It was in 2011 that Vidya Balan portrayed Silk Smitha in her biopic The Dirty Picture. A couple of decade later, Richa Chadda has stepped into the sneakers of Shakeela. In reality, the trailer of Shakeela begins with Silk Smitha’s loss of life, and the way later, Shakeela rises to prominence.
Helmed by Kannada filmmaker Indrajit Lankesh, Shakeela, primarily based on the lifetime of the South Indian actor bearing the identical title, tracks her rise and fall. She gained the standing of a controversial persona for showing in ‘B-grade’ movies, earlier than she made the transition to mainstream cinema by taking part in bit half character roles.
“Shakeela is iconic in addition to a controversial determine, and subsequently, I used to be very glad doing the movie. It was a really completely different expertise as I’m taking part in a personality of an grownup actress for the primary time. also, it’s a brand new form of cinema setting. You’re going to get to see a variety of South taste. It’s a very industrial movie, and I needed to method it in a different way. I also felt a form of accountability on me as a result of Shakeela mustn’t really feel that she has been wronged, and her life story has been misrepresented. It’s an inspiring story as a result of she dominated the Malayalam movie business for almost a decade, and even stood out as an arch rival to the highest male superstars in the business then,” says Chadda.
Since Shakeela continues to be energetic, she supplied a variety of details about herself, which made it simple for each the director and the actor. “I’ve watched her movies as a part of my analysis, and I recorded interviews along with her on camera for my materials. She is open concerning the movies she did, and by no means regretted about being an grownup star. She is somebody who talks with out filters about her private life, successes, and failures. In order that helped me loads. We’ve not hidden something for the sake of hiding it. We’ve been very delicate about it, and we’ve left a variety of area for the creativeness of the viewers. Even in the making, the narration or the character sketch, we’ve stored it as actual as potential,” says Lankesh.
Chadda met and spent a while with Shakeela earlier than the filming started. “I needed to review her behaviour, and perceive her standpoint. What she needed to undergo, and whether or not she was harm or bitter about something that she needed to expertise. But I didn’t should do a lot as a result of the prep was already achieved for me, and the director was very clear about what he needed to spotlight. The form of stardom that she loved at one level, the variety of releases she had in a single yr, I learnt all that from folks I’ve labored with in the South. I needed to satisfy her kinfolk But her relationship along with her household was not very snug so I didn’t need to strive that,” says the actress.
Chadda provides, “She is a really candy woman. She was very protecting of me. She wasn’t aware of my work. She didn’t know me or what sort of movies I did, and but she divulged a variety of data. She was very beneficiant. She trusted me loads. She is a large-hearted individual, and she or he nonetheless does a variety of charity. She just isn’t bitter about anyone, and I discovered that to be a really noble high quality in her. Loving, maternal, sophisticated, and on the identical time, very childlike.”
Lankesh provides, “After I launched Shakeela to Richa, and after they have been speaking, I seen that innocence continues to be there in her. Maybe due to her innocence, she has misplaced all of it. I may see the ache in her eyes. Even after acting in 250 odd movies, she lives in the identical one room home in a dingy neighbourhood of Chennai. Maybe as a result of the business pushed her to the nook, she needed to battle again, and now she is acting once more. It’s about her famous person standing, after which to lose all of it. For that, it’s a must to watch the movie. How they in reality discovered causes to ship her out of the business. I’ve stored it very near the reality. What me was this woman from a poor background, coming into cinema and strolling into the male-dominated Malayalam movie business through the ‘90s, and making grownup movies the development of the time. She had a rags-to-riches-and-back-to-rags story. For any filmmaker, that’s attention-grabbing. I needed to know what actually occurred, and I’ve tried to inform the story from a humane perspective.
Nonetheless, Chadda was a bit apprehensive initially when she was approached for the half. “I had made up my thoughts that I gained’t do it. I questioned what if I needed to do daring scenes, and that would spoil my picture. But after they began narrating, I realised the movie is about Shakeela’s private life. So there was no want to point out daring scenes. In reality, sure incidents in her life made me curious, and I requested the writers if these items really occurred. I understood her persona, her private life, her stardom, and felt that I needs to be doing it. What also excited me was that the director needed to convey the world of that interval, how there was once physique doubles, how they used to shoot on VHS, and document songs on Nagra (audio recorder),” says Chadda.
Lankesh also made it some extent to not solid a lookalike whereas trying to find the primary protagonist. “I simply needed a proficient actor. We didn’t desire a caricaturish form of sketch. Richa comes ready, and tries to get into the pores and skin of the character. That eases the work of a director. She’s achieved justice to the position. After I went to the CBFC (Central Bureau of Movie Certification) whereas the revising committee was watching the movie, I used to be shocked to see that a number of the members of the committee forgot who Richa is, and so they began connecting her with Shakeela. That is step one I believed I’ve succeeded in narrating the story,” says the director.
Each Chadda and Lankesh are ready for the comparisons drawn between The Dirty Picture and Shakeela as each the actresses essay South actresses from the identical period doing comparable roles. “The repetition may very well be simply because movies are an integral a part of each topics’ lives. Aside from that, there is no such thing as a similarity. I needed to painting her time as a famous person when she was overpowering the male-dominated Malayalam movie business. And I also needed to point out her life after she stopped getting movies. Shakeela is an actual story, and offered in a really practical platform with actual characters and actual feelings. I’ve not taken a lot liberty and tried to stay to her life story as a lot as potential,” says Lankesh.
“The time zone of each the flicks is similar so comparison is inevitable. Silk died early. Thus, Shakeela was capable of rise to prominence to grow to be well-known. We can’t be capable to assist the comparisons that come. It is fine as they’re comparing us to a very good movie, and a very good actor carried out in it,” Chadda concludes.