Richa Chadha in 'Shakeela'
Richa Chadha in 'Shakeela' Image Credit: YouTube

After Vidya Balan’s 2011 film ‘The Dirty Picture’, which was loosely based on late adult star Silk Smitha’s life, it’s now actress Richa Chadha’s turn to bring to the screen another South Indian siren, in ‘Shakeela’.

Its trailer, which reminds you vaguely of Balan’s film, dropped on December 16 and shows Chadha as the polarising star Shakeela who entered the adult film industry to escape poverty. Her rise as a bankable actress who gave male superstars in South India a run for their money is also touched upon. The trailer opens with Silk Smitha’s suicide and the void she left behind.

The trailer also gives us a peak into the wonderfully versatile Pankaj Tripathi as an ageing superstar, who’s a smarmy predator in secret.

“‘Shakeela’ is truly a labour of love and commitment to show Shakeela’s story is iconic in so many ways. Her story is almost folklore today, but the truth is that so much happened to her while she soared to success from nothing and then came back to nothing again,” said director Inderjit Lankesh in a statement. “I’m happy that our producers are releasing the film so widely, giving me the confidence to know that it’s a film that will appeal to the larger masses. To release in so many languages was important because that was the power of Shakeelam.” The movie will be simultaneously released in five languages.

In India, it’s the first film to release in cinemas after the lockdown ended, while in the UAE it will be the third Hindi-language release after Akshay Kumar’s horror comedy ‘Laxxmi’ and Kiara Advani’s ‘Indoo Ki Jawani’.