Why can’t our Bollywood babes show the enterprise of a Charlize Theron in Monster or Nicole Kidman in The Hours? When it comes to their look, our statuesque beauties want to maintain the status quo by playing safe.
Our latter day actresses may be getting meatier roles but they seem as circumspect as yesterday’s stars.
Remember Babita or Asha Parekh playing the village belles all dolled up in powder and gloss? The anachronism is laughable.
In keeping with that tradition actresses remain wary of change. Take Rani Mukerji for instance. The lady looks the same: as a lovelorn wife in Babul and a cheating spouse in Kabhi Alvida... Priyanka Chopra is also guarded about image makeovers. Check out Don and Krrish for facsimiles! Even Preity Zinta and Kajol are not too keen to experiment.
Says Anaita Shroff Adjania, who styled the Dhoom 2 look that wowed audiences, “It’s about playing safe. There’s a certain way that the Indian audience wants to see their on-screen women.”
Deal with it
Director Kunal Kohli gives another take. “Times are changing and actresses are getting a better deal, but the hero is still the lead. So the film’s all about his character and look.” For instance, Amitabh Bachchan sports a beard in Eklavya while Jr Bachchan can be seen in long-curly locks in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and Drona.
How can we forget the inimitable Aamir Khan? The committed actor grew a moustache and gained weight for Mangal Pandey. He later lost the extra pounds to play a college boy in Rang de Basanti!
Designer Anna Singh says, “There’s a lot one can do with men. From hair to beards to clothes.” Also Hrithik Roshan is emerging as the new master of disguise. From Krrish to Dhoom 2, while in Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Akbar Jodha, he is going for the period look with beard and all.
So while Bollywood dudes explore ‘character roles’, seems like the girls for now, will have to settle for greasepaint.