Celebrating Shabana Azmi’s 5 five best avatars from the silver screen

The star representative of artistic revolution in the Indian cinema, Shabana Azmi, celebrates her 69th birthday today. We are reminiscing her groundbreaking acting skills and flawlessness on screen.

The revolutionary and charismatic actress from the golden age of Indian cinema, Shabana Azmi steps into her 69th year today. Alumni of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Shabana has done theatres and television shows as well.

Shabana was known for picking up scripts with complicated characters that set her apart from the plethora of cliqued Bollywood women characters. Pretty early in her career, she was widely recognized as the actress who effortlessly enhances written characters on the screen.

Shabana and renowned filmmakers Shyam Benegal and Satyajit Ray, had their career graphs and popularity scale sketched together at some point. While Benegal and Ray defined characters for Shabana, she was the one who graciously painted the characters with shades that screamed reality and humane.

On the 69th birthday of our legendary icon who represented women with their complexities, we are listing down the best avatars of Shabana Azmi we’ve been lucky to witness.

Ankur – 1974

Shabana Azmi's’ debut film, Ankur, was an exploration of the feudal system exploitation and double standards involved. Heavily packed with psychological trauma and aggression, Ankur was a representation of the victims of the system.

The start of her journey with Shyam Benegal and as a silver screen actor got her the best actress award as well.

A still from 'Mandi'.

Mandi – 1983

Based on an Urdu story ‘Aanandi’ by Pakistani author Ghulam Abbas, Mandi was a political satire. Shabana’s remarkable acting skills and Hyderabadi accent had everyone intently watching the story of a woman who runs a brothel.

Armed with an unapologetic sense of reality, Shabana’s character was the unfiltered portrayal of a woman looking out for herself.

A still from 'Godmother'.

Godmother – 1999

In Godmother, Shabana played one of the most convincing acts of her career as the locally known mafia leader ‘Santokben Jadeja’ from Gujarat. Shabana did justice to the biographical movie, and brought alive aspects of the real-life mafia turned politician, Santokben with exceptional acting and embodiment of the character.

Fire – 1996

Shabana’s label as the revolutionary silver screen actress has been contributed to by the movie Fire. Released during the shadowed decade of the 1990s, the movie sparked controversy with the political unit RSS.

‘Fire’ has one of the most beautiful character developments of a lonely housewife going on to explore her sexuality with her brother-in-law's wife.

A still from '15th park Avenue'.

15 Park Avenue – 2005

15th Park Avenue has been awarded the national film award for the best feature film in English. The movie is one of the first attempts at representing mental illness on screen without framing it as a social evil.

The movie stars exceptional actors as cast who tell the story of ‘Anjali’ trying to support her sister ‘Meethi’ throughout her experience of suffering from Schizophrenia.