Vidya Balan praises Alia Bhatt’s Gangubai Kathiawadi: ‘It’s amazing that a female-led movie rocked the box office’
The idea of a “perfect woman” is over and women are portrayed simply as individuals in the world around us, actor says Vidya Balan.
His next film Jalsa is another addition to the list of films in which the 43-year-old actor has played imperfect women, following The Dirty Picture, Ishqiya and Shakuntala Devi, among others.
In jalsato appear on Prime Video on March 18, she plays Maya Menon, a TV journalist in constant search of the truth with shades of gray.
“Before it was the perfect, ideal woman, today there is no ideal. Because we are recognized as individuals in the world around us. Therefore, there are many more variety you see in the portrayal of women on screen. Today in movies, we recognize the flaws, she’s great the way she is. Because we’ve realized that the ordinary emerges from the extraordinary. We let’s tell stories of ordinary women, and that’s what happened,” Balan told PTI in a phone interview.
According to the national award winner, women should be seen as individuals with dreams and desires, as opposed to just someone’s daughter, sister or mother.
“Someone finds their voice, their purpose or someone struggles to make ends meet. But each of us has an identity beyond that. We post that we are individuals, we are not women as that category. We are not bhed, bakri (cattle). We are all human. We are the people. We are now exploring this. But that is because this is happening in the real world. Look at the professions we are in come in,” she added.
Citing the example of Gangubai Kathiawadi, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the actress said she was delighted that Alia Bhatt’s star emerged victorious at the box office. The domestic box office collection of historical drama, which hit theaters on February 25, raked in Rs 102.68 cr on March 10 according to the makers.
“There are other filmmakers, writers and actors who have done this. And we are all now with each film taking a step forward. Look what happens with Gangubai Kathiawadi. How amazing that after two years of Opening theaters was a female-led film that rocked the box office! Balan added.
Describing Jalsa, which reunites the actor with his director Tumhari Sulu Suresh Triveni, she said the film is one of many “intimate personal stories” that are increasingly finding space on streamers.
“These are intimate personal stories about everyday people like you and me. These aren’t just larger-than-life heroes. It’s you and me who are represented on the screen. You don’t have to do anything heroic, but in your everyday life you can be a hero. We have that realization in life and so you see that on the screen.
Billed as “a highly engaging and engrossing tale of conflict”, Jalsa follows the life of a top journalist (Balan) and her cook, played by Delhi crime star Shefali Shah. The film is her third consecutive project to be released on Prime Video, following Shakuntala Devi and Sherni, and the actress said she always thought Jalsa “was meant for the over-the-top (OTT) platform.
“It’s universal in storytelling. It reaches 240 countries at the same time. Also, today people are used to watching content in all languages, so language will not be an obstacle. This is the best place to have freed Jalsa,” she said.
“I’m a foodie actor and I want more and more people to watch my work. The intention is for my films to reach people all over the world,” she added.
The actor, who teamed up with Triveni again after the 2017 film Tumhari Sulu, also thanked the director for offering him challenging roles. In the comedy-drama, Balan played an ambitious housewife who becomes a radio jockey for a late-night relationship advice show.
“Suresh brought me something completely different from what I did with him before. He pushed me out of my comfort zone in Tumhari Sulu and he did it again this time,” she said declared.
Manav Kaul, Rohini Hattangadi, Iqbal Khan, Vidhatri Bandi, Shrikant Mohan Yadav, Shafeen Patel and Surya Kasibhatla round out Jalsa’s cast.
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