India’s comeback queens
Senior indian actresses on a comeback trail are being embraced by the audience and producers.
i N an industry that idolises youth, it is a tad ironic that a slew of Bollywood’s senior actresses – some pushing 40 and others well past that threshold – are making strong comeback bids.
From Madhuri Dixit (44) to Sridevi (47), Raveena Tandon (37) and Karishma Kapoor (37) to Preity Zinta (36), the lure of the marquee is striking the senior Bollywood brigade with a vengeance.
Not long ago, myopic Bollywood could scarcely look beyond teenaged nubile nymphets for its female protagonists. Not any more. In fact, now is a great time to be a Bollywood actress as marriage and kids no longer sound the death knell of a flourishing career. With 30 no longer the sellby date, filmmakers and viewers too are more willing to accept that mothers also can be alluring on screen. Never mind if they have resorted to surgical intervention, Botox and killer gym routines to be in great shape.
Take Madhuri Dixit, for instance. Acclaimed star of such 1990s blockbusters as Ram Lakhan, Dil, Saajan and Hum Aaapke Hain Kaun, she eschewed the arc lights at the height of her superstardom after tying the knot with Denver-based heart surgeon Dr Shriram Nene. She relocated to the United States in 1999 and got busy with her two kids. In 2006, Madhuri returned to the silver screen as the protagonist of the disastrous Aaja Nachle.
This propelled Madhuri back to domesticity. But the determined actress resurfaced this year with the thumping success of Jhalak Dikhla Ja, a dance-based reality show on television. This made producers sit up and take note of Madhuri’s still-strong connection with the masses and they queued up to sign her.
The veteran actor is now in the thick of negotiations with Bollywood biggies and will report- edly star in the remake of Satte Pe Satta, an 80s blockbuster starring Amitabh Bachchan where she will share screen time with Sanjay Dutt. Madhuri is also being considered as one of the two female leads in the sequel to Ishqiya, now re-christened Dedh Ishqiya.
Similarly, the still gorgeous Sridevi – whose last outing was Judaai (1997) – is all set to return to the silver screen after a 14-year hiatus with English Vinglish. The movie will be directed by debutante director Gauri Shinde, wife of director, R Balki (of Paa fame).
After starring in such 90s hits as Himmatwala, Jaanbaaz, Mr India and Chandni, Sridevi disappeared from the cinematic radar after her marriage to producer Boney Kapoor in 1996 and the birth of daughters Jhanvi and Khushi.
Raveena Tandon’s story has been strikingly similar. Married to film distributor Anil Thadani, this mother of two took a sabbatical for five years. She is now warming up for her career’s second innings and recently did an item song in the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap. Next, she will be seen acting opposite, Sanjay Dutt in a psychological thriller, Alert.
But Raveena refuses to call her return a comeback. “When Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock do one a film a year, it’s not called a comeback, is it?’ she quipped recently.
Meanwhile, Preity Zinta – who gradually faded from the silver screen – has launched her own production company. She is making Ishq In Paris with herself in the lead. The actor
Oh mama! bombshells Madhuri dixit and Sridevi Kapoor are mothers. Wonder if their children take after their good-looking mums?
ageing has never looked better; raveena tandon and Preity Zinta who are in their late thirties are still glowing.