The most glamourous or the dream girl of this age, Deepika Padukone’s morphed unrecognisable face is splashed across newspapers and Internet raising enough curiosity or perhaps kickstarting a new era in the new decade. Chhapaak releases in January 2020 but the trailer is out with Deepika playing the much talked about acid attack survivor Laxmi Aggarwal, who was attacked with acid, while standing on a bus stop by a man, double her age, whose marriage proposal she had declined. Glamour is certainly out and an uncanny realism is in for the cliché Bollywood actress. From playing just an arm candy to being the core of the cinema, the Indian heroine is now tracking a new trajectory.
What was offbeat till a decade back was playing a sex worker for the Bollywood actresss, has now taken a turn around. The new intelligent cinema is based on various issues and iconic personalities of our society. Significantly, the female protagonist is also reflecting this trend. She is living upto diverse characters and is being central too to the storyline. Definitely, this is one of the best phase of Indian cinema with endless possibilities ahead.
Alia Bhatt has done it in Love U Zindagi and Raazi and carved a niche for herself. Another actress who is gradually trying to establish herself as an ‘actress worth her salt’ is Tapsee Pannu. Pink was a marvellous piece of cinema where Tapsee along with the legendary Amitabh Bacchan tried to make a statement. Tapsee does it again in Soorma and Badla. Deepika has outdone herself with meatier roles in Piku and Tamaasha. However, this is another milestone for the Indian Heroine as well as Indian cinema. Playing an acid attack survivor takes away all the glamour from the Indian heroine rather it focuses on the dark social stigma that a woman faces due to taking her own stand.
We may be standing on the threshold of a new decade but all is not hunky dory for a woman if she has been splashed with acid. Laxmi’s story dates back to 2005 when she was just 15 years old. After battling the physical and mental agony, she filed a PIL in the supreme court seeking total ban on sale of acid. In 2013, the court imposed restrictions on the sale of acid. Soon after, Laxmi herself became a campaigner for ‘Stop Acid Attacks’ and tried to spread the much needed awareness. However, just a week back, another story was splashed in newspapers which highlighted the plight of two young women who had to struggle for many years before finding an appropriate job as they were turned away due to their disfigured face. Such is the state of our society! We still value the physical appearance more that the mental abilities of a person specially a woman!
The portrayal of an acid attack survivor by an ace actress is definitely a turnaround for Bollywood. Also since as a society, we are profoundly impacted by cinema and vice versa, the experimentation has now truly begun!