Onlookers Top 5: Best Female Actors of the Year
2020 has been a woeful year in general and it was no different for the entertainment industry. Due to the pandemic, film shootings across the world came to a standstill for several months before gradually getting back on feet towards the end of the year. In Indian cinema, Malayalam industry was among the worst as only very few films found its way to the audience through OTTs. It was so bad that after March, only five mainstream films got released. Despite all that, we still got to see sparks of some stellar performances.
Here, we have managed to put together a list of five best female actors of 2020.
1. Darshana Rajendran
Arguably, the best performance of the year came from young Darshana Rajendran. In Mahesh Narayanan’s ambitious attempt, ‘CU Soon’, which is a screen-film, the entire narrative unfolds through computer and mobile screens. Essaying a highly complex role, the actress appeared extremely convincing. The film has multiple close up shots of Darshana explaining her character’s traumatic situation and her performance can easily move one to tears. The fact that she managed to stand out best in a film starring Fahadh Faasil itself tells a lot.
2. Grace Antony
Zakariya’s ‘Halal Love Story’ was film that evoked polar reviews with many calling out the film’s problematic politics. However, one thing that everyone unanimously agreed upon was Grace Antony’s performance. The film has Grace essaying the role of an ordinary Muslim homemaker who tries her hand in acting only because her husband is an acting aspirant. As a reluctant but talented actor, Grace is effortless as she pulls off the character’s two shades with ease.
3. Gowri Nandha
‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum’ is the story of a riveting clash of two men’s egos. Even as the focus is mostly on Ayyappan and Koshi, Kannamma is a well-written character and she has some of the film’s best dialogues. As a forthright and unapologetic Adivasi woman, Gowri Nandha delivers a raw performance that will remain etched in memories for a long time. Standing strong against stars like Prithviraj Sukumaran and Biju Menon, the young actress holds her ground firmly. Credits to late Sachy also for this brilliant casting.
4. Leona Lishoy
Leona in ‘Anveshanam’ is a pregnant lady police officer investigating a case of possible child abuse. The actress gets her body language spot on as she ensures the character’s physical limitations doesn’t affect her efficiency in solving the crime. Leona, with her expressive eyes, delivers a finely measured performance. Her expressions each time she finds a clue or cracks a crucial information are commendable and is a testament to the talent that she is.
While 2020 was an awful year for most people, Urvashi’s case was different. It was the veteran’s best year in a long time as she displayed her versatility with fabulous performances in Tamil films, ‘Ilamai Idho Idho (a segment in the Amazon anthology ‘Putham Pudhu Kaalai’), ‘Soorarai Pottru’ and ‘Mookkuthi Amman’. In Malayalam, the actress stole the show with a barely 10-minute appearance in ‘Varane Avashyamund’. In a film starring Shobhana, Suresh Gopi, Dulquer Salmaan and Kalyani Priyadarshan, Urvashi walked away as the winner. Worth a mention is that one particular restaurant sequence with Kalyani. Urvashi just showed why she is one of the finest actors we have today.