Tabu stands out among her peers for her effortless depiction of diverse emotions. Brilliant filmmakers like Gulzar, Vishal Bharadwaj and Madhur Bhandarkar have used her to show nuances of relationships.
In each character she plays, Tabu has made the relationships depicted on screen multidimensional and hence closer to real life. We have picked up six of her career defining roles to celebrate her talent.
1. Maachis (1996)
In this movie, set in the backdrop of disturbed Punjab of the 1980s, Tabu’s brother is arrested and her fiancé joins a terrorist organisation. Instead of sitting pretty, she joins him to avenge her brother. In the end when things are worse than death for them, she’s mature and real enough to pull the last string.
2. Astitva (2000)
A chauvinistic husband thinks husbands get a free pass to have affairs and in marital bedroom the wife has no right to say ‘no’. Aditi (Tabu) is a devoted wife but she’s human with real desires too. When the past comes back to haunt her, she’s strong enough to be unapologetic about it.
3. Chandni Bar (2001)
In this dark film about the state of the dancing girls in Mumbai’s dance bars Tabu played Mumtaz who loved and married a killer because she can’t afford to be an idealist in her world. But the highlight of the film was the female camaraderie among the dancers, each in horrific condition but always there for each other.
4. Maqbool (2003)
In this remake of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Tabu played the role of Nimmi, the sly seductress, vamp and true lover, who can’t see anything wrong in inciting her lover to kill few people for love and a secure future.
5. Cheeni Kum (2007)
In this unconventional love story, Tabu played an independent 30+ unmarried woman Nina who didn’t think it wrong to fall for 60+ Buddhadev, because age is just a number when you can laugh at the same jokes.
6. Haider (2014)
Yet another Shakespearean remake by Vishal Bharadwaj, of Hamlet in which Tabu played the mother. Ghazala is the ethereal beauty and eternal lover who made all men crazy, including her son.