Amongst the younger Bollywood actors, Bhumi Pednekar has earned her fame as not only a leading lady in big commercial films but just as exceptional an addition to smaller-scale films with strong social messaging. Making her debut in 2015 with Yashraj Films produced Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bhumi has only grown from strength to strength. As unconventional as her debut role was believed to be, where she played an overweight school teacher, it was simply an indication of what was to come. A quick look at Bhumi Pednekar’s movies is all you need to appreciate the variety of roles the actress has taken up and excelled at.
Whether it is playing a glamorous wife in commercial hit Pati Patni Aur Woh, or garnering critical acclaim for her performance as Indumati Tomar in Sonchiriya, Bhumi Pednekar’s movie list is simply impressive.
Here are some of the best Bhumi Pednekar movies to watch
1. Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Bhumi started her career with the critically acclaimed Dum Haga Ke Haisha in 2015, where she plays Sandhya Verma, an overweight school teacher, married to a school drop-out cassette shop owner played by Ayushmann Khurana. The couple is a mismatch, and rifts start as soon as they get married. How they get over this discomfort with each other, and fall in love despite their initial differences makes the Dum Laga Ke Haisha movie a must-watch. This is one of the Bhumi Pednekar movies that were applauded by critics and audiences alike.
2. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
Apart from their entertainment value, a lot of Bhumi Pednekar movies are great yet fun commentaries on social issues, and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is a perfect example. The actress plays the role of Sugandha Joshi who discovers that her to-be husband, played by Ayushmann Khurana, suffers from erectile dysfunction. In a chaotic set of events, the entire bridal party learns about it, and how the couple learns to put societal expectations behind them to start a life together makes this Bhumi Pednekar movie a must-watch. The stellar supporting cast of Brijendra Kala, Seema Pahwa, and Supriya Shukla act as the cherry on the cake.
3. Lust Stories
Apart from the regular big-screen entertainers, Bhumi Pednekar’s movie list also features ventures like Lust Stories which was an anthology that aired on Netflix. In the Lust Stories movie or miniseries, as it was nominated as at the 47th International Emmy Awards, had 4 shorts directed by Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, and Karan Johar each. Pednekar played the role of Sudha, a household help who finds herself in a steamy sexual relationship with her employer, Ajit, played by Neil Bhoopalam. The Zoya Akhtar directorial explores the relationship and its quick demise due to Ajit’s marriage getting fixed in a slice-of-life manner.
4. Saand Ki Aankh
From Bhumi Pednekar’s movie list, Saand Ki Aankh is one movie that often doesn’t get as much attention as it should. A biographical drama, the movie has Bhumi Pednekar and Taapse Pannu in the lead roles of the oldest sharpshooters Chandro Tomar and Parkashi Tomar. Based on real-life events, this Bhumi Pednekar film follows the story of two grandmothers who accompany their granddaughter to an all-male shooting range, and in the process discover that they’re absolute naturals. Late Chandro Tomar, whose role Bhumi Pednekar essayed in the film, quickly shot to fame as a feminist icon, apart from being the oldest sharpshooter in the world.
5. Badhaai Do
Another Bhumi Pednekar movie that pushes the social boundaries is the 2022 release Badhaai Do. Exploring the sensitive topic of lavender marriage, Badhaai Do stars Bhumi Pednekar as Suman, a physical education teacher at a school in Dehradun who accepts a marriage proposal from Shardul, a police officer played by Rajkummar Rao. Both closeted, find this to be a perfect arrangement, which is till Suman’s girlfriend Rimjhim, played by Chum Darang moves in with them, and Shardul falls in love with an openly gay lawyer Guru, played by Gulshan Devaiah. Once outed, how they face the families, and how slowly but steadily the families start accepting them makes this underrated Bhumi Pednekar film a must-watch.
6. Govinda Mera Naam
The aforementioned films might make you feel that Bhumi Pednekar’s movies are all geared towards delivering a social message. That is not the case, however, and this one is the proof. Govinda Mera Naam movie is pure entertainment and stars Bhumi Pednekar in the role of Gauri Waghmare, married to Govinda, a backup dancer in Bollywood films, played by Vicky Kaushal. The couple wants to get divorced but lands in multiple financial schemes, one after the other. How they make it out of the chaos makes the film an entertaining watch.
Another Bhumi Pednekar movie that made much less noise than it should have, this is a must-watch for nuanced performances. While it is fictional, the story is inspired by the labour migration that the country witnessed in the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. Cathartic, and eye-opening, Bheed was lauded for being more than just a film. An Anubhav Sinha directorial, this Bhumi Pednekar movie explores the often-ignored details of how social class, caste, and prejudices come into play, even in situations like these.
8. Thank You For Coming
Bhumi Pednekar’s latest movie, Thank You For Coming touches on a topic not as explored in the Indian film industry. It was first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival where it was much loved, and the cast was lauded for heartfelt performances. The story follows Kanika Kapoor played by Bhumi Pednekar as she goes through a series of adventures and misadventures, trying to find love and sexual pleasure. The film also drew attention for being female-centric and being one of the first to be so in a sea of sex comedies.