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The comeback of Madhuri Dixit marks a change in Bollywood
01st Dec 2007 10.01 IST
Making a post-marriage comeback has always been difficult for an actress in tinsel town but Madhuri Dixit 's return to the celluloid with Aaja Nachle indicates that the winds of change are blowing right, thanks to the new age filmmakers and script writers.
With tailor-made roles written for actresses by these new age scriptwriters, the days when the industry used to thrive on fantasy formulas, projecting actresses as merely objects of desire are passé.
Whether it is Kajol 's Fanaa , or Juhi Chawla 's 'Jhankaar beats', My Brother Nikhil or Bas Ek Pal , films had a role that looked convincing and had a very good script which struck a chord with the audiences.
"It is our responsibility to write good stories which suits the age of the actress. Cinema should be for all ages. you can't cast a 40 plus woman in the role of a 16 year old," says Filmmaker Rahul Dholakia, who directed actress Sarika in his National award winning film 'Parzania'.
It is the script that has enabled actors like Shabana Azmi to play a witch in 'Makdee' or a lesbian in 'Fire,'" he reasons.
Agrees film critic Taran Adarsh. "The story and the content has always been very important. Everyone wants to listen to a good story, everything else takes a backseat and the script writers are providing just that," he says.
Scriptwriter Jaideep Sahni who penned the Chak De India story and has also done the screen play of 'Aaja Nachle' says it is great that audiences have started accepting actress in varied roles.
"It is fortunate that now we are able to tell the story which we want to tell. The audience is bored of escapist and fantasy cinema where the characters are larger than life. So they are accepting the real roles that actress are doing right now," Sahni says.
However, a few decades ago the scenario was not the same. With many Bollywood divas tying the nuptial knot, marriage was always considered to be the bane of Hindi film heroines.
It doomed the careers of many actresses like Jaya Bachchan , Sridevi , Kimi Katkar , Poonam Dhillon , Rati Agnihotri , Mumtaz , Anita Raaj and Padmini Kolhapure , to name a few.
And now with Madhuri Dixit making a comeback in 'Aaja Nachle', the tinsel town is abuzz with speculation once again.
While some may argue that the 'dhak-dhak' girl has the charisma and the big banner of Yashraj Films behind her, Taran Adarsh feels, it doesn't matter.
"The charisma of an actress is important but it alone won't do. You got to look convincing in the role that you are doing," says Adarsh.
"When Mumtaz made a comeback in David Dhawan's 'Aandhiyan' everyone expected her to set the box office on fire but to the contrary it bombed but Dimple Kapadia made a successful comeback post her marriage," he adds.
However, Dholakia holds a different opinion. "Big banners matter as they ensure that the film has a good initial or opening and with the marketing set up and high packaging of these production houses, it proves to be a safer option," says the National award winning director.
The changing face of Bollywood is also evident from the varied roles that female actors of yesteryears are doing nowadays. These female actors who resigned from the silver screen gracefully are now returning in another avatar, thanks to the filmmakers.
From casting Sarika as a Parsi mother in the heart-rending 'Parzania' to making Dimple Kapadia play the role of a frustrated wife in the thriller Being Cyrus , the filmmakers are making sure that the talent of these actors do not go waste.
"I don't think such talented actress should be sitting at home. We should come out of the mindset of casting actress in mother and sister roles only," Dholakia says.
While some may blame the producers for not taking enough risk, Dholakia feels that it is the mindset of the Indian people, which also is to be blamed.
"Indian audience is conservative. Unlike west where even the aged actresses are taking the lead roles, here the audience can't accept that," he says.
However, he feels the mindset is changing. "I think with the exposure of international cinema, the mindset of the audiences is also changing."
(The picture shows Madhuri in a still from 'Aaja Nachle').
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