Saand Ki Aankh Director Says There Are Enough Roles For Older Actresses Out There. Erm, Where?
In my opinion and experience, there are only two ways that an argument usually comes to a conclusion. Either the person gets rational and supports his side of the story with sufficient and legitimate proof, or he gets super defensive and starts backing up his argument with anything irrelevant that pops into his head, just for the sake of emerging with his ego intact. I like to believe that I belong to the former category, and it is safe to say that Saandh Ki Aankh director Tushar Hiranandani belongs to the latter. He recently opened up about the casting for his latest release Saand ki Aankh and said that actors like Neena Gupta get the same kind of work and opportunities as the male actors of the industry.
Also Read : Neena Gupta Talked About Ageism In Bollywood And She’s So Right. We’ve No Idea What Rangoli Is Talking About Though
With his latest film Saand Ki Aankh hitting the theatres and doing rather well, there had been a lot of talk in the town about his decision to cast younger actresses like Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar for the role of two 60-year-olds in the movie, as opposed to casting women closer to the age like Neena Gupta, Shabana Azmi and the likes of them. The controversy may have started when Neena Gupta herself took to Twitter to write, “Yes i was just thinking about this hamari umar ke role toe kamsekam humse kara lo bhai.” And if we’re being completely honest, we’d agree with her.
Tushar however, is of a slightly different opinion, one that we don’t entirely understand. Calling ‘Mother India’ his inspiration, he reminded us of how even Aamir Khan played the role of a teen in 3 Idiots, while being 50. Now having been made to realise that the prejudice in question is with regard to women, older women to be specific, the director then said, “I am the director. As a director I felt these two were the best for the parts and I casted them.” Once again, barely making his point. “There are people casting Neena Gupta. Every actor who deserves to be in the film are getting cast. I made my film the way I wanted to make it. I have a right to do what I want to. Do you have any other question or we’ll keep on debating on this?”
He further said, “Of course they’re getting now ya. Lot of actresses are getting work today. There is not only movies, there are digital shows. A lot of work is happening in the industry. You should be happy in this time of the world there is a recession, a lot of people are getting work.”
Now either it is just us, or his head is in the clouds- because if we were to compare the amount of work or films that are dropping in the kitty of veteran actresses as opposed to our male stars of the same age bracket, it would probably be a very sad reality. And that he needed to rely on recession to explain less work being offered to women only further proves that people would say just about anything to avoid admitting that they may have, involuntarily perhaps, contributed to ageism.
And it’s not like we don’t understand how sometimes a lot more than age and talent goes behind casting for a character, and we have no qualms over his decision to sticking with Taapsee and Bhumi. But we certainly do have a problem with him and and many others not acknowledging the fact that there still is a long way to go for women in the industry. And the sad part is that there was a long way to go for them when they were younger and there is a long way to go for them when they’re older, and at this point, we don’t know whether this long way is actually going to translate into anything.
But for now, we’ll urge directors and filmmakers to break free from their bubble of only casting younger talent in films that might otherwise be perfect for more seasoned actors and especially actresses.