The COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every industry in the world and one of the industries that was affected the worst was the film industry. With films stalled and theatres effectively out of business, many producers had to resort to OTT releases of their movies. Even biggies like Vidya Balan and Akshay Kumar have opted for OTT releases for their movies.

Hence, while films and shows released on OTT have consistently given us some of the best performances, it was in 2020 that Bollywood biggies really started to take note of them. This was evident during Rajeev’s Masand’s Actresses’ Roundtable for the year. Actors Deepika Padukone, Shabana Azmi, Taapsee Pannu, Rasika Dugal, Tripti Dimri, Tillotama Shome, Kiara Advani and Janhvi Kapoor were asked to choose their favourite performances of the year and all of them showered praise on web series.

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Azmi was all praise for Prateek Gandhi’s splendid performance in Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story. “It is such an incredible and believable performance. It is a star-is-born kind performance. He is brilliant in it,” she said.

Actress Rasika Dugal termed Jaideep Ahlawat’s performance in Paatal Lok as ‘best of the year’ while Padukone and Advani described Paatal Lok as fantastic.

“I am not getting into specific performances. It came more from OTT than feature films. I liked both Delhi Crime and Paatal Lok, but as Delhi Crime was last year then definitely Paatal Lok,” Padukone said while Advani added: “The casting was insane. Every single actor in Paatal Lok was unbelievable.”

Dimri had delivered a winner with Bulbbul which was a uniquely feminist fairy tale. One of the year’s best finds, Dimri praised Ahlawat and A Suitable Boy’s Tanya Maniktala.

As for Pannu, it was Irrfan Khan’s last release, Angrezi Medium that was the “performance of the year”. “I was crying while watching the film,” the actress said. Kapoor picked Aruvi, a 2017 film as her favourite performance. “The film released a while back, but Aditi Balan’s performance has stayed with me,” the actress said.

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