Vidya gets dirty

First Cut

Vidya's decision to do Silk Smitha's role has raised quite a few eyebrows. However, before we question her real reason to do 'The Dirty Picture', let's take a look at her credentials as an actor.

Vidya was noticed in her very first outing on the silver screen. As Lolita in 'Parineeta', Vidya brought a rare charm back to Bollywood, reminiscent of the allure of some of the yesteryear heroines. Her restrained and sensitive portrayal impressed both critics and viewers. Vidya managed to hold her own in a film that boasted of biggies like Sanjay Dutt and Saif Ali Khan.

Her next memorable outing was in Priyadarshan's 'Bhool Bhulaiya'. Vidya played the role of Avni who suffered from a psychiatric condition called Dissociative Identity Disorder. Vidya was at her histrionic best playing duel personalities of the sophisticated Avni during the day and the Bengali dancer Manjulika at night.

Vidya's performance in 'Paa' as a single mom of a child suffering from a rare genetic condition called Progeria, won her the Filmfare Award for Best Actress.

The very next year Vidya won awards galore for her role in Vishal Bharadwaj's 'Ishqiya'. The conniving Krishna of 'Ishqiya' took everyone by surprise. Her raw sensuality combined with a manipulative streak was a complex role to pull off but Vidya did a commendable job.

Earlier this year, Vidya played Sabrina Lal in 'No One Killed Jessica' and once again her understated performance was appreciated. A sister's real life struggle for justice was admirably portrayed by Vidya and has to be one of her best performances till date.

Vidya's upcoming film 'The Dirty Picture' has already created a lot of buzz because of the kind of clothes she's wearing in the film. My colleague Suma Nagaraj in her blog asks, "Should Vidya continue to play strong-willed Indian women or should she give in to the demands of the industry and play the skin show card?" My contention is what's so wrong with skin show? Vidya plays Silk Smitha in 'The Dirty Picture'. Silk Smith was known for her overt sexuality. Obviously Vidya can't wear a burkha for this role.

My point is why should skin show become the talking point of a film and not the plot/theme? A role has certain demands and as an actor you should be able to fulfill those requirements. However, every time an adult theme is attempted in Bollywood, the talking point invariably becomes the clothes or the number of kisses. Silk Smitha had an intriguing life and her story should make for an interesting watch. I think we should judge the film based on the merits if its storytelling and Vidya for her acting and not for the amount of clothes she's wearing/not wearing.

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