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10 June 2023

Will Bollywood penalise Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for moving on in life?

By Staff

This year, Bollywood fans will witness a new of set of yummy mummies trying their post-baby luck at the box office. The three likely candidates are Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty and Lara Dutta.

But the biggest question here is: Will they manage to prove their critics wrong and deliver a blockbuster given that usually an actress' shelf life shrinks with her advancing age, change in marital status and god forbid! news of pregnancy. As time was been witness, many actresses' career trajectory have dived on the previously mentioned criteria.

Take the case of Aishwarya who is 39 years old and many would have us believe, past her prime as a Bollywood heroine. She has only delivered a few hard-hitting roles in her career, depite making headline throughout her career. Will she be able to kick start her career and buck the trend.

While there are mostly failure stories in Bollywood, most recently that of Karisma Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit, there are success stories as well.

Take the case of Sharmila Tagore and Hema Malini. Both have delivered their career best roles after tying the knot and having their children. Their marital status or news of multiple pregnancy did not affect their career.

More recently, Kajol has managed to defy the trend. She has taken multiple breaks in her career. She got married to boyfriend Ajay Devgn at the peak of her career and came back to act in Karan Johar's ‘Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham’. She was not seen on the big screen for another three years when she had her daughter. She came back in the form of a Kashmiri girl in 'Fanaa' and grabbed her fourth Filmfare best actress award.

Kajol is one actress who has always defied the industry norms and lived life on her own terms.

So, what conclusion do we make from the above examples?

When Ash, Shilpa and Lara hit the big screen, will it be their figure that will make a difference in the box office or will it be their acting prowess or the film script that they decide to choose as their comeback vehicle?

Sujoy Ghosh, director of movies like 'Kahaani' and 'Jhankaar Beats' recently told Zee News:  “Slim, fat, square doesn’t matter, what matters is the story you are trying to tell.”

“A film can look beautiful only with a proper content, in the absence of the content, the film has no meaning and the same applies to everybody associated with the film,” Ghosh adds.

Others in the Indian film industry also echo his sentiment and believe that even though wonderful actresses like Nargis, Juhi Chawla and even Jaya Bachchan, failed to keep their career going post-marriage, it would be wrong to pass a judgment that the career graph of a heroine will change with her changing role in private life.

Times have changed and so has the Indian film industry and nowadays more meaingful roles are being written for actresses of all ages.

While Juhi might not have run around trees with the Khans post-pregnancy, she has essayed beautiful roles in films such as '3 Deewarein' and 'My Brother…Nikhil'.

Therefore, here's hoping that actresses such as Aishwarya, Shilpa and Lara, who have decided to have a private life of their own do not get penalised by the industry and the fans for their personal decisions.

Here's also hoping that tremendously talented actresses such as Madhuri and Karisma do get other opportunities and do not fade into oblivion for lack of proper roles.