‘TODAY WOMEN IN FILMS ARE MORE HUMAN’
Vidya Balan says that women today are breaking stereotypes, and this holds true for Indian cinema too
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.