Vidya Balan – The versatile actress of present Bollywood with a magical touch

An unexpected entry to B’town after trying luck in south Indian films

It’s the real life story of one of the top actresses of Bollywood. A Malayali girl, settled in Mumbai appeared in a few television shows in the early1990s. She was also interested in modeling and did a few ads in the first half of 1990s before she decided to try luck in movies. She was casted by Malayalam director Kamal in the movie ‘Chakra’ opposite Mohanlal in the early 2000s. She also signed 12 more movies in a row. It happened soon after she completed her PG course.

The shooting also started, but unfortunately the movie was shelved soon. Producers blamed Vidya for bringing “bad luck” to the project and labelled her as a “jinx”. Many of her projects got shelved, one project though completed didn’t get a theatric release and the rest were replaced and she was tagged as the unlucky girl of Mollywood. She tried a few other ways too, yet couldn’t find a way in acting field. She faced the same fate in Tamil cinema as well, and got replaced for many projects she initially signed.

After the struggling time, in her mid-20s her parents asked her to think about marriage and she almost said ‘yes’ to her parents’ decision. Already she was 25+, the time when leading ladies of 1990s and earlier say good bye to silver screen and get settled with family life. Malayalam director Kamal once quoted this incident in Vanitha Magazine for an interview, the last call she made to him when her parents forced her to get married. She even told him that she has almost decided too!

It was late, but not too late. She appeared in a music video for Euphoria and very soon debuted through a Bengali movie. But the Bollywood movie Parineeta (2005) with a Bengali background and the super success of the movie gave a new actress to Bollywood – Vidya Balan. Yet no one ever imagined she is to become the top actress of B’town, performance wise. Yes, now Vidya is widely regarded as the lady superstar of Bollywood who can carry a full length movie on her shoulders.

A success no other actress even can dare to imagine in her early 30s

Vidya’s first appearance for a Malayalam movie in Urmi

Though she faced criticisms and drawbacks during the first phase of her Bollywood career, for the roles she choose and fashion statement, very soon we witnessed Vidya in a new avatar. She started choosing roles that suit her best, and she succeeded almost 100% as well. More than modern roles, she received critical acclaim for traditional roles with next-door girl look. She was once mostly criticized for her lack of fashion sense and once Shah Rukh Khan gave her ‘Nariyal Awards’ for her bad fashion sense, though she worked for the successful movie ‘Heyy Baby’ that year. 

What have we witnessed later? Huge hits and women oriented roles enough to name her as the ‘Lady Khan of Bollywood’, a recognition that no other lady actor among her contemporaries received. All began to forget her fashion sense and new talks were about her performance in ‘Ishqiya’, ‘Paa’, ‘Dirty picture’ and ‘Kahani’, the movies with set new bookmarks for women-oriented and content driven movies in Hindi cinema.

Power-packed performances through a series of women-oriented movies

Oh La La song from The Dirty Picture

 We saw her powerful performance in movies like Dirty Picture, Kahani, Bhool Bhulayya, Ishqiya, Paa and No one killed Jessica. Though Kahani-2 was not a big success, her performance was praised by critics. She even broke the myth that glamour is the only factor needed to sustain in the industry, and only a few ladies in the industry have dared to do so. She is 35+, yet she has proved herself to be the best actress India has ever witnessed in the new millennium, no doubt!

Dirty Picture is one such magical role that can be named as the finest performance of an actress in the decade of 2010s in Bollywood. When I watched the movie online for the first time, I was really surprised seeing the body language and mannerisms of Vidya. No doubt, she has prepared a lot to give justice to this role, and she was bold enough to accept the role, I should say. I appreciated her with true heart. The story may or may not be an authenticated the story of the sex siren, but Vidya has given the best what the script asked her to do! After a series of women-oriented films, media has credited Vidya Balan as a pioneer to break the stereotypical portrayal of heroines in Bollywood.

Known for her quintessential desi look

Not only in movies of recent times, in social life too, Vidya is always spotted in a desi look in traditional silk saris. Very often she is compared to Bollywood diva Rekha known for her powerful roles as well as traditional attitude wearing traditional saris and accessories for parties and other functions.

Vidya has ride on her success without the support of any superstars of Bollywood, choosing some of the best roles of recent times. Her dream roles are all performance oriented, and can be compared to Tabu and Deepika Padukone, who also achieved the status of talented actresses, without the support of big stars of Bollywood. Read to know more.  

Read articles on Vidya Balan – The performance oriented actress of present Bollywood.

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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