Tabu is one of the understated yet formidable actresses Bollywood has seen in the recent times. Here’s why we think Tabu is no less than a Shabana Azmi of our times…
There are some actresses who bank of commercial films, endorsements, award functions and mass popularity, and there is Tabu who quietly works on the side without much brouhaha, delivering one powerful performance after another! She has an intense air about her. She can emote only with her eyes, without clutches of dialogues. Her mere presence fills up the frame and she can successfully carry any film on her able shoulders. Tabu stands far away from the crazy mainstream madness and does what no other actress of her generation dares to do. Her rendition of Gertrude in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider was nothing short of brilliant! Her slow, strong performance spectacularly complimented with Shahid Kapoor’s charged up act was truly out of this world. No one could have essayed Oedipus complex so fiercely, so deftly! In fact I wonder how many actresses would even dare to play this role! And of course, how can one forget her hollow, haunting eyes of a bar-dancer in Madhur Bhandarkar‘s Chandni Bar? Her Ashima in Mira Nair’sThe Namesake found a resonance with every NRI middle-class woman across the world!
She is a self-confessed loner and is extremely shy in person. She is not at all a part of any camps or cliquey Bollywood groups. Her existence is almost shrouded in secrecy until her movie hits the screen. But this changes the moment camera is switched on. She becomes her character and her character becomes her. Pick any of her recent movies and you will be end up watching a masterpiece. Though she enthralled us recently with her tough cop act in Drishyam and will be seen essaying a rather challenging role in Fitoor, there are very few roles written for Tabu and the likes of her.
Everybody would agree that Tabu is a hardcore actor. Her performance is like water. You put her in any role, and she will take its shape. She becomes anyone her director wants her to be, on screen. Very few actors have this quality. Her craft, which is effortlessly perfect, can be compared only with legends like Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil. Who else can act believably in both Haider and Hera – Pheri?
There is another factor which sets apart Tabu from the rest of the actresses. Only Tabu has elan and confidence to age gracefully. She doesn’t want to get thinner by the hour (like most actresses of her time and age) or want to flaunt her ‘ageless’ look. Tabu, instead, doesn’t need to be ageless, for she is like a good old bottle of wine. She gets better and better with time.
So, this year instead of throwing parties or wishing Tabu on her birthday, Bollywood should try something more worthwhile. It should gift her something worthy of her talent, a full fledged film perhaps!