Tara Deshpande, Waiting
'Waiting' featured Kalki along with Naseeruddin Shah. Tara (Kalki) and Shiv (Naseeruddin) have their respective spouses admitted in the same hospital, struggling to survive. They come across each other while waiting at the hospital lobby, and seek peace in each other. 'Waiting' paints how love can grow out of the need for an emotional shelter, of mutual dependence and of the most unexpected circumstances. Anu Menon bagged the award of 'Best Director' at the 'London Asian Film Festival' for this one.
Laila, Margarita with a Straw
Shonali Basu's 'Margarita With A Straw' is a heart-warming story of a girl with cerebral palsy and her emotional and physical desires. Laila (Kalki) here is an aspiring writer and is also into creating electronic sounds for the university band. Life changes as she falls in love with the band's lead singer. Differently and specially enabled children are often subjected to umpteen social judgments and difficulties. However, their needs are as usual as ours and the film carried out the desired message beautifully.
Aditi Mehra, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Ayan Mukerji's 'Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani' is a popular youth-centric film. Kalki pulls off a light-hearted, fun character as well as she pulls an intense character, and that's where her credibility as an actress lies. Kalki's character is someone who suffers a failed relationship but later finds her soul mate. The film had an ensemble cast of Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kunal Kapoor. Aditya Roy Kapoor and Kalki Koechlin, and Kalki sure managed to leave a mark even then.
Shalini Sahay, Shanghai
The 2012 political thriller featured Kalki as a fierce, socially aware Shalini Sahay, who runs local awareness campaigns to educate the residents about the local party's underside. She is the former student of a socialist academic. She arranged a protest as her professor is brutally injured by a few local evils, and later succumbs to the same. This results in a series of consequences. The film also had Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol and Prosenjit Chatterjee in pivotal roles was based out of the French novel 'Z' by Vassilis Vassilikos.
Ruth, That Girl in Yellow Boots
'That Girl in Yellow Boots' featured Kalki in one of the most powerful roles ever, as Ruth, a British woman who comes to Mumbai to find her father who she hardly ever met. Mumbai turns out to be a misery as she starts dating a drug-addict who later acts like a jerk. Adding to the agony, she finds out that her father has been a regular client of hers. The entire film was shot in just 13 days. Anurag Kashyap used locations like massage parlours, flats, rickshaws etc. to create the suffocating ambiance which set the film's mood. The film traveled to a number of film festivals overseas and was hugely appreciated.
Amrita Jayshankar, Shaitan
'Shaitan' had Kalki playing Amrita Jayshankar, a woman disturbed by her mother's psychological challenges and suicide attempts. Along with her gang, she plans a false case of kidnapping and plays the victim herself, in order to extract money from her father. 'Shaitan' had everything dark in it, starting from drugs to kidnapping to murder. But it was brilliantly crafted by Bejoy Nambiar. It was an early stage at Kalki's career and she received loud applause for playing a negative career so efficiently.
Chanda aka Leni, Dev D
'Dev D' has a modern-day approach to the cult Bengali novel 'Devdas', written by novelist Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Leni (Kalki Koechlin), a woman of half-European descent, becomes a prostitute after she is involved in an MMS scandal with her boyfriend and is disowned by her family. One night, a half-drunken man enters her room and it is Dev (Abhay Deol), who has let his girlfriend Paro marry someone else. Kalki's character is inspired by Chandramukhi in the novel, a prostitute who falls in love with Devdas. Director Anurag Kashyap initially rejected Kalki as she did not have that quintessential Indian look about her. However, he had to change his mind after he watched her audition tapes. And let’s accept the fact, now we know that no one could have done it better than her. This was Kalki's debut Bollywood film and she nailed it!