Anushka Sharma has a body of work behind her which talks a lot about her acting prowess. Not only that, she has also produced films like NH10, Phillauri and now Pari. The movies are a testimony to her ability to portray nuanced characters, and not just the coy girl. It’s an open secret that in Bollywood female actors seldom find powerful women-centric roles.

Not many female actors dare to turn into a producer at the peak of their careers

Which is why Anushka took the bold decision of turning a producer. With her production house Clean Slate Films, Anushka is trying to give the actor in her a clean slate. She has released two films under her banner NH10 and Phillauri. While NH10 with its dark and disturbing storyline, gave Anushka a chance to play a gritty and violent character, Phillauri saw her play a ghost.

NH10 found both critical and box office success, but the same cannot be said for Phillauri. This is precisely why turning a producer was a bold move on the young actor’s part.

The Curse of being a Bollywood Heroine

Even artists like Vidya Balan and Kangana Ranaut have struggled to find good roles despite their calibre. They were reduced to doing movies like Heyy Babyy (Yes, multiple Ys, just like your reaction after watching the film.), Salaam-E-Ishq and Double Dhamaal, Rascals, Kites, etc., before a Kahaani or a Queen knocked at their door.

Times have changed, so has Bollywood, and now actors like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt are getting meatier and more challenging roles to sink their teeth into.

Sharma made a promising debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Since then, she has been playing the same role of the spirited, bindaas, independent girl over and over again. Be it Bulbul in Badmaash Company, Shruti in Band Baja Baaraat, Simran in Patiala House, Akira in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Bijlee in Matru Ki Bijlee ka Mandola, Farah in Dil Dhadakne Do or Alizeh in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Even last year’s Jab Harry Met Sejal could not lift the curse of typecasting from the actor’s career.

It’s not as if Anushka hasn’t tried to break away from this image. She played Jaggu in PK, the reporter who helps our beloved lost and cheated alien, to get back to his home. She also experimented with her looks and character in Bombay Velvet, playing a Jazz singer with a dark past. Then she played a wife and a mourning mother who gives up her wrestling career due to pregnancy in Sultaan.

Making a movie is a big gamble.

There is no way of knowing how it will sit with the critics and the audience. If the teaser is anything to go by, Anushka’s latest offering Pari seems like it will take us back into the dark and gritty familiarity of NH10. With a supernatural twist of course. We hope that with this film, Anushka is finally able to break the mould of the repetitive characters she was stuck playing throughout her career. After Pari, we would like to see her take up projects under her banner, which are not only fascinating, but also give her the creative satisfaction of experimenting with her roles. Also, it’s time for other producers to offer her roles with much more to do than being her usual bindaas self. The talented actor deserves nothing less.

Also Read : Why Anushka Is That One Star All Feminists Should Adore

Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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