How Vidya Balan stopped playing by the rules and became Bollywood’s sherni

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. This streak of ‘rebelliousness’ (for a lack of a better word), is evident with the movies she signed post the Pradeep Sarkar directorial. Her unlikely pairing with Emraan Hashmi also worked wonderfully. The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards. Vidya was back in the game, and how! Ishqiya was followed by three landmark films of the actor’s career — No One Killed Jessica, The Dirty Picture and Kahaani. (Photo: Vinod Chopra Productions)
Then came Mani Ratnam film Guru, where again Vidya had a small but distinct part, of a person suffering from multiple sclerosis. Her “Good Morning, Mumbai,” felt vibrant and true, and so did her chemistry with co-star Dutt. She fully embraced the character and did what was required of her job, thereby giving one of the most committed and entertaining performances of an actor by an actor. Missteps notwithstanding, the actor always thought of pushing the envelope and rushed to break out of the box people tried putting her in.×1.png

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After the somewhat dull phase, Vidya’s career was resurrected all thanks to R Balki’s family drama Paa. 2017’s Tumhari Sulu saw her once again as a radio jockey, but a homemaker moonlighting as an RJ for a late-night relationship show. Not many people are comfortable with sharing screen space with younger and up and coming actresses, but not Vidya, who in several interviews was seen sharing a great camaraderie with her co-stars. It would have been so easy to get typecast after landing her first lead role in a Bollywood feature, as the period-sari-clad heroine. Similarly, in Kismat Konnection, she couldn’t quite find her place as Priya opposite Shahid Kapoor. In between, Vidya had the main part in Priyadarshan’s Bhool Bhulaiyaa where she shone. As they say, success begets more success, and so was the case with Vidya Balan. Yes, Senior Bachchan was convincing in the role of a child, but it was still a brave step to take, especially considering the times. Mission Mangal is Balan’s most commercially successful movie till date, earning Rs 290 crore against its modest Rs 32 crore budget. But it seems Vidya learnt to revel in freedom of choice, over the safety of quintessential Bollywood dramas. The streak of independence, it seems, was always there, but the actor took a few missteps before finding her footing. In 2010, as the manipulative and seductive Krishna, Vidya was a great mix of dangerous and sensuous in Abhishek Chaubey movie Ishqiya. (Photo: Vidya Balan/Instagram)
It seems fitting that Vidya Balan is playing the protagonist in Amazon Prime movie Sherni. In fact, The Dirty Picture even won her a National Award for her performance as the vulnerable yet strong Silk Smitha. Last seen in the titular role of Shakuntala Devi, Vidya Balan may not have given excellent performances in all of her films, but it cannot be denied that the actor is a talented and versatile performer, who has time and again proved that she is a chameleon when it comes to her roles. This, again then, was a ‘hatke’ decision to take. In 2006, we saw Vidya as the spirited radio jockey Jhanvi, the love interest of Sanjay Dutt’s Munna in Lage Raho Munna Bhai. But despite the artiste’s honest intentions, the character didn’t come through fully due to its thinly sketched outline. All three movies couldn’t have been more different in terms of genre and storytelling, and it is definitely no hyperbole to state that Vidya Balan effectively stole the spotlight in the films. © IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd


Vidya Balan Romancing Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah, Vidya was enigmatic in the frames she featured and the movie brought her a Filmfare Award too, her third since her debut in 2005. Ever since her debut in the Hindi film industry with Parineeta, Vidya has frequently made bold choices. After 2012, there was yet another lull in Vidya’s career, where despite her eclectic choice of scripts, she didn’t quite hit the mark, neither performance-wise or even commercially. Here’s hoping Amit V Masurkar’s Sherni helps establish that statement further. Written by Anvita Singh
| New Delhi |

June 17, 2021 8:48:51 am

Vidya Balan's latest release is the Amazon Prime movie Sherni. It should be noted that Vidya put on weight and a sexy demeanour despite the backlash she had faced for her physique and sense of style otherwise. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App. Once again, Balan did the unthinkable, she acquiesced to playing Amitabh Bachchan’s mother! After dabbling in films down south for a little while (NTR: Kathanayakudu, Nerkonda Paarvai), the actor was seen as one of the four leading ladies of the Hindi space movie Mission Mangal, which paired her with Akshay Kumar. You were both in awe of her (in the traditional sense of the term) and charmed by her antics on-screen. It was a small part, but it helped the audience see Vidya in a new light, in new clothes, as a modern young woman of a new India. This was followed by a critical failure in Akshay Kumar-starrer Heyy Babyy, wherein Balan was judged for her attempt at a glamorous avatar. Vidya Balan and Saif Ali Khan in Parineeta. Playing a mother, even in the late noughties, was not deemed advisable for an actor, but Balan went a step further and said yes to being a mother of an actor decades her senior.