Born as Tabbassum Fatima Hashmi, Tabu is one of the most cherished diamonds of the Indian film industry. Though her selective approach towards her work makes her onscreen appearances a rare occasion, her performances are worth the wait.
Well, not only the story of the films, but Tabu has also managed to do justice with whatever genre of films she selects. Her name always tops the list of actresses who have managed to strike a balance between working for commercial and popular Bollywood films and art films. In short, Tabu spells brilliance.
Here are a few performances of Tabu that prove how she is really a cut above the rest:
With Maachis, Tabu proved that she is not here to be just arm candy to her heroes. The film was based on the sensitive topic of terrorism in Punjab. It brought out fine performances from every actor but it was Tabu who stole the show and went on to receive her first National award for this one.
Unlike the average Bollywood roles, Tabu played a village belle in Virasat, and her innocence in the film won the hearts of many. Her realistic appearance and stunning performance won her the Filmfare Critics Choice Award for Best Actress that particular year.
When most Bollywood actresses were busy running around the trees and singing songs, Tabu decided to take up the challenge of playing a woman on screen who tries to find her own identity outside her marriage. It is probably the first film to deal with an infidelity case where a woman opens up about her extra-marital affair. Tabu was appreciated for pulling off the character with elan.
Chandni Bar (2001)
This hard-hitting reality flick won her a National Award in the Best Actress category, for the second time. She portrayed the role of Mumtaz, a village girl who is forced to dance in a sleazy bar and circumstances lead her to marry a gangster. She experiences the pain of watching her own daughter dancing in the same bar and going towards a life that she left long ago. It was probably tough to portray the character of a young girl turning into a mother with each moment filled with an enormous amount of trauma, but she pulled it off quite effortlessly.
The Namesake (2006)
The Namesake was her first Hollywood film. She played the role of the mother of a 20-year-old son and portrayed the helplessness and innocence of her character with ease. Her chemistry with her co-actor Irrfan Khan was simply endearing. She pulled off this character with such finesse that many say that she deserves an Academy Award for this one.
Tabu excelled as a strong and provocative woman in Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of Macbeth, a tale of revenge, love and politics. And despite having powerful performers like Pankaj Kapoor and Irrfan Khan, Tabu manages to hold her own ground throughout the film.
Cheeni Kum (2007)
R Balki brought on screen one of the most unusual love stories of recent times with Cheeni Kum. Tabu plays a 34-year-old woman who falls in love with a 64-year-old chef (played by Amitabh Bachchan). Tabu’s strong and mature performance gave us a fresh perspective on a lot of things while making us realize the need for more such movies in Bollywood.
Life of Pi (2012)
Her work speaks for itself, which has been proved on an international level many times, the 2012 movie, Life of Pi, is a classic example of the same.
In Haider, which is an adaptation of Hamlet, Tabu was brilliant as Ghazala as she deals with her idealistic husband, opportunistic brother-in-law, and her son. Tabu brought credibility to her character remarkably and it was hard to make out whether she was the hero, villain, or the victim.
As the leading lady of the thriller film, Tabu totally and completely did justice to her character Simi. The film belonged to Tabu equally as it belonged to Ayushmann Khurrana and even though she played the role of an antagonist in the film, it is quite difficult to hate her. Her slyness is just as believable as her vulnerability.
In the recent past, she dazzled us with Drishyam (2015), Talvar (2015), and Fitoor (2016) where she stood tall with her stunning performances.
With such versatile performances and a number of awards to her credit, she has surely set her reputation in stone for the coming ages.