Bollywood is growing and how, with coming-of-age movies, stunts at par with Hollywood flicks and many successful indie films. But some things remain unchanged — and married female actors top that list. Even today, filmmakers are apprehensive about casting them in conventional films.
No matter how successful they were when they were single, once they aremarried, female actors are forced to relinquish their careers. While Kajol and Aishwarya have tried juggling their homes and careers with films like Fanaa (2006) and Guru (2007), most married female actors have not had as many hits.
Why does this bias exist? Trade analyst Vinod Mirani reasons, “Their age starts to show or they don’t look good with new male actors, so they end up being slotted in certain roles. Most female actors get married when they realise that they are at the end of their careers. Even generally, other than Vidya Balan’s Kahaani, no woman-oriented film has been successful this year, as such movies are mostly experimental. Male actors work, no matter what age — look at Salman delivering hits at 46.”
Mirani feels that female-oriented films should be made “but one can’t bank on them to be box-office hits. Like Madhuri’s Aaja Nachle (2007), Karisma Kapoor’s Dangerous Ishq too didn’t work. Such films make for good cinema but aren’t hits at the box-office.”
Producer Ratan Jain feels otherwise. “Actors like Sridevi and Madhuri have proved themselves and audiences will be eager for their comeback. Promos of English Vinglish have generated curiosity and Sridevi isn’t playing a teenager, but a role that suits her age, so the film should work,” he says.
Trade analyst Komal Nahata agrees with Jain. “As long as the role suits their age, people are keen to see senior female actors in films. If the script is good any film will work. Ten years ago, casting a married female actor was unthinkable, but not now with so many new kinds of films.”
Movie buff, Ashish Sharma, 25, says, “I wouldn’t be interested in watching a mature female actor, but I might go out of curiosity, if I like the promos.” Rohit Mimani, 51, adds, “If the actors act their age, I wouldn’t mind watching their movies. But they should not be dancing around trees.”
Age does matter
Kajol and Aishwarya Rai bachchan, both 38, were last seen in 2010 films We Are Family and Guzaarish.
Sridevi, 48, is making a comeback with English Vinglish, directed by R. Balki's wife Gauri Shinde.
Raveena Tandon, 37, did Bbuddah Hoga Teraa Baap (2011), TV reality shows Chak De Bachche and Chhote Miyan 2 and is working on the film Shobhna's 7 Nights next.
Madhuri Dixit, 45, will return to the big screen with Dedh Ishqiya and Gulab Gang. She’s been successful on reality shows on TV.
Manisha Koirala, 42 will be seen in 3D horror movie Bhoot 2.
Juhi Chawla, 44, shifted to off-beat films and now will be seen in Son of Sardaar.