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Birthday Special: 4 must-watch Filmfare Award-winning performances by Shabana Azmi



It is widely accepted that Shabana Azmi is one of the most exceptional talents to have emerged from Indian cinema. The renowned actress, who recently appeared in the highly successful film Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, first appeared on screen in 1974 in Shyam Benegal’s Ankur and subsequently became a leading figure in the arthouse cinema movement in India. In contrast to many of her peers, who tended to play conventional Bollywood heroines, Shabana Azmi consistently chose roles that demanded strong performances and pushed her boundaries as an artist. She was born on September 18, 1950, in Hyderabad, India. She has received several accolades throughout her career. Celebrating her 73rd birthday, let us take a look at the Filmfare Awards she has received throughout the years

Swami (1977)

Starting with the 1977 film Swami, Shabana won her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 25th Filmfare Awards.

Directed by Basu Chatterjee, Swami revolves around the struggles and challenges faced by Saudamini and her husband, played by Girish Karnad, as they navigate the complexities of married life and society. The nuance and genuineness of Shabana Azmi’s interpretation of Saudamini received significant praise.

Arth (1982)

Mahesh Bhatt directed this legendary movie featuring a remarkable ensemble cast comprising Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, and Khulbhushan Kharbanda in the lead roles. Shabana played Pooja Malhotra, a woman who was deceived by her husband. Her exceptional portrayal of a woman who discovers a new purpose in life earned her second Filmfare Award for Best Actress at the 31st Filmfare Awards.

Bhavna (1984)

Directed by Pravin Bhatt, Shaban Azmi played the titular role of Bhavna. The film revolves around Bhavna, who is a young woman from a traditional Indian family. She falls in love with and marries an Indian man living in the United Kingdom. However, their marriage faces numerous challenges due to cultural differences and societal expectations.

Bhavna is known for tackling intercultural marriages, cultural clashes, and the struggles faced by women in such circumstances. Shabana Azmi’s performance in the film received critical acclaim, as she portrayed the complexities of her character with depth and sensitivity and won the Best Actress award at the 32nd Filmfare Award.

Neerja (2016)

Based on the real-life story of the head purser Neerja Bhanot, the film was directed by Ram Madhvani. Sonam Kapoor played the role of the eponymous lead while Shabana Azmi portrayed the role of her mother Rama Bhanot.

The character of Rama Bhanot in the movie serves as a crucial emotional pillar because she embodies the maternal strength and support that Neerja depended upon during the terrifying kidnapping incident. Rama Bhanot, as portrayed by Shabana Azmi, received significant accolades for its emotional nuance and veracity. Shabana won the Filmfare Best Actor In A Supporting Role Award for her role in the film.

See Also: Exclusive: Javed is fond of saying that Shabana is my best friend, shared Shabana Azmi


By: Filmfare
Title: Birthday Special: 4 must-watch Filmfare Award-winning performances by Shabana Azmi
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Published Date: 2023-09-18 16:42:04

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