A popular industry folklore from the 90s suggests that the one star who could bring the audience back to theatres was Shakeela, the famous soft-core actress who ruled the South industry for a good part of the era. Poised for a Christmas release, Shakeela headlined by Richa Chadha has an interesting poster as well which was just released.
At first glance, it seems to imitate the 90s Shakeela films, but the poster itself is a testament to her triumph. Donning the walls next to the poster are remarks often hurled at her.
Her success was the victory story that inspired many younger actresses to take a chance at breaking free from the toxic star structure of the film industry. Shakeela is the official biopic of the Malayalam actress who ruled the roost in her heyday. The film directed by Indrajit Lankesh also stars Pankaj Tripathi. Shakeela was fat-shamed, slut-shamed, told she is too dark, but every time there was a lull at the box office, she got the cash registers ringing again. Offering a humane look at the fragilities of stardom, Lankesh and Chadha together celebrate the fighting spirit of their muse.
Indrajit says, "They wanted her films either banned or censored and yet her films were running 100 days upon hitting screens.
It's no surprise that she was dominating the industry in a big way which threatened many big superstars. Richa is fantastic in the part and she has done full justice to the character. There aren't many who would've brought out the essence so well but in this film she breathes life into the part of a woman who has seen it all."