How Vidya Balan defied the Bollywood female stereotype

How Vidya Balan defied the Bollywood female stereotype

How Vidya Balan defied the Bollywood female stereotype

Vidya Balan has given a makeover to the typical female character in Bollywood. As an actress, she has proven her versatility time and again. And in an industry that has thus far celebrated the 'Adarsh Bhartiya Nari' as a stereotypical meek, subservient woman, Vidya has taken on these kinds of roles with panache and lent them her own brand of feminism and femininity.

This multiple award winner and Padmashri awardee have blazed her own trail in Bollywood. Here's a look at her roles where she dominated the story and the screen.

Tumhari Sulu

Director: Suresh Triveni

Vidya Balan's Tumhari Sulu is about a housewife and homemaker who embraces an 'unconventional' career choice, releasing today. Sulochana ( Sulu), a suburban Mumbai married woman who lands up in a radio station becoming the favourite RJ of the radio listeners.

Here are six prior hits in which Vidya Balan redefined the traditional Indian woman role.


Director: Pradeep Sarkar

In what was essentially her launch vehicle in tinsel town, the doe-eyed Vidya was Parineeta, the wife who dedicates herself to the well-being of her paramour/husband, played by Saif Ali Khan. This movie catapulted Vidya to fame in an industry that was saturated with pretty faces with barely noticeable acting chops. Her career since then has boasted of several fantastic, author-backed roles.


Director: R. Balki

Vidya plays mother to Amitabh Bachchan in this movie, in which her child has progeria, a condition that causes him to age rapidly. The movie was widely appreciated, if not an outright commercial hit, and once again, it was Vidya playing a role that not many could have pulled off.

The Dirty Picture

Director: Milan Luthria

A revolutionary film and biopic of Silk Smitha, the original vamp and rebellious character, and a commentary on how society exploits women. Vidya is said to have gained weight for this role.

Ishqiya Director: Abhishek Chaubey In this movie, Vidya was quite the con who uses all the feminine tools she has in her arsenal to woo two different women for her own gain. She played a comely femme fatale who knows what she wants, and goes after it.

Kahaani 1

Director: Sujoy Ghosh

A steely woman with an agenda, Vidya plays a character who goes in search of her missing husband, braving dark streets and dinghy alleys.

Kahaani 2

Director: Sujoy Ghosh

A sequel to the original, that followed the wild success of the first movie in the franchise. This wasn't as great a hit as the first Kahaani, but was nonetheless another movie in which Vidya the protagonist steals the show.

(As compiled by Dalu Jose)

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