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Vidya Balan: The commercial, critical and OTT milestones so far

Vidya Balan has been completing and releasing one film a year on the digital medium during the pandemic. After 'Shakuntala Devi' and 'Sherni', 'Jalsa' started streaming this month.

March 27, 2022 / 10:21 PM IST
Vidya Balan as journalist Maya Menon in 'Jalsa'. (Image courtesy Amazon Prime Video)

Vidya Balan as journalist Maya Menon in 'Jalsa'. (Image courtesy Amazon Prime Video)

What a fabulous run Vidya Balan is having, as far as spearheading the effort in films that require her to be the central protagonist goes. Especially in the world of OTT, she has been ruling amongst her contemporaries. While most have been waiting to make a mark at the box office from their theatrical releases, now that cinemas are back, Vidya Balan has been completing and releasing one film a year on a regular basis in the digital medium.

While it was Shakuntala Devi in 2020, Sherni arrived in 2021. Circa 2022 and she has just released Jalsa. Expectedly, she has been hailed for her bravura performance in each of these films, albeit unsurprisingly since that has been the hallmark of the actress right from the days of Parineeta, though more on that later.

Talking about these three films, each of which has been produced by Vikram Malhotra (Abundantia Entertainment), these were originally meant for theatrical release. Shakuntala Devi is the biopic on India’s legendary mathematician. Sherni exposed the politics in the world of jungles and government offices. And Jalsa is a humane story where she plays a woman with grey shades and who fights her own demons.

Had these films released in theatres, Vidya could well have earned more box office successes, considering her presence has time and again brought gravitas to the whole art of storytelling. When she did Tumhari Sulu back in 2018, it was a sweet box office success as it went past the Rs 30 crore mark. The film was incidentally directed by Suresh Triveni, who is also the maker of her newest film Jalsa. The storytelling in the film was fresh and Vidya Balan too did something that no other actress had done before, which is to host a late night adult show on radio.