From Parineeta to Shakuntala Devi, Vidya Balan has accomplished 15 years in the Hindi movie trade and the Bollywood star says she is ‘grateful’ to be residing the one dream she had – to be an actor. There have been ups and downs alongside the journey, however Balan has at all times charted her personal course in the trade, creating the way in which ahead for women-led films with the success of The Dirty Picture and Kahaani.
“It’s been very fulfilling. I’m very grateful that I’m living the only dream I ever had – to be an actor. When ‘Parineeta’ happened, I thought, ‘if this is the one film I do, I’m going to give it my all’. And that”s been my approach throughout. I’ve come so far,” the actor instructed PTI in a Zoom interview.
Balan made her performing debut in 1995 sitcom “Hum Paanch” because the bumbling nerd Radhika in the pack of titular 5 sisters. The present was backed by “The Dirty Picture” producer Ekta Kapoor.
Her movie debut, nonetheless, was the 2003 Bengali movie “Bhalo Theko”. It additionally starred Soumitra Chatterjee, Parambrata Chatterjee, Joy Sengupta and Debshankar Halder.
“Of course, there have been some ups and downs, challenges, and lessons learnt. Sometimes I felt like I have reached my ebb, sometimes I thought I peaked. That”s the beauty of it and I hope I’ll be here for the rest of my life,” she added.
Balan’s career has seen her represent different shades of women, extraordinary or otherwise, but she has mostly stayed away from biopics, other than “The Dirty Picture”, a semi-biographical story of South star Silk Smitha.
The 41-year-old actor said she ended up turning down a lot of biopics as they are mostly “puff pieces”.
But her latest film on Shakuntala Devi was a warts and all story with the math genius’ daughter Anupama Banerji sharing things openly.
“You need to see the individual as an actual human being who has her flaws or limitations together with the truth that she”s a genius and had this marvellous reward. That’s what makes it a healthful watch. But truthfully, you could not have instructed Shakuntala Devi’s story in every other method. She didn”t need to be holier than thou,” she mentioned.
The actor mentioned her try whereas taking part in an actual individual is to not imitate and make the portrayal a caricature, which finally ends up being unfair to the individual whose story is being instructed.
“Anu Menon (director) was very clear that ‘Shakuntala Devi and you don”t look exactly like each other’. When the physical likeness is not that much, you try to capture the spirit of the person. That has been my attempt.
“She has handheld me all through this course of. It was daunting and intimidating for me. It was thrilling too but it surely got here with its challenges. It’s a very tremendous stability when it is an actual individual. You try to painting the individual and on the identical time you don”t need to mimic,” she added.
Menon, Vidya mentioned, at all times noticed the film as a mother-daughter story, which can be an ode to the genius “Shakuntala Devi is, was and will be”.
Biopics have been a rage in Bollywood for some time however requested why filmmakers hesitate to strategy educationists, Balan mentioned it perhaps as a result of they seem “a bit inaccessible”, like arithmetic as a topic.
“My biggest realisation during this film was that maths is in everything but we have not been taught the subject like that. It’s been taught as an abstraction in school so it always felt like it belonged to another world, that we needed to fear it because we are scared of the invisible.
“But if you go searching, maths is in nature, music, cooking, poetry, images. If we had been taught maths like that, none of us could be scared. Shakuntala Devi made maths enjoyable,” she added.
If one looks at the recent buzz-worthy projects around women, they were all directed by women be it Menon, the Marie Curie movie ‘Radioactive” director Marjane Satrapi or motion drama “The Old Guard” by director Gina Prince-Bythewood.
Vidya, nonetheless, mentioned greater than the gender, it’s the gaze of the director that issues whereas telling a narrative.
“Primarily, for me, it is about the gaze. That’s what’s different. Anu Menon is a film school graduate, she is a professional. She is also very passionate and demanding. She pushes you out of your comfort zone and not just actors but everyone in the team.
“The proven fact that she determined to inform Shakuntala Devi’s story by the eyes of Anupama in itself is very totally different. It’s a girl telling a girl’s story by a girl’s eyes,” she said
With “Shakuntala Devi” released and earning praise for Balan”s performance, the actor now hopes to resume work on her next “Sherni” post monsoon.
The film is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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