The Best Performances On Streaming In July 2020, Film Companion
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This is a monthly series where we highlight standout performances from the 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. 

Amit Sadh, Breathe: Into the Shadows

Streaming Platform: Amazon Prime

The haunted cop is not an original character in thrillers. But Amit Sadh really goes all Jeremy Strong on the brooding Mumbai inspector who moves to Delhi in the second season of Breathe. He barely speaks, but his gait – half vulnerable, half burdened – and just the way he observes and scrutinizes the humans in his vicinity lend a much-needed sense of suspense to the otherwise tepid show. 

Also Read: Breathe Into The Shadows Review

Apeksha Porwal, Undekhi

Streaming Platform: SonyLIV

She plays a tribal girl who fled the Sundarbans only to find herself embroiled in a powerful mafia family’s shootout in Uttarakhand. While burdened with a half-baked character and an inconsistent Bengali accent, her piercing gaze and screen presence is unmissable. You yearn for her to be back on screen, climbing trees with the ease of a monkey, devouring men with an ease of man-eating tiger. She has a strange mix of decisiveness and melancholy, of someone who has seen too much ugliness, but is ready to keep fighting. 

Also Read: Undekhi Review

Undekhi

Gajraj Rao, Lootcase

Streaming Platform: Disney+Hotstar

The comedy boasts of an incredible ensemble cast, including the always-exquisite Vijay Raaz as a don, but Gajraj Rao is the scene-stealing hoot as a passive-aggressive Marathi MLA with the gift of gab. His interactions with his employees are a work of art – the way he sweet-talks them, the casual threats, the paternal tone he uses, the gentle blackmailing, before the unsuspecting person realises that he’s merely circling his prey. It’s both funny and dark, and Rao deserves all the credit. 

Lal, Silencer

Streaming Platform: Amazon Prime

For an actor-director-writer-producer-distributor-studio owner, it’s a miracle that he finds time to support and star in an indie like National Award winner Priyanandan’s Silencer. But the bigger deal is how he finds it within himself to play so many weird characters in so many different ways. He plays a man stuck in between two very different generations. A refugee in his own home, his only friend/companion in his old age is an ‘Indian made’ Rajdoot motorbike from the 80s. The film doesn’t try to be cute nor is it about a man who has completely lost it. It’s up to Lal to make us believe that this bike is his…son. Which he does with ease without the cliches, without the milking. So when there’s an accident, the engine oil from the motorbike becomes blood and we feel that only because of the way he plays it. I mean, bringing a machine alive requires something special, doesn’t it?

Also Read: Silencer Movie Review 

Silencer Movie Review: Lal Delivers A Great Performance As A Defeated Man In This Tragedy, Out Now On Amazon Prime

Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Raat Akeli Hai

Streaming Platform: Netflix

One of his better performances in recent years, the over-exposure of Siddiqui in crime thrillers makes it easy to miss his skills. He excels in this role as a small-town cop who is torn between his inherent masculinity and the toxic family he’s investigating in a murder case. It’s a layered character, and Siddiqui never embraces all-out comedy as a bachelor or all-out drama as a righteous policeman. 

Satyadev Kancharana, Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya

Streaming Platform: Netflix

It isn’t easy to play a Fahadh Faasil role while also making it your own. That’s exactly what Satyadev Kancharana does in this remake of Maheshinte Prathikaaram. He plays Mahesh like the love child of a teddy bear and a cup of condensed milk. He’s so sweet, so warm, so overall-nice, you wonder how he’s going to experience a feeling as intense as revenge. Well, that’s the point of the film, isn’t it?

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