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Sonakshi Sinha to Sanya Malhotra: Five women cop characters from recent films and shows

Tabu, Radhika Apte and Regina Cassandra have also slipped into the uniform

Ratnalekha Mazumdar Calcutta Published 26.05.23, 05:19 PM
(L-R) Sonakshi Sinha in Prime Video’s Dahaad and Sanya Malhotra in Netflix’s Kathal

(L-R) Sonakshi Sinha in Prime Video’s Dahaad and Sanya Malhotra in Netflix’s Kathal IMDb

Someone rides a long stretch on a heavy bike, someone tries to woo her junior constable, someone cracks up during serious conversations, someone uses the choicest cuss words — these are some of the women cop characters we have come across in web shows and films recently and the actresses are winning us over.

Sonakshi Sinha as Anjali Bhaati in Dahaad: A dedicated cop who prefers work to sleep


In the eight-part crime drama thriller directed by Reema Kagti and Ruchika Oberoi, Sonakshi Sinha plays a tough sub-inspector, Anjali Bhaati, in Mandawa, a small town in Rajasthan where young women suddenly go missing and are later found dead under mysterious circumstances. Tasked with investigating the murders, Anjali finds the missing pieces of the puzzle, being a woman and a representative of a certain community.

At home, her mother is after her to get married and start a family of her own. The scene in which Anjali sits down with her mother to explain the ordeal faced by the innocent girls is one of the highlights of the show. She explains that when girls are pestered at home to get married but are unable to find a suitable boy, they often fall prey to people with evil intentions.

Casting aside her glamorous image, Sonakshi delivers a nuanced act as Anjali, striking a balance between grit, toughness and sensitivity. She also learnt judo and to ride a bike for the Prime Video web show, co-starring Vijay Varma, Gulshan Devaiah and Soham Shah in key roles.

Sanya Malhotra as Mahima Basor in Kathal: A smart cop who beats power play

In the recent Netflix film directed by Yashowardhan Mishra, Sanya Malhotra plays a spirited police inspector Mahima Basor, who’s been assigned to retrieve two jackfruits that went missing from a local MLA’s residence in the fictional town of Moba. Mahima is a competent policewoman who can do better than finding jackfruits and to her credit, she turns this task on its head by shifting the focus of her investigation to tracking down a missing girl and bringing the gang of culprits to book. She pulls it off even as her boss, the MLA and the local news channel are breathing down her neck.

Kathal sheds light on the caste bias that is entrenched in the socio-cultural and political fabric of the country, specially in the hinterland. And instead of flinching in the face of caste-based discrimination, Mahima takes it head on and lets her abilities do the talking.

As always, Sanya’s comic delivery is on point. Mahima’s growing affection for a constable – a man who is junior to her in ranks — is a breath of fresh air, and Sanya handles the character’s romantic side with just the right dose of cuteness.

Radhika Apte in Monica, O My Darling: A corrupt cop with a sense of humour

Unlike other cop roles that Radhika Apte has done — in Sacred Games and in others — ACP Naidu in Vasan Bala’s recent neo-noir crime comedy thriller Monica, O My Darling, streaming on Netflix, is a firecracker. ACP Naidu cracks up during odd situations and serious conversations. She’s highly unpredictable and intimidating in the most unobvious manner. And she remains unabashed when we come to know that she has always been corrupt. Given the way Radhika handles the ambivalence, she must have had a blast playing this role. The Netflix film stars Huma Qureshi, Rajkummar Rao and Sikander Kher among others.

Regina Cassandra as Kavya Iyer in Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke: A feisty cop who braves odds

Helmed by Srijit Mukherji, Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke tells the story of IPS officer Kavya Iyer (Regina Cassandra) who’s on a mission to curb Naxalite insurgency in the Northeast and terror attacks in the country. Besides taking down baddies single-handedly, Kavya has to undergo a number of difficult emotional moments, and having a child to raise only increases the odds stacked up against her.

Regina brings a certain degree of charisma and grace to the character as befitting of people who put their lives on the line for others. The eight-episode edge-of-the-seat thriller streaming on ZEE5 also stars Barun Sobti, Mita Vashisht, Sumit Vyas and Chandan Roy.

Tabu in Kuttey: A bad cop with a love of cuss words

Tabu in the cop uniform has been a regular in her screen outings. Unlike her previous stints as a policewoman, in debutant director Aasmaan Bhardwaj’s Kuttey, Tabu plays the trigger-happy Pammi aka Poonam Sandhu, who uses some of the choicest cuss words. It must have been a fun and challenging experience for her as hers is the most talked about role among the cast. Kuttey also stars Naseeruddin Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma, Kumud Mishra, Arjun Kapoor, Radhika Madan and Shardul Bhardwaj.

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