Bollywood is notorious for typecasting women that shackles them into portraying meek characters that serve merely as a plus-one to their male counterparts who are the invincible heroes of their stories.
But thankfully, there are some actresses out there who don’t pedal the wheel but rather break it, just like *drumrolls* Shefali Shah.
Netflix’s latest dark comedy-drama Darlings saw Shefali slipping into the skin of Shamshu, who perpetually counsels her daughter to break free from the fetters of her abusive husband.
Right from the first frame, Shamshu’s aura implied that she’s a strong woman who raised her daughter without hinging on any men in her life. With kohl-rimmed eyes wide open, she stood like a stalwart in the face of grim circumstances making us aware of her unshakable energy.
Her ominous mannerisms and soul stares took me back to her moving thriller-drama that I passionately loved—Jalsa. Shah as Ruksana complemented the prowess of Vidya Balan’s character Maya Memon.
Based on the premise of class divide and morality, the film navigates around Ruksana who serves as a house help for Maya, the one who accidentally ran over Ruksana’s daughter in the dead of the night.
Interestingly, both Darlings and Jalsa circle around the idea of revenge after being wronged and has Shefali at the core of it. Both of Shefali’s characters thrive in such settings that mainstream media has designated for subservient women but here both Shamshu (Darlings) and Ruksana (Jalsa) have tremendously gone rogue.
Both the thrillers offer a heart-pounding climax and Shefali’s expressions in dialogue-free sequences have managed to send chills to our spines.
Earlier this year, we saw Shefali Shah as a senior doctor from an esteemed private hospital involved in a plot to hasten the development of a drug in the Disney+ Hotstar show Human.
Shah’s character Gauri Nath continues with the practise even after learning of the clinical trials’ devastating effects on the underprivileged, in an effort to one day free herself from her protracted misery. She takes us through the unethical drug trials, class disparity, and murky side of healthcare.
Her acting chops and chic wardrobe personified elegance and quickly rose to the top of the list of reasons to binge-watch the show.
And last week, we were thrilled as the trailer for the sequel of the award-winning series Delhi Crimes dropped where Shefali Shah will yet again assume control and nab the serial killers.
Thanks to the proliferation of the OTT platforms that accentuate the talent of these actors who are often eclipsed by the stars in the mainstream media. Eight months of 2022 and Shefali Shah has already made it her year.