‘TO­DAY WOMEN IN FILMS ARE MORE HU­MAN’

Vidya Balan says that women to­day are break­ing stereo­types, and this holds true for In­dian cin­ema too

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Shalvi Man­gaokar shalvi.man­gaokar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Vidya Balan has man­aged to break many stereo­types in the Hindi film in­dus­try and there is no deny­ing that over the years, the ac­tor has man­aged to chart her own unique path in Bol­ly­wood.

Not only has she ex­per­i­mented with roles, but she has also shoul­dered films sin­gle­hand­edly — like The Dirty Pic­ture (TDP; 2011) and Ka­haani (2012) — that have gone on to be­come suc­cesses at the box of­fice, which is rare for women-cen­tric films. The 36-year-old feels that things are rapidly chang­ing for women in the Hindi film in­dus­try.

“Now, there is def­i­nitely more faith in movies that are cen­tred on fe­male pro­tag­o­nists. I think that comes from the suc­cess that other women-cen­tric films have wit­nessed,” says Vidya, adding, “All over the world, women are break­ing stereo­types. We’re do­ing the un­ex­pected, and we’re liv­ing the way we want to live, un­apolo­get­i­cally. I think that is in­spir­ing (film) writ­ers and di­rec­tors, and that’s what peo­ple are iden­ti­fy­ing with.” That’s one rea­son Vidya thinks why women are open­ing up to play­ing grey roles now. “I could do Ishqiya (2010) and TDP be­cause they were ac­cepted. We aren’t ex­pect­ing our women to only be noble any­more. We’re ex­pect­ing them to be real. There’s lesser judge­ment now, when it comes to women, and that sen­ti­ment is what is find­ing a voice in cin­ema too. Hav­ing said that, we still have a long way to go,” says the ac­tor.

Vidya re­veals that she is cur­rently busy read­ing scripts, and is ex­cited about play­ing late ac­tor Geeta Bali in a small role in an up­com­ing Marathi film. “There was a time when ac­tors like Nar­gis, Nutan and Geeta Bali were do­ing some won­der­ful work. Some­times I wish I was born 40-50 years ago. But, at times, I also feel glad I wasn’t born then. I think, to­day, fe­male char­ac­ters are more hu­man. At that time, they were more glo­ri­fied,” says Vidya, adding that she has al­ways wanted to fea­ture in a Marathi film.

“While grow­ing up, my mum used to watch Marathi films on Do­or­dar­shan on Satur­days. I used to watch them too. Marathi cin­ema is def­i­nitely go­ing through a won­der­ful change,” says Vidya.

PHOTO: PTI

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