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4 Best Performances of Tabu

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4 Best Performances of Tabu


Tabu has widely established herself as an actor who can do any kind of role. Her versatility can be gauged by the varied things she has done ever since her debut as a lead in the Telugu film Coolie No. 1 in 1991. After that, she featured in light-hearted mainstream films as well as mastered all the intense roles by discovering the complexities of her characters to the fullest. Receiving the National Award early on in her career for the 1996 film Maachis, directed by Gulzar, Tabu went on to do many more serious films, getting critical acclaim from everyone. Her performance in the 2000 film Astitva brought everyone's attention to the emerging talent and is considered one of her best.

Also read: Tabu: Top 5 Films Featuring Tabu You Need to Watch

Along with that, her collaboration with ace director Vishal Bhardwaj is especially well-appreciated and marks a turning point in her career. The recently released Khufiya on Netflix marks their third collaboration together. For someone of her stature, it is difficult to quantify the wide range of work into a list, but here are four of her best performances that were pathbreaking for Indian cinema:

Maqbool (2004)

An adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, this film by Vishal Bhardwaj marked the first film in his trilogy of films made on the plays of Shakespeare. In the film, Tabu plays the role of Nimmi, who is the mistress of the dreaded gang lord Abba Ji. She is secretly in love with Maqbool, played by Irrfan. Tabu manages to captivate with her seductive eyes and just does the bare minimum in representing the deceit played out by her character towards Maqbool in making him stand against Abba Ji.

Tabu's performance was appreciated by everyone in a film that is full of many other stalwarts of acting, including Pankaj Kapur, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, and Irrfan.

Haider (2014)

In yet another blazing adaptation of Shakespeare, Vishal Bhardwaj brings back the core conflicts of the play on screen in the context of the complex political milieu of Kashmir. Tabu plays the role of Haider's mother, who falls in love with his uncle, played by Kay Kay Menon.

The way Tabu brings in motherly emotions and insecurities and puts them on her face is just extraordinary. Her performance is full of angst, love, and guilt, which shows every time she comes on the screen. It is disturbing to see her do what she does during the violent happenings at the climax of the film, and it is difficult to let her scathing act go out of your mind long after watching the film.

Drishyam (2015)

Just a year after Haider came Drishyam, where Tabu plays a police officer investigating the disappearance of her son. In a role that borders between being morally good and bad, Tabu again adds a certain multidimensionality to her act.

She is not just investigating the case as a cop but also as a mother who needs an answer as to what happened to her boy. Her quest is not just one for justice but also for personal vendetta against the family who is accused of the act. She is scary, menacing, and at the same time vulnerable in Drishyam, continuing her streak after the pathbreaking performance in Haider.

Andhadhun (2018)

Possibly the best portrayal of manipulation on screen, Tabu just goes for a roll in this twisty thriller from Sriram Raghavan. Playing the wife of a celebrity, Tabu has many faces to show. When she tries to play the devoted and loving wife, she doesn't flinch from making all of us believe her truth. When she turns murderous, we see it in her eyes.

This role is particularly tough because of the layers that are there in the writing. Tabu manages to give a subdued performance while staying true to the film's sensibilities and elevating the effects of its dark humor even more with her brilliance. Adhadhun remains her most revealing performance as an actor as to what all she can do.


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