Shefali Shah: No roles for female actors after a certain age
Shefali Shah believes Bollywood struggles to give roles to women after they hit a certain age
Shefali Shah believes Bollywood struggles to give roles to women after they hit a certain age. Usually offers start drying up for female actors after they tie the knot, but Shah says the discrepancy is wider than that. "It is not just after they get married. Filmmakers don't know what to do with them. A female actor is depicted as an 18 or a 22-year-old or a mother of a 30-year-old. It is sad," the actor says.
The Satya (1998) actor, however, feels things have started to change on a small level. "There are fantastic roles being written. I have to admit that the scene is changing. There are roles for Vidya Balan, there is a Lipstick Under My Burkha [which released earlier this year] and a Pink (2016). So there are these films, which are women-oriented. In Lipstick Under My Burkha, the women are not exactly in their 20s," says the actor.
Her latest outing is a short film, Juice. It narrates the story of a housewife Manju Singh (played by Shah) and her husband, who are hosting a party on a hot summer night. Between the snacks, drinks, laughs, looking after the children and battling the heat, something completely unexpected happens, which takes the guests, especially the men, by surprise.
Directed by the critically-acclaimed Masaan (2015) fame Neeraj Ghaywan, the 14-minute-film takes on patriarchy and how a woman has the right to make her own space in the male-dominated world.
According to Ghaywan, top female actors are experimenting a lot more than the male stars, who are still catering to an image.
The director says, "You can clearly see the difference between what the top three female and male stars are doing presently. The male actors still have to cater to that massy label of being the biggest superstar."
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