Until about a decade ago, female actors in mainstream Hindi movies were often seen playing cardboard cut-outs. Of course, there were a few splashes of women trying to break the glass ceiling but those were so few and far between that every time it happened, it led to chatter about “women-oriented” roles and films. We are still not in a world where female characters are given substantial weight in a mainstream Hindi film but with every passing year, we see lesser films where female actors are expected to play arm-candy. When we look back at this phase of Hindi cinema decades from now, a few actors will stand out as those who aided this revolution and Bhumi Pednekar is certainly one of them.
Bhumi, who will next be seen in Harshvardhan Kulkarni’s Badhaai Do, is playing a queer character in the film. We are living in 2022 but a mainstream Hindi film heroine playing a homosexual character is still considered a bold, risky move. Bhumi, however, hasn’t picked such a role for the first time. Her choice of Dum Laga Ke Haisha as her debut vehicle is just as impressive today as it was seven years ago. Using body transformation photos often feels like a gimmicky tool for actors to promote their films, but when it is obvious that this wasn’t a ploy, but a conscious choice for a newbie, it makes you respect the actor who is ready to go the extra mile.