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Vidya Balan takes voice coaching

By Subhash K Jha
May 23, 2016 13:57 IST
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Vidya BalanVidya Balan's biggest challenge is to look, sound and act like poetess Kamala Das.

Vidya Balan, who had a lean year in 2015, is all set to strike big in 2016-17.

One of her biggest challenges this year is to play the poet extraordinaire Kamala Das, in a movie that will be directed by eminent Malayalam director Kamal.

The Kamala Das bio-pic, titled My Story, goes on the floors in September. It will see Vidya speak in Malayalam, English and Hindi.

The challenge for the actress is to sound like Kamala Das without mimicking her. 'Voice casting' is on at the moment to hire a linguistic specialist who will teach Vidya Balan to speak like Kamala Das.

Indian cinema's most accomplished sound designer, Resul Pookutty, who has created aural magic in films as far-ranging as Slumdog Millionaire, Ra.One, Enthiran(Robot), Black and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, is on board to give Vidya Balan a credible audio life.

Says Resul, "The challenge here is not only to make Vidya Balan look like Kamala Das but also to ensure they sound similar. Vidya insists she'll speak her Malayalam lines herself. She does know Malayalam, but not fluently. We've opted for voice casting, so that a Malayalam-speaking professional voice trainer can guide Vidya through her dialogues."

Resul will also resort to technology to get Vidya to sound like the rebellious feminist poetess. "We have  voice recordings of Kamala Das' poetry recitations. Once the voice coach finishes instructing Vidya, I'll use a special software to make Vidya's voice sound as close to Kamala Das' possible."

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Subhash K Jha in Mumbai