Bollywood is a man's world, they say. But female screen scorchers like Deepika Padukone and Sonakshi Sinha surprised the audiences and critics with their performances this year, while others like Nimrat Kaur and Huma Qureshi impressed with their finesse in non-commercial outings.
IANS takes a look (in alphabetical order of name) at the women who impressed with their choice of roles in tinsel town in 2013:
Deepika Padukone - In 2013, Deepika scored what's a rarity for an actress in the Hindi film industry - four back-to-back hits. The success of "Race 2", "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani", "Chennai Express" and "Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela" - each different from the other - not just proved the actress' versatility but also cemented her standing in the Hindi film world, where male talent seems to have ruled the roost so far. All of her films this year made it to the Rs.100 crore club!
Divya Dutta - She is one actress whose talent shines through brightly even in the gleam of 'stars' in any Bollywood film and even when it may be just another supporting role. Whether it was "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", "Zila Ghaziabad", or "Lootera", Divya, in her supporting roles turned out to be a big screen stealer.
Huma Qureshi - After an impressive debut in 2012, Huma Qureshi kept up her standard of delivering a quality performance film after film. This year she kept the audiences entertained in a supernatural avatar in "Ek Thi Daayan" and as a daring explosives expert in "D-Day". She even played a troubled youngster in "Shorts". This one is a promising talent in tinsel town. And, yes, her unconventional looks add to her charm.
Kangna Ranaut - Sometimes it's her clothes and sometimes it's her accent, which is in the line of fire - but all said and done, Kangna Ranaut can act. Her choice of roles is often daring and different. For proof, sample her role as a mutant named Kaya in sci-fi adventure "Krrish 3" or as a nautch girl in "Rajjo". She also made a mark as John Abraham's love interest in "Shootout at Wadala".
Nimrat Kaur - What a revelation she was in "The Lunchbox". The film had a unique script and she featured in a role that not most actresses would have risked their career for, but Nimrat did, and wowed. With her as-real-as-it-gets portrayal of a Mumbai-based housewife, who is lovelorn, she managed to deliver an indelible and impeccable performance alongside a giant like Irrfan Khan. She went places, literally!
Richa Chadda - This 'Bholi Punjaban' regaled the audiences and critics with films like "Fukrey", "Shorts" and "Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela" this year. Richa's raw and riveting work has made her stand out of the crowd, earn a good press and appreciation by critics.
Shilpa Shukla - That she can have a strong presence on the big screen is a fact that she proved with "Chak De! India" itself. With this year's "B.A. Pass", an independent project, Shilpa played a bored fornicating housewife or more a sex guru to a young boy, essayed by Shadab Kamal. Definitely, a bold role that most wouldn't go for.
Sonam Kapoor - With films like "Raanjhanaa" and "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", Sonam proved her ease and finesse in portraying a demure desi girl as convincingly as she carries off her glamorous image at red carpet events. In "Raanjhanaa", her acting prowess was lauded, while she even managed to impress in her bit role in "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag".