Mother India 2020

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Mother India [1957] is the most powerful role ever played by a female actor in India. A cinematic “Epic”, it ran in the theatres for more than 3 decades. It represented high moral values of a rural woman,struggling to find her means amidst various hurdles, and established “Radha” as the epitome of motherhood. In this era of remakes, Mother India is one masterpiece I am eager to watch on screen. When it comes to interpreting the nuances of an author backed role, Vidya Balan is the name which crosses my mind. Today movies are attempted with an easy approach. Rare classics like Mother India, Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam etc, seem unfathomable; with very few of our artists fitting the bill as replacements.

It’s Vidya whom I conceive in my mind as Chhoti Bahu & Radha. She’s articulate in her craft & breaks the mould of a regular “run of the mill” part of a female actor on 70mm. Having won 4 back to back Filmfare & a National Award in deviant roles, she fits in the supreme category of trained actors. Attempting the poignancy of these characters will be a cake walk for her.

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She has displayed innate confidence in the name of acting. She’s a pioneer in changing the presentation of female actors on screen. She portrayed Sharat Chandra Chatterji’s Parineeta [2005] as her debut- depicting a 1960s character with ease; delivering a range of emotions out of her performance. In Ishqiya [2010] – {a movie full of colourful language, earthy humour & simmering sexuality} she emerged as a powerhouse performer set against rural backdrop. She reminded me of Hema Malini who could perform the contrast [Laal Pathhar & Sholay] with conviction in her times. With Paa [2009], she easily stepped in the skin of Auro’s mother; displaying the integrity of a modern contemporary woman without exaggeration. Dirty Picture [2011] established her as the champion, who provided the audience with full entertainment & glamour along with “The finest performance” on silver screen, in recent times. She carried the entire movie on her shoulders, depicting a woman’s struggle & downfall in a male- dominated film industry; refusing to compromise with her physical exhibition while presenting the raunchiness & oomph of the southern side actress “Silk Smitha”. Vidya gathered the front – row whistles from the audience along with the applause. Kahaani[2012], a movie made on a shoe – string budget, worked on “word of mouth” publicity. She played a Pregnant woman on a mission in this thriller. She kept the pace of the movie & the sharpness of the character intact; not succumbing once to melodrama. It must have been an ordeal to perform with the physical restrictions given to her character.

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It would be a delight to watch her as a lonely alcoholic wife of an Aristocrat, with her sexual desires & desperation/craving for attention. A woman, who is ready to shed her morals to gain love from her husband – Chhoti Bahu as portrayed by the Legendary “Meena Kumari”. It would be equally exhilarating to watch her on screen as Radha [Mother india], a poor villager struggling to bring up her sons in the absence of her husband; her survival amidst all odds; her fight for her dignity; her display of integrity in killing her own son. Radha as portrayed by the Icon “Nargis”– who immortalised the title “Mother India”.

I am eagerly anticipating these adaptations to materialise in near future, before Vidya Balan retires from screen and leaves the void open for another century [as Manisha Koirala did, after she was considered worthy for the title roles a decade back] – till another Supreme Artist takes birth in Bollywood. I hope the wait ends soon.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Mother India 2020 | poojaslibrary

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