Dressed up in a stunning black and silver outfit, she took over the stage to collect her Woman Of the Year Award at IIFA 2017 from Preity Zinta. Actress Taapsee Pannu was felicitated with a tag that by her own admission puts an extra responsibility on her as an actress. Cut to two months later and we see her in Judwaa 2. The film also features Varun Dhawan and Jacqueline Fernandez in the lead but Taapsee stands out. No, not for her stupendous performance but because she is the best misfit in the entire madness.
Judwaa 2 is the remake of the original Judwaa which featured Salman Khan, Karisma Kapoor and Rambha. Taapsee has reprised Rambha’s character in the new film. Her name is Samaira. After playing a woman of substance in Pink and Naam Shabana (which established her as a powerful actress), Taapsee plays a woman who doesn’t give it back when kissed forcefully by a man, instead cries like a kid. After fighting the authorities and influential people of society for her dignity as Minal, Taapsee becomes a good-for-nothing Samaira who doesn’t react much when her lover flirts with her own mother and even ends up kissing her and touching her inappropriately.
Judwaa 2 has gotten all kinds of criticism for being outrightly sexist, racist and even for ruining the charm of Salman Khan’s Judwaa. It might have built another strong foothold for Varun Dhawan at the Box Office, but was a complete misfire for Taapsee. When I interviewed the actress sometime before and asked her about signing Judwaa 2, a film which has nothing to offer to its female characters, this is what she had to say:
For me, it is just totally different from something what I’ve been doing so far. It is just a nice breather for me to do all the singing and dancing because I have not been doing that in Bollywood. I just take it as a break from my intense roles that I have been doing on screen.
Judwaa 2 might have been just an experimental deal for Taapsee but to see her playing a “bimbo” does hurt somewhere. If this actress is coming on screen, the one thing we are fully assured of is to see some good acting for a few hours, or at least in scenes where she is there. However, in Judwaa 2, she wasn’t even given much to do, she wasn’t asked to act in the first place. All Taapsee could be seen doing was wearing some good clothes, trying to dance and flaunting those beautiful curls throughout the movie. No offense to her decision of working in massy films, but what about the fact that Judwaa 2 only reduced a good actress to good clothes or worse — a bikini. Nothing that she did in the movie can be recalled. It was supposed to be a Varun Dhawan’s film. So, where was Taapsee in the film?
1. Asking Varun to fight to for her
2. Showing some dance moves at the beach with him
3. Fighting with Jacqueline for Varun, and
4. Watching him molest her mother
When the actress recently got trolled for the same before the release of her film, she said:
I want to do every role. Pink got me noticed, and people started taking me seriously after it. But, I am also proud of this film. If I keep doing similar roles, I will get bored, and the audience will tire of watching me in the same parts. Life is too short. I want to experiment.
Is it so difficult to realise the importance of her character in a film for Taapsee? Screen space aside, she didn’t have enough of it in The Ghazi Attack and yet managed to get noticed, her contribution in Judwaa 2 seems nil. And for an actress of her stature, whose Minal is looked upon by young girls, doing a Samaira appears irresponsible on her part. When did doing commercial films mean accepting foolish scripts? Or maybe because she doesn’t know that she deserves more than Tan Tana Tan Tan Tan Tara. Just maybe!