I have been a Raja Sen fan. His word is almost always true. Come any friday and you click on Rediff to read who has reviewed the film. If it’s Raja Sen, it will always be a treat to read. Will be extremely eager to see how he reviews Road, Movie.
Now Raja Sen follows an interesting format. Whenever there is a New Release around the corner, he comes up with a Rediff Special segment – like if Johnny Gaddar is releasing next Friday – he will come up with his 10 best caper films of all time. So putting an end to my babble on Raja Sen’s antiques – here I am listing my 10 best Women characters in whatever cinema I have watched till now. These characters are strong, adorable and unforgettable and in a few cases they are surely some of those who you would love to meet in person and treasure them throughout your lives. These characters are not in the order of preference.
1. May in Miyazaki’s My Neighbour Totoro
If I could have brought an animated character to life. then it would be this wonderful girl called May. Watch this film and its hard not to think that “if she could be my daughter”
2. Irene Jacob in The Double life of Veronique
Partly due to Kiewslowski’s magical use of light, colors and music. Weronika/Veronique is a woman that will captivate you all throughout the film’s ninety odd minutes. Although a film that is slow in pace, but the audience wont be complaining. Such is the power of beauty.
3. Audrey Tautou in Amélie
The most lovable character you will ever see. Although performance wise, it was played a little over the top. But am not complaining. While writing Amelie was someone you would happily give your right hand for. Her gesture of getting that compass box back to Dominique Bretodeau, her relationship with the reclusive painter, the neighbourhood grocer and her practical jokes and the best of all – her thoughts and imaginations – stuff what a classic is made of.
4. Konkana Sen Sharma in Luck By Chance
The lesser I say, the better it is. A tailor-made role, an amazing performance and a powerful character. Watch out for the climax of the film.
5. Sibel Kekilli in Fatih Akin’s Head On.
A power packed performance – Head On. Undoubtedly. The music added to the pain. How many directors have brought together romance, pity, pain, pleasure, self-disgust and a little redemption – all together in ninety minutes.
6. Catalina Sandino Moreno in Maria Full of Grace
If I could, I would have asked her out. She fitted the character of Maria to a T. The most innocent face getting into one of the most heartbreaking crimes that a few Colombian women are subjected to.
7. Many performances by Shabana Azmi
esp. Ankur, Nishant, Pestonjee, Morning Raga, Mandi, Ek Doctor ki Maut
8. Naomi Watts in Lynch’s Mullholland Drive
What a film it turned out to be, and Naomi Watts almost carries it throughout on her. The final state of her is as credible as the enthusiastic wannabe superstar in the beginning of the film.
9. Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine
Amazing performance. Why wasn’t she nominated ever? Or was she. You would love to stand up and dance with her as the film reaches its amazingly written climax.
10. Uma Thurman in Kill Bill
Amazing. Full stop.
Some notable performances, which I would have loved to add in the ten above but couldn’t, would be:
Gong li in To Live, Tabu In Maqbool, Madhabi Mukherjee in Charulatha, Anjelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted, Lee Young Ae in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Issabel Huppert in Haneke’s The Piano Teacher, Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Monica Belluci in Malena, Sridevi in Mr. India and Sadma.
Probably Sridevi shaped my imagination of what an actress should be like, in the late 80s. I felt for Kamal Hassan in the end, but it was due to this shrewd behavior of Sridevi in Sadma.