From a seductress to a pregnant spy, Vidya Balan has created a niche of her own, packed with films that portray women as powerful complex individuals over attractive trophy wives. As the Bollywood actor turns 43 today, we take a look at the films she single-handedly aced, with her powerful acting and cinematic presence.

1.  Bhool Bhulaiyaa

This 2007 psychological horror-comedy wouldn’t have been a classic if it wasn’t for Vidya Balan’s spine-chilling performance as a disturbed woman with a difficult childhood. From her sinister gaze to the bouts of “possession”, Balan enthused and thrilled her viewers with her character, Avni.

Also Read | Kartik Aaryan shares new motion poster of ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ 

2.  Kahaani

Kahaani is an anticipatory ride from start to finish. The story revolves around Vidya Bagchi, a pregnant woman who is on a search for her missing husband in Kolkata. Encountering people, some pleasant while some downright ominous, Vidya’s powerful character goes through a complex journey to find her lost husband. The character left a lasting impact on viewers and critics.

3.  Tumhari Sulu

This 2017 film revolves around the daily life of Sulochana, a middle-class housewife who has been offered a job as a night radio jockey. The film shows her daily experiences of balancing her work and family, juggling and struggling in between.

Also Read | I only pay heed to my inner voice: Vidya Balan

4.  The Dirty Picture

Inspired by the life of Silk Smitha, an Indian actor known for her controversial roles, this 2011 film shows Vidya Balan in full glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. The film portrays Silk Smitha’s journey from a small towner to a leading erotic star.

5.  Shakuntala Devi

Vidya Balan impressed audiences yet again with her portrayal of Indian mathematician Shakuntala Devi. This 2020 film sheds light on the life of Shakuntala Devi, popularly known as the “human computer”. The film is a peek into her life as a mother and mathematician who is met with challenges and dilemmas as her life unfolds.