• Saturday, May 25, 2024


TOP 10 performances of Vidya Balan

Balan has won multiple awards and acclaim for memorable roles that have showcased her impressive range

Balan in Shakuntala Devi

By: Asjad Nazir

A SERIES of winning performances has established Vidya Balan as one of the finest actresses of this generation.

She has won multiple awards and acclaim for memorable roles that have showcased her impressive range. She will add to that diverse body of work with the new movie Do Aur Do Pyaar. Eastern Eye got ready for the romantic comedy-drama, due in cinemas on April 19, by listing her top 10 performances, which are listed in chronological order.

Parineeta .

Lalita in Parineeta (2005): The actress announced herself with an award-winning debut in the stylish film adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1914 Bengali novella of the same name. She combined a striking screen presence with a beautifully understated performance in the story of two neighbours falling deeply in love with one another. The character-driven drama enabled the newcomer to showcase an impressive acting range, setting her up for a stunning career.

 Avni Chaturvedi and Manjulika in Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007): The spooky horror comedy demanded a dynamic performance and saw Balan brilliantly take on a dual identity, of a woman who gets possessed by a ghost seeking revenge. She was able to showcase dramatically different sides to her personality in the hit film, which would eventually spawn a successful franchise. The actress received multiple award nominations for her unpredictable role.


Dr Vidya in Paa (2009): This movie firmly established Balan as a commercial actress who could take on any challenge and add significant weight to a film. She played the devoted mother of a 12-year-old with a rare genetic disorder and won numerous best actress awards for the perfectly pitched performance. The multi-layered character is perhaps one only she could have portrayed. The actress held her own against Amitabh Bachchan’s impressive author-backed performance.

Krishna Verma in Ishqiya (2010): Playing a dangerous seductress was not immediately associated with the actress when this film came out and that made it an absolute de[1]light. She surprised audiences with a stunning turn that found the middle ground between black comedy and suspenseful crime drama. She was like a hunter encircling her prey as the widow, who seduces two small time criminals into doing her bidding. The successful film would spawn a sequel, but sadly she didn’t return.

No One Killed Jessica

Sabrina Lal in No One Killed Jessica (2011): The actress transformed her look and body language for the role of a determined woman trying to seek justice for her murdered sister. She teamed up with a no-nonsense reporter in the story, based on real life events. Balan brought depth and humanity to her role as an ordinary woman fighting against powerful criminals with political ties. She seamlessly complemented co-star Rani Mukerji in a movie loaded with girl power.

The Dirty Picture .

Reshma in The Dirty Picture (2011): One of the best biopics ever made in Bollywood was driven by Balan’s powerhouse performance as the lead. The unstoppable star went through a remarkable transformation portraying a character inspired by late actress Silk Smitha and injected raw energy into every scene. Pushing those emotional and physical boundaries resulted in the actress winning multiple best actress awards, along with wide acclaim for her role.

Vidya Venkatesan Bagchi in Kahaani (2012): Balan beautifully delivered the unpredictability her character demanded in this smash hit thriller. Convincingly playing a heavily pregnant woman looking for her missing husband led the film towards one of the best twist endings ever delivered in Hindi cinema. The stunning surprise was only possible because of the vulnerability injected into the lead protagonist. Her masterful performance led to multiple best actress awards.

Bilqees Ahmed in Bobby Jasoos (2014): It may not have been a commercially successful film, and she didn’t win any awards for it, but what remained undeniable was her wonderful performance and how fun it was. She portrayed a detective in the underrated movie, who is also a master of disguise. This enabled the actress to balance a quirky central character with transforming herself into various avatars, including bearded men.

Tumhari Sulu

Sulochana Dubey in Tumhari Sulu (2017): Balan’s portrayal of an ambitious housewife, who unexpectedly becomes a popular radio host mixed up heart-warming comedy with real human emotions. She added a relatability to her role that connected with older female audiences, who are often overlooked in Hindi cinema. The popular star added to her highly impressive trophy cabinet with more best actress awards.

Shakuntala Devi in Shakuntala Devi (2020): The versatile star made playing the real life role of an ace mathematician, known as the human computer, look effortless. The chameleonlike actress changed her looks to play a remarkable woman at different points in her life. That transformative performance was widely appreciated in an underrated movie that deserved more love than it received. Like the many other characters taken on by the actress during a distinguished career it showed there is no one quite like Balan.

Related Stories


Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…
Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…
Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…