Vidya Balan will be seen playing the role of renowned yesteryear actress Geeta Bali in her debut Marathi movie, Ekk Albela.
Presented by Manglmurti Films, the biopic produced by Dr. Monish Babre and Kimaya Motion Pictures Production and directed by Shekhar Sartandel, is a tribute to the legendary actor, Bhagwan Dada, for his contribution to the Hindi film industry.
Ever since the first look of Ekk Albela has been launched, people just cannot stop raving about Vidya Balan’s striking resemblance to Geeta Bali.
Makeup artist Vidyadhar Bhatte and costume designer Subarna Ray Chaudhuri reveal what it took for the powerhouse performer to slip into her character.
“I took six to seven wigs along and tried out 10 hairstyles before zeroing down on a middle parting that enhanced the likeness between the two,” says Vidyadhar, adding that the National Award winning actress has been wanting to do a Marathi film for a long time. “She was in Cochin when I called her. She heard the script upon her return and immediately agreed to be a part of the film.”
Vidyadhar wanted to keep Vidya’s look as natural as possible. “Geeta Bali had a thin upper lip so I used foundation to make Vidya’s lip appear thinner, ditto for her eyebrows which I coloured. Vidya didn’t take much time to get dressed and would never interfere in his work.”
Costume designer Subarna Ray Chaudhuri, who had designed Vidya’s costumes in just six days, says, “We had a clear brief that Vidya had to look exactly like Geeta Bali, especially in the songs, ‘Shola Jo Bhadke’ and ‘Bholi Surat Dil Ke Khote’. I have worked with Vidya on Parineeta earlier so I am familiar with her taste. We used a lot of pista green, maroon and yellow because the colours complement her,” she says.
The designer would send pictures of sample fabrics to the director who would convert them in black and white to see if they had the desired effect. Even the jewellery was customised. “Designs from the time aren’t readily available. We’ve used a lot of gold, silver, emeralds, rubies and pearls. Hoop earrings which were in vogue, as also voluminous georgettes, silk and prints. We wanted to stay true to the theme and the period, so saris were draped in a certain way, the skirts were high-waisted and the blouses had cowl necks,” says Subarna.