Women and Indian Film industry
I read this preposterous news that an actress Nikita Thukral belonging to the Kannada Film Industry in India from the southern region, was banned by the industry for three years for her alleged affair with a Darshan , a married leading actor, who happened to regularly beat up his wife, burn her with cigarettes , and torture her mentally. Not able to bear any more injuries, she finally lodges a complaint against her husband. He is arrested but not boycotted by the industry or the peers.
In all of this, the actress, who probably found a patronizing figure in him, is banned for three years by the Kannada Film Producers Association for her involvement with the actor. Isn’t this a bizarre form of public justice where instead of shaming the perpetrator for abusing his wife, they chose to conveniently punish the woman? Amid strong protests by women rights group, the ban on the actress was lifted. But this event clearly reiterates the sexist attitude towards women in the film industry.
For a while, we had forgotten that the female actresses are more than eye candies. We even forgave all those titillating shots of their bodies; out of context rain dances where their wet clothes hung to their bodies leaving nothing to the imagination, never ending, ample cleavages and curves. Even the highest paid actresses with millions of fan following and awards; both national and international, cannot escape this. And off course goes without saying how the Indian industry, for that matter, is age obsessed. If an actress hits 30, it is literally menopausal stage of her career. There are just a few who have lingered on. Whereas others relegate themselves to smaller and utterly meaningless roles or as the popular trend is , join the TV bandwagon.
Let us picture their age-career graph:
Under 20 – very high on demand. If the movie becomes a hit , for whatever reason , her career picks up. She is sought after by every producer, advertising agencies, award shows etc.
Under 25- She matures by this time and demands her fees to be paid in millions . She gets to endorse leading national and international brands and even pick her roles.
Under 30- leading roles start to dwindle until and unless she is a superstar, considered at par with the leading actor. Or you are dating one and making news, controversial and scandalous.
Under 35 - She is almost dead to her producer or those who don’t think so, they are kind enough to offer her roles where she plays a doting mother to 10 year old .
Under 40 - Most of the time, they play roles of a an elder sister or sister- in -law to the hero or the central charcter, who before used to romance her on the screen . Worse scenario, playing mother to 20 year old upcoming actresses.
However, in all of this, our hero never ages miraculously. He may turn 40, 50 , 60 or 70, he will always get to romance with actresses half his age, at times even younger than 18 year olds.
Long live the male, the Indian hero!