Vidya Balan is undoubtedly a very versatile actor who portrays any character with ease. I have seen a lot of her films and I have liked Kahaani. She is one actor who truly believes in the script and at the end of the day, conveys a social message. She focuses more on acting rather than glamour. (Which is your favourite film led by Vidya Balan... October 31)
Sujoy Ghosh’s remarkable movie Kahaani is still an enigma and eminently re-watchable. Released in 2012 and shot in Calcutta on a medium budget, it still is one of the most gripping whodunits ever to grace the annals of Bollywood.
A visual treat in form of the city and the flavours of Durga Puja, a thriller unfolding with unfortunate ‘accidents’ and murders on the way, dilapidated houses with shuttered, wooden windows, swanky metro stations and a ramshackle police station... the story takes us on a journey through the city and its million faces. There are also several references to iconic movies of Bengal like Charulata and Aranyer Din Ratri, adding to the movie lover’s glee. Vidya Balan and her supporting cast deliver a stunning, unforgettable movie, to remember and recount for years.
My favourite film led by Vidya Balan is definitely Kahaani. It is a woman-centred film which every woman should watch. The movie is full of suspense, thrills, mystery, increasing your curiosity to see what happens next. The film has been set in the backdrop of one of the most popular and beautiful festivals of Calcutta: Durga Puja. Moreover, the film has shots of the lanes of old north Calcutta. Vidya's character Bidya Bagchi broke all the stereotypes which our Indian society had regarding women. Her acting in this film was so amazing that it would literally gave you goosebumps.
My favourite film led by Vidya Balan is and will always be Kahaani. Her fantastic performance in the terrific game of make-believe gives me goosebumps every time I watch it. The way she portrayed her pseudo-pregnancy in the film is one of the finest renditions in such a genre till date. Her body language literally played a more pivotal role in comparison to the verbal language in the entire movie. However, being an actress of diversity, she also stages the light and sweet characters even more sweetly than they originally are and that’s really cute.
Vidya Balan has carved a special niche for herself in Indian cinema as she pulls off any character efficiently and effortlessly in female-led films. My favourite Vidya Balan-led films are Tumhari Sulu and Mission Mangal.
Vidya is one of the torch-bearers of women-led movies in Bollywood. In movies like Shakuntala Devi, Parineeta, Kahaani, Paa, Tumhari Sulu, Sherni and many more, we got familiar with her versatility and her supreme acting skills. Still if I have to choose one it would be The Dirty Picture. I feel that the portrayal of Silk was not possible by anybody but Vidya. Though this was a character totally out of Vidya’s comfort zone, it was an out-of-the-box challenge for her but the way she did it is not only highly appreciable but an inspiration to many aspiring actors. She proved that there should not be any ‘box’ for an actor, as long as it’s not sending any bad message to the society. Vidya added life to the character of Silk.
In the 2012 film Kahaani, the lead role of Bidya Bagchi was played with aplomb and grace by Vidya Balan. It is not easy to act as a pregnant woman throughout a film, until it is revealed at the end that she is not pregnant. The direction of Sujoy Ghosh was artistic and the scenes of Calcutta streets depicted beautifully. Credit should also be given to Parambrata Chattopadhyay whose role as a cop was a match to Vidya, who was in search of her husband Arnab Bagchi. No wonder, the film was widely appreciated for its screenplay, cinematography and the performance of Vidya Balan.
The best from the rest is Kahaani. Frankly speaking, it is very difficult to mention any one film. As per her filmography, in whichever film she was, she has been an eye-catcher. In Parineeta she was phenomenal, and what to say about Bhool Bhulaiyaa, she was spot on. Be it the The Dirty Picture or No One Killed Jessica, her screen presence and acting capability have always given an amazing feeling. Being a Bengali, I love the Bengaliness she brings to her characters. Vidya Balan’s sweetness and purity reflect very well in her acting. But, Kahaani tops the list for its storyline and the way she justified the role. I wish she always does such inspiring work.
My favourite film led by Vidya Balan is none other than Kahaani where she takes on the role of Bidya Bagchi, a pregnant woman in search of her missing husband, and infuses it with a level of authenticity and depth rarely seen in cinema. With her captivating presence, she carries the weight of the film on her shoulders with remarkable grace. What sets her performance apart is the sheer range of emotions she traverses throughout the film. Vidya’s effortless transition from moments of vulnerability to scenes of unyielding determination and strength validates her versatile range of acting.
The chemistry between Vidya and the city of Calcutta, where most of the film is set, is palpable. As she navigates the labyrinthine streets and alleys in her search for answers, the audience can feel the city’s pulse mirroring her emotional journey. This connection between her character and the city adds an extra layer of depth to her performance.
Vidya’s performance in Kahaani is a tour de force and a high point in her career. Her ability to completely inhabit the character of Bidya Bagchi and make the audience emotionally attached to her quest is a testament to her exceptional talent as an actor and elevates the movie from being a generic thriller to a cinematic experience that leaves a lasting impact.
One of my favourite movies led by Vidya Balan is The Dirty Picture (2011), which witnessed perhaps her greatest professional performance and her ability to immerse herself fully into a character. Embracing the role of the South Indian actress, Silk Smitha, with a paramount degree of authenticity, Balan accurately captured the quintessential personality of this attractive and rather complicated South Indian actress, right from her mannerisms, to her distinct way of speaking. She made it appear natural on the big screen quite effortlessly by slipping into the ‘silky’ skin of the character, and wowed everyone with her phenomenal performance, which was widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.
I respect Vidya Balan in The Dirty Picture owing to how she embarked on the challenge to do justice to the role of the protagonist, recognised for her sensuous and bold on-screen persona. She invoked emotional depth to Silk Smitha’s ‘notorious’ character, depicting the highs and lows of the latter’s life and career, and showcasing the vulnerabilities and struggles that lay beneath the glitz and glam. I consider Vidya Balan’s performance as Silk a benchmark in her acting career that is worth celebrating as one of the finest portrayals of a biographical character in Indian cinema. Not only does The Dirty Picture showcase her versatility as an actress, but also leaves the audience thoroughly entertained.
Back in 2012, Vidya Balan as Bidya Baghi arrived in Calcutta with a suspenseful, thrilling movie set against the backdrop of the festival of Durga Puja. She came in search of her missing husband Arnab Bagchi. A police officer named Rana helps her. While searching, they come to know her husband resembles a man named Milind Damji. A successful contract killer named Bob Biswas kills all those who have helped her but fails to make her his prey. Her story is revealed in the last action scene when she kills Damji amidst Sindoor Khela where married women play with vermillion as a part of the last ritual of Durga Puja. This film is not only about a woman who seeks revenge for her husband’s death but also a celebration of the power of women to demolish evil doers. Kahaani is one of my favourites. Another favourite is Vidya Balan’s character in Bobby Jasoos, a comedy movie.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007) is the Hindi remake of popular Malayalam film Manichitrathazhu. This psychological horror-comedy drama has Vidya Balan in one of the best performances of her career so far. Her versatility in the challenging dual roles of ‘Avni’ and ‘Manjulika’ wins our hearts. At one point, when Avni forgets her own self and completely transforms into Manjulika, we feel a spine-chilling sensation and wonder what will happen next. Her character very well portrays how Dissociative Identity Disorder affects a person and educates the audience about the necessity to take care of their mental health, as even a small unresolved past trauma can take the shape of a much bigger mental disorder.
I have been a huge, huge fan of Vidya Balan. Literally, each and every film led by this powerful Bollywood heroine to date is very close to my heart. Among those, the movie which is my most favourite is the 2011 film The Dirty Picture, inspired by the South Indian film industry’s star actress Silk Smitha’s life. The beautiful actress delivered a towering performance as the protagonist Silk in this highly entertaining flick. Except that Milan Luthra directorial, the other three films led by Vidya which are also my faves are Shakuntala Devi, Sherni and Tumhari Sulu.