Stories about Vidya Balan

From ‘possessed’ to the ‘crazy ex’, do Bollywood horror movies have a gender stereotype problem?

Bollywood cannot be credited with producing the most sensitive of films, and although there has been a welcome change in the recent past, there is still a long way to go in terms of appropriate and sensitive representation across genres. While genres such as romance and comedy are actively dissected regarding how they often portray skewed gender relations on screen, one genre which probably needs to be spoken more about is that of Bollywood horror films. The roots of horror as a genre in mainstream Indian cinema can be traced back to the Ramsay family production during the latter half of the ...

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When Tanushree Dutta said #MeToo but Bollywood didn’t care, because that stuff is only for movies

This is one real life story Bollywood will likely never make into a blockbuster, for after all, it involves one of their own. Actress Tanushree Dutta’s accusations of sexual harassment against veteran actor Nana Patekar have been met with diverse reactions within the industry, but the most deafening is the sound of silence by most of Bollywood’s bigwigs. On the one hand, some of those who have reacted should have just kept quiet. For instance, 66- year-old Shakti Kapoor, who himself has a dubious reputation, thought it was appropriate to joke about the matter. #WATCH:I don't know anything about this ...

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“Look at his arms, they’re huge”: The naked truth of how men have body image issues too

A few months ago, my brother and I were at the grocery store picking up some snacks for movie night. The checkout line was stocked with entertainment magazines and tabloid covers. One of them was Men’s Health – I don’t remember what was on the cover, but they’re all the same.  “Drop 10 pounds of fat now!” “Three ways to naturally boost your testosterone.” “Get huge arms and a chiseled six-pack fast!”  Something like that, I’m sure. What I do remember is that the cover model’s arms looked as wide as my head, and his abs may as well have been sculpted by ...

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In an age of weight watchers and surgeries, Vidya Balan proves that it is talent that counts

The Filmfare Awards 2018 took place recently, and Vidya Balan surprised no one by winning the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female). No one that has seen Vidya act will question or challenge her win, but the award means more than just another win for a deserving actor. This is indeed a big win for the art and the artist, but it is also a big win for women and for body positivity. At a time where most Bollywood actresses are judged and appreciated more for their looks and their bodies than they are for their performances, this ...

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Rani Mukerji’s ‘Hichki’ is here to prove that “hiccups” can’t stand in the way of a determined soul

Rani Mukerji is one of those few Bollywood actresses, like Vidya Balan, who have established a niche for themselves in the industry. If Mukerji is set to star in a film, there is no doubt in the audience’s mind that it will have powerful performances, if nothing else. Now, after taking a hiatus of three years, she will be seen astounding us with her talent once again in the upcoming film Hichki. Directed by Sidharth P Malhotra and produced by Maneesh Sharma, Hichki follows the life of Naina Mathur, a woman who suffers from Tourette’s syndrome and aspires more than ...

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It’s 2017, why should I change my surname, my identity, after marriage?

“What’s in a name?” I often hear people ask the aforementioned question, to which my instant reaction is, “So why do women change it after marriage?” This used to be a topic of discussion amongst me and my friends before I was married. The typical responses to justifying this included assumptions that it is either required by the law or considered customary and has always been that way. Just because something was considered customary, does that necessarily make it right? If it did, then women should not be voting or be working because historically, it was prohibited or frowned upon. But women today do vote, women do work and women do ...

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Two’s company, Te3n’s a crowd-pleaser!

Staring down the barrel of a gun, with my life solely dependent on producing a visually breath-taking piece of cinematic art and the only option given is of one sub-continental city as a filming location, I would be in Kolkata with my frikking filming gear, before anyone could even count to teen. Home to parallel cinema, a film movement that originated in the 1950s, with the likes of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sena and Ritwik Ghatak at its helm, Kolkata has an extremely proud celluloid history. It’s also not hard to see how these pioneers, along with the city, still hold sway with serious ...

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Bobby Jasoos: A volcano of talent… wasted!

Keeping the taste of Bollywood fans and critics in mind, director Samar Shaikh and producer Dia Mirza came up with a great formula for their new movie, Bobby Jasoos, one which they thought would be a hit movie. To understand it better, the formula is a mix between women-centric movies, like No one killed Jessica, Hate Story, Dirty Picture, Gulaab Gang and English Vinglish, and detective thrillers, like John Day, Samrat & Co., Kahaani, Mr Joe B Carvalho.  So what is the movie about? Bobby Jasoos is about Bilquis Ahmed (Vidya Balan), also known as Bobby Jasoos, who aspires to be a detective ...

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Rani Mukherji married Aditya Chopra, get over it!

Bollywood star, Rani Mukherji and the head honcho of Yash Raj Films (YRF), Aditya Chopra tied the knot on the April 21, 2014. While my interest level in their nuptials is dismally low, I can’t help but be revolted by the reaction of fans across the country. While some are ecstatic, others feel she could have done better. The comments floating around on Twitter and Facebook range from being congratulatory to being downright discourteous and boorish. There were media reports of Uday Chopra being attacked by Twitterati and having read some of the tweets, I am appalled and disconcerted at the crudeness on display. Here are ...

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Nutella cheesecake and Farhan Akhtar – doesn’t get better than that!

As Mr A was casually buying himself some coffee and a large packet of spicy Lays chips outside the cinema, when a wide-eyed friend exclaimed looking at him, “Oh my God, your husband is here to watch ‘Shaadi ke side effects’, poor thing!” The cinema barely had any male species present. It was, however, outrageously packed with caramel-popcorn-munching females. Clearly the movie was going to be fun. “Hmmm… now he will know the true side effects, flashed before him, and what we women have to go through after marriage.” I cloyingly thought to myself as we settled down in the wide red seats. Throughout the movie, ...

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