During a 30-year career, Urmila has played everything from a killer to a stalker to a rape survivor. It’s easy to be dazzled by its glamor and vibrancy. But below, there is an actor who understands the job.
1. Rangeela (1980): She came, she sang, she danced, she conquered… Urmila stumbling on this handcart to the sound of Asha Bhosle ‘Ho Ja Rangeela Reoozed punch and sex appeal. With considerable help from Manish Malhotra, Urmila has redefined the space of seduction hitherto occupied by the heroines of Hindi cinema with lousy reluctance. After Zeenat Aman, Urmila was the first Bollywood diva to break the belief that only bad girls wore short skirts.
2. Pinjar (2003): A change of image for the femme fatale, who transformed into a rural Punjabi woman during Partition who accepts her rapist as her husband. It was a difficult role requiring grueling levels of focus and dedication. Director Chandraprakash Diwedi was shooting Amrita Pritam, and that’s a big deal. Urmila was up to the challenge.
3. Pyar Tune Kya Kiya (2001): Arrey Ramu, listen to kya kiya! Ram Gopal Varma has once again turned his muse into a wickedly subverted ode to femininity. If in Rangeela Urmila played a sexually innocent seductress (Urmila only pushed in dream sequences) in this movie that she coveted after Fardeen Khan as Sharon Stone on Coke. It was a terribly desperate performance, filled with rage and lust that went beyond mediocre directing (by the late Rajat Mukerjee). His expressions of desire and aggression in the song “Rondhe Hai Tera Pyaar” (Alisha Chiani who brooded the soundtrack) were killing.
4. Ek Haseena Thi (2004): Hell has no fury like a despised woman. Who knows it better than Saif Ali Khan? He was left by Urmila to be eaten by living rats at the end of Sriram Raghavan’s astonishing revenge saga. From the innocent virgin seduced by the cunning Casanova to the psychopathic avenger, what a range Urmila has revealed! Thinking that they didn’t give her the best actress award for that. They did not give Mumtaz the prize for Tere Mera Sapne Is.
5. Kaun: I still have chills when I remember Urmila’s psychotic expression at the end as she came out of the eye hole of her house to grab her next victim. It was a movie that required her to “ act ” like a normal frightened victim throughout when in fact she was a lunatic killing people who had the misfortune of knocking on her oak door. Of all the movies Ram Gopal Varma has made with Urmila, this was the scariest. And for the right reasons. After Urmila quit working with him, Ramu’s films got scary for all the wrong reasons.
Also read: Urmila Matondkar, in a video, retorts to Kangana Ranaut about her recent Rs. 3 crore real estate purchase
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