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Shefali Shah and the art of being relatable - Satya to Three Of Us; a range we can only imagine

Shefali Shah over the years has given some of the most precious characters and we list down some below. 

Shefali Shah and the art of being relatable - Satya to Three Of Us; a range we can only imagine
Best Shefali Shah Roles

Last Updated: 02.20 PM, May 22, 2024


The clan of actors is a mystic one that has no set rules or formulas. They can be anyone they want; whether they do it well or badly is a conversation for later. Some of them are magicians of another level, as sometimes they do not even need words to describe the emotions they are expressing—their eyes are enough and they do much more than words ever could. One such magician is the actor who celebrates her birthday today: the iconic Shefali Shah. An actor so rare that her talent speaks volumes. It is in her minimalistic approach to her characters that we get the most dramatic of effects. Right after Delhi Crime season 1, when I met her for the first time, she told me how she first omits almost all the dialogues from her scripts and lets the reactions take center stage. 

Those eyes are indeed trained to act and have a life of their own for her to be this confident. Shefali, over the years, has only strengthened her position in this ecosystem that once was only happy offering her role of mothers. But she found her calling in that too and made gold out of it. But hard work is always paid off, and the digital revolution in India made her the star that she always deserved to be. Here we had the actor who could play any character with ease and make them relatable (don’t relate to her part in the show Human, please; some are exceptions).

So today, as she celebrates her birthday, let’s take a look at five milestone performances that we feel deserve more attention.

Fine Shefali Shah Performances

Satya (1998)


Cast: Shefali Shah, Manoj Bajpayee, Urmila Matondkar, and JD Chakravarthi.
Director: Ram Gopal Varma.
Streaming On: SonyLIV

Satya was quintessentially a film about ‘men’ on a gray path as they all fight and run towards being the king of the underworld in Mumbai. But while Bhiku Mhatre, Kallu Mama, and the rest had the limelight, none could even come close to the magic Shefali Shah created in a role that had a mere seven-minute runtime. While the actor had a decent resume even before the Ram Gopal Varma directorial, it was here that the commercial audience and makers understood her potential, and there was no looking back for the actor who has won hearts and continued to do so.

Juice (2017)

Cast: Shefali Shah, Manish Chaudhari, and Kiran Khoje.
Director: Neeraj Ghywan.
Streaming On: Lionsgate Play

The world of women has been confined to the kitchen by the patriarchal society. But what happens when one of them turns out to be a black sheep and chooses to revolt with a silent gesture that makes the men eat their privilege? Shefali Shah as the housewife who is happy to serve until the day she cannot breathe in the cage called the kitchen and decides to sit in front of the cooler is a treat. With a skilled director like Neeraj Ghywan and an actor as seasoned as Shah, Juice is indeed a short film that deserves more audience. You can watch it with your OTTplay Premium subscription.

Delhi Crime (2019)

Cast: Shefali Shah, Rasika Dugal, and Rajesh Tailang.
Director: Richie Mehta.
Streaming On: Netflix.

There can never be another DCP Vartika Chaturvedi, and you can argue with the wall. A character that was written around a real-life tragedy has to be one of the best women written in the history of Indian cinema. She is vulnerable but also a police officer; she is agitated by the crime, but she is also the law who cannot do what she is thinking to. There are so many layers in playing the part that is complex, and Shefali Shah does it with so much ease.

Happy Birthday Mummy Ji (2022)

Cast: Shefali Shah.
Director: Shefali Shah.
Streaming On: ITap.

This is where Shefali Shah chose to get on the next innings of her career. The actor who was just out of shows like Delhi Crime, Human, and more decided to turn director and also star in the movie. It is about a woman finding liberation away from home. What is a curse for many is a boon for her as she unfolds herself and lives her life without the shackles of responsibilities that have kept her occupied for her life. This short is so immersive that you might end up seeing yourself as a person who wants some alone time. You can watch it with your OTTplay Premium subscription.

Three Of Us (2023)

Cast: Shefali Shah, Jaideep Ahlawat, and Swanand Kirkire.
Director: Avinash Arun.
Streaming On: Netflix.

Here comes the latest, the best, and the most heartbreaking of them all. What if you were on the verge of forgetting all that made you what you are today? The childhood, the home, the place you grew up, the boy you first loved? As Shailaja, Shefali Shah gives the most shattering performance of her career. She is a woman who is forgetting everything and slowly has come back to her roots and has met the lover she once had to leave behind. How will she bear to forget all of this, and what will the empty canvas look like to the people around her is what Three Of Us explores. A stunning piece of art.

We wish Shefali Shah a happy birthday and request she continue to give us characters that we relate to and the ones that she makes her own. Stay tuned to OTTplay for more information on this and everything else from the world of streaming and films.