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Home Bollywood Vidya Balan: Shakuntala Devi is not a puff piece

Vidya Balan: Shakuntala Devi is not a puff piece

Written by Sampada Sharma
| New Delhi |

Revealed: July 27, 2020 7:40:47 am


Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi will stream on Amazon Prime Video.

When the trailer of Shakuntala Devi first dropped, it made me surprise that out of all of the modern Indian actors, there was nobody I may think about on this function, however Vidya Balan. If that’s the magic of Vidya or the function that was tailored for her, is one thing we’ll know after the movie premieres on Friday on Amazon Prime Video. Nevertheless, from what we’ve seen to date, Vidya takes on the persona of Shakuntala Devi fairly properly.

In an unique digital dialog with indianexpress.com, Vidya Balan shared her joys of taking part in Shakuntala Devi, who was nicknamed the “Human Laptop”. Vidya too knew Shakuntala as an exemplary mathematician, however as she delved deeper into her life with director Anu Menon, she learnt that the academician “defied each notion you will have of a mathematical genius.” “She was so energetic, had a depraved sense of humour. She was like a fancy equation,” the actor shared.

Whereas this movie is a biopic, Vidya acknowledged that it’s “not a puff piece.” What excited her whereas taking over this undertaking was “the scope to inform Shakuntala Devi’s story as unapologetically as attainable.” What the actor mentioned about this not being a “puff piece” intrigued me as many-a-times in Hindi cinema, we see hagiographies within the garb of biographies. Vidya stored the movie’s secrets and techniques near her chest however did reveal that we’re in for a narrative that examines the gender dynamics of the time.

“In all probability her greatest flaw, as a lady, was that she wished all of it. And as a lady, you aren’t allowed to have all of it,” Vidya Balan revealed. The actor shared that the principal character right here didn’t see the world by means of a gendered lens. “She didn’t perceive this distinction between women and men as a result of she didn’t outline herself as a lady. She noticed herself as an individual, who occurred to be a lady,” the actor mentioned. This, as per Vidya, is the “root of battle in her particular person.”

Speaking in regards to the gender dynamics of Shakuntala Devi’s time, Vidya additionally mentioned that roles for girls are evolving. In her final movie Mission Mangal, we noticed her as a scientist, and now, she is taking part in a mathematician. She laughed and shared that with such tutorial roles, her “dad and mom are the happiest.”

However on a severe be aware, she acknowledged the evolution that we’re witnessing in Hindi cinema. She proudly mentioned that now “we’re being seen extra as individuals, (and) not simply outlined by way of our relationships with the boys within the film.” The movies now give their ladies an opportunity to discover their goals and aspirations, and they’re “being seen as individuals.” “I believe that’s an enormous shift and that’s very heartening,” Vidya mentioned.

Shakuntala Devi is being launched amid the coronavirus pandemic. Theaters everywhere in the nation are nonetheless closed, however with Amazon Prime Video stepping in, the movie is getting a digital launch. The theater vs OTT debate has pressured us to assume if it will likely be one or the opposite, however Vidya Balan believes that with these modifications, “the horizon has simply widened.” In her opinion, there can be content material that can be “purely for OTT” as a result of it provides the makers the freedom to experiment. However on the identical time, “theaters will proceed to outlive and thrive as a result of that group expertise is exclusive.”

Vidya Balan starrer Shakuntala Devi begins streaming on July 31 on Amazon Prime Video.

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