliable Konkona Sen Sharma who gives a beautifully layered performance as Dalit, a woman who works in a factory whose work and respectability are threatened when a prettier upper caste woman with fair skin. , Abha (Aditi Rao) joins in. The unlikely friendship between the two women never reaches where we think it is. Ghaywan and his writers are constantly ahead of the audience, creating a kind of playful but sinister and tragic dynamic between the two women from completely diverse backgrounds. Just when we think we’ve figured out their relationship, the tale does a somersault that refuses to make Dalit woman Bharati Mandal a martyr. Why should the underdog always remain buried under the heap of shattered dreams? Geeli Puchchi (Wet Kisses) is so much on top of the other three segments that it seems like the centerpiece of the anthology (which it is) with the rest serving as space filler. Neeraj Ghaywan, whose only Masaan feature to date is a class act on socio-economic discrimination, delves into the theme in just over 30 minutes of playtime.

2. All non-repeat cast of Cinema Bandi from Amazon Prime: After I finished smiling and sobbing over this amazing work of sheer genius, I wanted to ask new director Praveen Kandregula. Indeed, there is the naive charm of Vittorio de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves in the way the characters seem to ignore the world outside of their modest means. Look at Cinema Bandi as a long (really loooong) delayed sequel to Bicycle Thieves, as far from its original habitat as humanly possible, from Italy to inactivity, so to speak. -suite of Bicycle Thieves. When it comes to simple, lucid, warm, funny, tender and sweet scenarios, this one is exactly what the Covid medics prescribed. This will induce all of the above feelings in you and then others. More than Vittorio de Sica, it is the world of RK Narayan’s Malgudi Days where everyone of every age is hardened and frozen in infinite innocence. There isn’t a bad bone in any inhabitant of the sleepy village of Gollopalli, not even this tall, long haired guy who first tries to be mean and scheming with our camera stealing heroes who want to make their own movie. But wickedness is not in the DNA of this wonderful ode to innocence. So let me introduce you to Veera and Gana, an honest and hardworking car driver and photographer in a village where the most interesting meeting point is a run down bar the size of a handkerchief held by a young man with a face. pasty who wants to be Mahesh Babu (played by Rag Mayur). He was already baptized Maridesh Babu. And he is the leader of Veera and Gana. Heroin is a bit of a problem. Veera and Gana first settle on a young schoolgirl Divya (Trishara). But she lets them down on our burgeoning filmmakers in ways I don’t want to reveal. She is replaced halfway by a fiery Manga vegetable seller played by Uma Yaluvalli Gopalappa in a role any sane actress (who kills almost everyone in Bollywood) would give her left arm to play. The manga is so entertaining that there might be a movie just about her. Or about the woman who quietly supports the car driver Veera (played by Sirivennela Yanamandhala). Little by little, she supports him, unconditionally, without a word. Almost all of the characters, big or small, change at the end of the movie. We also the public. When did we see a film so devoid of artifice and posture, so simple and disarming? The writing is crisp and clear, the setting in scene of the first Praveen Kandregula does not make any detour by the farce. The narrative cares deeply about these unpretentious diligent characters. melt it. It is such a lovely and pleasant unique experience, you want these people to come back in your life. A word about the performances – every newcomer from the two lead roles (Vikas Vasishta and Sandeep Varanasi) to the curly-haired little boy Basha (Ram Charan) who teaches our amateur filmmaker a thing or two about continuity, is a superstar. Take your bow, Cinema Bandi team. I hope to see you again very soon.

3. Guru Somasunderam in Minnal Murali: A star is virtually born before our eyes. Let us immediately salute the super powers of actor of the two humble superheroes who direct this captivating fable of the crusaders with the reduced cape. Tovino Thomas is the rising star of Malayalam cinema. See him as the endearing, confused, reluctant superhero, and you’ll know why. However, it is Guru Somasundaram whose emotional responses to his character’s newly acquired powers anchor the plot and irrigate his irrational momentum in a strange and unexplored orbit. Somasundaram’s look of gratitude and justification when the woman he has loved all his life accepts his love, is a classic illustration of emotional empowerment. It’s a first-to-last ride, fueled by a sense of logistical whimsy – if that makes sense – whereby the obvious absurdities of a flying crusader are melted into ground-level fearlessness born more of the need than of vanity.

4. Sundeep Kishan in Kasada Thapara: You’ve seen him play the archetypal hero in Telugu Boilers. Now watch him act. Sundeep Kishan, the only star in the cast to deliver a measured and powerful performance as a low caste (presumably Dalit) man who rose through the ranks of a policeman and now has to pay a heavy price on his benefactor. Kishan’s is by far the most complex character in the anthology. Some Kasada Thapara stories, like the one featuring Sundeep Kishan, seem to deserve full treatment.

5. Vaisshnav Tej in Konda Polam: This is one of the most accomplished Man Against Nature movies I have seen in recent times with a remarkable performance by Vaisshnav Tej. After seeing him in Uppena, I suspected he was an actor whose eyes speak more than words. Now I am sure. Vaisshnav Tej takes center stage in this Telugu film as a young man torn between his traditional heritage and his worldly ambitions. Vaisshnav Tej belongs to an illustrious family of actors. Pawan Kalyan and Chiranjeevi are his mother (maternal uncle). And his older brother Sai Dharam Tej is also a popular actor in Telugu cinema. But that doesn’t mean he automatically wanted to be an actor. Far from there. During his youth he played with many career options, but never played. After Uppena’s success, he had to make sure people didn’t see him as fluke. They don’t. Not after Konda Polam.

Also read: End of the year 2021: Hitesh Bharadwaj looks back to 2021, forward to 2022

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