I don’t know about you, but I came out of Veere going “where have these women been all my life? They are WONDERFUL!!!” So if you had the same reaction, here are some suggestions of what to watch to catch up with them.
Unfortunately, there isn’t really much on her filmography. You can watch Wake Up Sid for her playing the “overweight non-sexual friend”. Or Midnight’s Children for her playing a blink-and-you-miss-it role.
Or episode 4 of the webseries Man’s World.
I would probably recommend Wake Up Sid the most of these, just because it is the best all around film even if Shikha is barely in it.
Swara is a consistent scene stealer in everything she does. For the movies where she is the actual lead, there are only two, Anaarkali of Aarah which is a hard watch but is closest to her Veere role and what she is in real life, a woman not afraid to speak truth to power in the rawest language necessary.
And Nil Battey Sannata, her first lead role, a sleeper hit about a maid and single mother who goes back to school to inspire her daughter to study harder.
Beyond that, two good options for a “hey, who is this actress?” moment in mainstream films are Aurangzeb, where she is paired with Prithviraj from the Malayalam industry.
And Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, where she plays Salman’s sister and brings strength to what could have been a bland role.
Sonam has two kinds of films on her filmography, the heroine parts in mainstream hits, and the films she helped produce herself that showcase her acting. Veere definitely fits in the second category, so if you want more Sonam like that, there is a short list of films to start with. Aisha, a remake of Clueless with Sonam perfectly cast as the head of a group of 3 close friends, and Abhay Deol playing her older wise friend that she eventually falls in love with.
Khoobsurat, with the same director as Veere, Sonam playing the loud Punjabi physical therapist hired to work in an ancesterial palace where she shakes things up and falls in love with the uptight young prince Fawad Khan.
And Neerja, the heartwrenching true story of Neerja Bhanot, the Air India stewardess who saved 359 passengers when her plane was hijacked. Very difficult watch, brilliant movie and great central performance by Sonam.
And then, for something completely different, there is I Hate Luv Storys, the delightfully light rom-com in which Sonam plays a together competant smart set designer that falls in love with lazy hipster assistant director Imraan Khan when they are forced to work together.
Kareena Kapoor Khan:
Kareena has an exhaustively long filmography, but like Sonam, they break down into two categories, the roles that have some depth and complexity to them, and the ones that just need a strong onscreen presence opposite the hero. Veere is definitely a deep and complex option, so if you want to delve deeper, there are a lot of options. To many to list them all, so I will stick with 4. Starting with Dev, one of her earlier performances that is shockingly emotional and naked and complex and yet somehow has been a little forgotten in the years since. Perhaps because the plot, revolving around police misconduct during riots, is too controversial.
Kareena also took on one of the hardest roles in Shakespeare, Desdemona, in the film Omkara, and managed to bring something new to it, making her live and breath without losing the essential innocence of the role.
Kareena played a lot of simple rom-com heroine types, but it’s a rare role that let her be more than just a usual heroine. Jab We Met took the journey from carefree young woman in love to tragic figure that Dev showed, but made it a little happier in the end.
Kareena has a lot of hits on her list, but also a few flops. And at least one of them, Tashaan, is a bit of a cult hit in the years since. Kareena got a lot of press at the time for her make-over and weight loss, but equally impressive is her performance, going through all the flavors of revenge driven femme fatale, including “sincerely in love”.