Best Performances Of August 2021, Film Companion
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This is a monthly series where we highlight standout performances from the film and streaming universe. Since Film Companion watches widely, we decided to curate this list, foregrounding exceptional work, even if they did not have the proverbial spotlight on them.

Indrans, #Home

Streaming Platform: Amazon Prime Video

The creepiest serial killer ever in Anjaam Pathira, the sly cop with a missing moral compass in Malik and now the loveable Oliver Twist in #Home,Indrans seems to finally be getting the roles his talent deserves. But in #Home, he combines animated Pixar character with a father from every Indian home to give us a performance that holds the entire film together. His half smiles appeal to a warm, fuzzy part of you and he can be just as devastating when Oliver decides to wash his son’s car because there’s only so much he can say and do. With the right casting, this performance is textbook for future filmmakers to see in an actor what the regular viewer does not see.

Revathi, Edhiri from Navarasa

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Revathi is simply spectacular in Edhiri, which is an impressionistic short about how Savithri — a wife who doesn’t care enough to follow her husband into his death — finds the compassion to forgive his killer. In the scene where she sees her estranged husband struck down by the assassin, she reacts with a minimalistic, horrified silence. Even when her face is absolutely still, you see many emotions skirt across it, reflecting the difficult thought process she is going through, working out whether it was she who dealt the first death blow to her husband years ago when she separated from him.

Delhi Ganesh, Payasam from Navarasa

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Payasam, adapted from Thi. Janakiraman’s short story, is about an ageing widower disgruntled with his irrelevance. Delhi Ganesh as Chitappa is superb as a man torn between raging jealousy (towards his successful nephew) and an aristocratic sense of dignity. He is a man of constant disgust, grunting about things you’d expect him to be thankful for — his eyes are vacuous and they constantly search for something outside. But Delhi Ganesh manages to save the character from becoming disgusting or unlikeable by humanizing Chitappa even in his pettiest moments.

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