Actor Vidya Balan on Tuesday said her latest drama Sherni is an ode to countless women who navigate their way and overcome several challenges, sometimes even without making any noise. In Amit Masurkar's drama, Balan plays an upright forest officer who is tasked to resolve the man-animal conflict.
Through her journey, the film follows how Balan's character, Vidya, takes on the patriarchal society and navigates her way through social barriers put up for women. During a virtual press conference, the actor said the film is a representation of women of all kinds, who are striving to make a change.
"You don't need to roar to be a tigress. There are various shades, reflections of 'sherni' (tigress) that each of us represents. My character is a woman of few words, reserved but strong-willed. So you can be that. You don't have to scream out loud from the rooftops to be heard all the time or even be visible all the time. In each of the households in India, there's a 'sherni' and a lot of times she's invisible. This is my salute to all of them out there," Balan told reporters.
Produced by T-Series and Abundantia Entertainment, Sherni is set to stream on Amazon Prime Video on June 18. The 42-year-old actor said because she's a public figure, the audience is able to see and appreciate the "tigress" in her, but the will to survive and fight back is inherent to all.
"I believe every woman is a sherni. She is navigating her way through this thick jungle called life. We are constantly facing challenges. I love that line in our song which says, 'museebat ko aisa panja maregi.' I know that at every step of the way, women today are doing that (overcoming difficulties) The reason we are able to do that is because the women before us did that," said Vidya.
Sherni is the latest Balan film to put a woman in the forefront and follow her struggle, after a series of movies like Shakuntala Devi (2020), Mission Mangal (2019) and 2017 drama Tumhari Sulu. The actor said she isn't consciously choosing to attempt films that are "inspiring."
"If they happen to inspire along the way, that's a bonus. I pick up stories that I find compelling, irresistible. That's also true for the characters I choose. If we are getting to tell great female-centric stories, then why not. I am the hero of the piece and I love that. Because I am the centre of my universe and if I am getting to be the centre of the film also, then (good)," she added.
Sherni also stars Sharad Saxena, Mukul Chaddha, Vijay Raaz, Ila Arun, Brijendra Kala and Neeraj Kabi.