Vidya Balan, who is awaiting the release of her film Begum Jaan in which she plays a brothel owner, said in a recent interview that the country never really belonged to women. Her upcoming film, a remake of a Bengali movie called Rajkahini, is all about overthrowing patriarchy during a tumultuous time.
“The country never belonged to women. We were second class citizens. You could belong to any race, caste, class and religion, but men decided, and they were in control – which is why Begum Jaan, being powerful in that context, gives her character [titular] meaning and makes her larger than life,” she told The Times of India.
Known for starring in several women-centric films backed by powerful characters such as in Kahaani (2012), The Dirty Picture (2011) and Ishqia (2010), Srijith Mukherji’s Begum Jaan follows an establishment run by the foul-mouthed and iron-fisted madam. In a recent interview with Scroll, the actress said that she’s a very angry woman deep down and likes to show it out in the roles she plays.
“While making Hamari Adhuri Kahani, I told Mr Mahesh Bhatt that I wanted to play an out-and-out baddie who bashes and slaps and screams unapologetically,” she said.
Begum Jaan, which will be released on April 14, stars Chunky Pandey, Naseeruddin Shah, Gauhar Khan, Pallavi Sharda and Mishti. The Censor Board had recently ordered 12 major cuts on violence, sex scenes, and abuses hurled in the film.