This year has definitely been Anushka Sharma’s year. The actress entered the boy’s club of producers and made some serious courageous choices. This year, she served as an executive producer on Amazon Prime Video’s uber-successful crime thriller series, Paatal Lok which has been ranked the best Hindi-language series of 2020 by both HuffPost India and The Indian Express. Starring Jaideep Ahlawat, Gul Panag, Ishwak Singh, Abhishek Banerjee and Swastika Mukherjee in the lead roles, the series took viewers through a host of issues – from workplace harassment, corruption in the highest echelons of the government, casteist oppression, child abuse, women’s safety and discrimination against transgender people in India.
Then, of course, there is Bulbbul. Written and directed by Anvita Dutt and produced by Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Ssharma, the film is a feminist fairy tale that is as visually beautiful as it is socially relevant. Tripti Dimri shines as the lead character and her transition from naive child-bride to avenging angel is a masterclass in acting. Bulbbul isn’t a story of pain and anguish but a story of a woman rising amidst all the obstacles that patriarchy places on her path. Dimri’s Bulbbul isn’t your typical heroine, one might even argue that she is more of a villainess but Dutt makes no attempt at cleaning up that image.
This move by Anushka Sharma hasn’t gone unnoticed or unappreciated with the heavy hitters in Bollywood. Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan who has been at the top of her game in the industry for 20 years now has said that she is extremely happy to see the rise in the number of women on film sets.
“I think women now form half the crew on any film set. I feel happy to know that they are doing all the jobs and are doing them so well. They are excelling in every department, including being producers and directors. Look at Anushka Sharma; she has come up with a great production slate. I feel so proud to know that we have such a strong film producer in an actor. It feels amazing that all this is happening,” Khan said, according to Times of India.
“Today, I think producers and directors are open to working with married actresses or actresses with children. In fact, we don’t even discuss that anymore. Like in Hollywood, who talks about it? Nobody gives it a thought. Now, filmmakers look at you as an actor; they look at you as a personality that they want in their film,” she added.