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Madhuri Dixit, Tabu, Neena Gupta Are Proof That Age Is Just A Number When You’re Supremely Talented

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So there are quite a few things you need to make your way to Bollywood and then, more importantly, to stay in it. A great PR team (pre-requisite), some acting skills (preferable but not necessary),  star parents (most important), being in your 20s and 30s all your life, and if that is not possible, then being a man.

We say this out of sheer annoyance because while the industry is A-okay with ageing men romancing young women, for women, it’s almost like they come with a sell-by date. Yes, plenty of people have lamented this very thing but it’s a thing that continues to plague Bollywood. But then, it look times are a changing. And the women at the forefront of this change are the likes of Madhuri Dixit (Happy Birthday!), Neena Gupta, Tabu, Madhoo Shah and the like.

Madhoo Shah, who has done films like Roja, Chehraa and Gentleman in the past, found herself struggling to find work after she went on a sabbatical. She was willing to take on work but it looked like it had dried up. Neena Gupta, the Badhaai Ho actress who won accolades for her performance in the movie, has often revealed in interviews that there’s a dearth of work for actresses who are of a certain age. They get relegated to the roles of mothers and the like.  She admits that’s changing, albeit slowly. But, the industry has also seen actresses like Tabu and Madhuri Dixit, who make it look like age is just a number.

Tabu is 47-years-old. And there’s not putting this woman in a box. She recently did Andhadhun where she walked away with most of the acclaim. And of course, there’s the gorgeous Madhuri Dixit, who turned 52 today. Her latest release is Kalank might have tanked at the box office but she’s not even close to playing roles that are devoid of glamour. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. She looked dreamy in the movie.

A thing these women often get to hear is that they are making a comeback. That they’ve been gone for a bit and are they ‘coming back’ to the movies? What no one is asking is where are the juicy, meaty roles for these women. These are women with acting chops, tonnes of experience and the ability to carry a movie on their shoulders. Why are we selling them short?

It’s true that a female actress, when young and  blossoming into her beauty and career is welcomed with open arms into the industry. But actresses enjoy no such luck, there simply isn’t aren’t any roles for them, even before the first wrinkle makes an appearance on their face.  But these women are changing that and we are here for it.


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