Courting excellence is not new to Sai Pallavi, who has always been drawn to grounded characters with a beating heart. But in Gargi, she outdid herself in this pursuit. As Gargi — aptly named after a wise female scholar from Hindu mythology — Sai Pallavi displayed a mix of tenacity and vulnerability, something not often witnessed in films in the genre. Gargi grieves, fights and toughens up for her working class father after he’s accused of rape. Steady in her pursuit for justice, as painful as the process is, Gargi nevertheless grows as the world around her changes from supportive to hostile because of the accusations against her father. In the film’s gut-wrenching climax, we see what Gargi is capable of. This is not just a career-best performance from Sai Pallavi, but also a reimagining of what it means to be a good woman.