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Paresh Rawal in Tamanna, one of Bollywood’s most underrated films

Shanku Sharma

12 September 2021

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Paresh Rawal is a gem of an actor and he has been performing consistently ever since he joined the film industry. He has enacted a number of unforgettable roles. He excels in comic, serious and also in villainous roles. Though his films, especially those in which he plays comic roles, have been celebrated, his Tamanna has been grossly underrated (at least in any opinion).


The way in which he portrays the role of a transgender, I do not think anybody else could have done justice to that role. I feel no other actor could have essayed the role of a transgender like Paresh Rawal (Tikku). The national-awarding actor’s expressions are priceless in all of his scenes. He projects the emotions and pathos of a transgender with élan.  

 
In one particular scene, I like the way he hides his pain. He, along with Saleem (Manoj Bajpai) goes to ask for money from a rich man for taking good care of Tamanna (Pooja Bhatt). The rich man not only refuses the money, but also insults him. Instead of making an issue of it or showing too much emotion, Paresh Rawal plainly accepts the truth. He says there is nothing to worry about as the rich man is busy and will lend the money after some time.


We realise the gravity of his situation when Saleem breaks down before him. It is Paresh Rawal who is supposed to break down. His way of hiding the pain made my day. Tamanna also insults him at one point in time. But instead of taking it to his heart, Tikku forgives and forgets.


Paresh Rawal’s portrayal of a transgender raised the bat for many other actors, who portrayed or will play a transgender on screen. Perhaps a subtle Paresh Rawal is more emotive and powerful in brilliant roles. He enlivens the trauma of Tikku; he feels how it feels to be neglected by one’s own people. Is being a transgender crime?


For the 90s decade, it was indeed a brave film. Manoj Bajpai and Pooja Bhatt added flair to the already brilliant film by Tanuja Chandra and Mahesh Bhatt. Remember, both these filmmakers are known to make sensitive films, which touch untouched but relevant issues. For me, Tamanna is one of the most underrated Bollywood films ever made.

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