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iReel Awards 2019: Shefali Shah Bags Best Actress (Drama) Trophy for Delhi Crime

Shefali Shah. (All images: Special arrangement/Abheet Gidwani)

Shefali Shah. (All images: Special arrangement/Abheet Gidwani)

Shefali Shah played the character of Vartika Chaturvedi, a middle-aged, no-nonsense Deputy Commissioner of Police, who finds herself heading the investigation of the heinous Nirbhaya rape case.

Veteran actress Shefali Shah bagged the Best Actress (Drama) trophy at the second edition of iReel Awards for her complex and refined performance in Netflix's dark drama, Delhi Crime.

In the show, Shah played the character of Vartika Chaturvedi, a middle-aged, no-nonsense Deputy Commissioner of Police, who finds herself heading the investigation of the heinous 2012 rape case, that gave Delhi the reputation of being the rape capital of India.

Shah's Vartika is tough, and layered, with an underlying emotional vulnerability. She is particularly exquisite to watch in the initial episodes where we see her struggle to keep an objective view on the case which she knows will become high profile in no time, and her inability to grasp the atrocious and barbaric nature of the crime she is dealing with.

The role was inspired by Chhaya Sharma, the real Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in south Delhi, who in 2012, accomplished the difficult job of nabbing all the rapists within just a few days.

Shah is restrained but never withdrawn in her portrayal of Vartika, and comes off as a force to reckon with, in every frame she appears in. This is Shah's first lead role in a web series. Delhi Crime's storyline panders to the job done by the Delhi Police, and the subsequent investigation of the horrifying Nirbhaya rape case, without ever exploitatively delving into the crime itself.

Apart from Shah, Sobhita Dhulipala was also nominated in the Best Actress (Drama) category for Amazon Prime Video’s Made In Heaven. The other nominees were Shweta Tripathi (Laakhon Mein Ek 2, Amazon Prime Video), Dia Mirza (Kaafir, ZEE5) and Supriya Pilgaonkar (Home, Alt Balaji).

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