Thursday, January 19, 2006

"audiences don't mind the unimaginable"

"Age Doesn't Mater in Bollywood," but I think the quote above, from the bit on SRK in KKHH, says it all. If we like actors, we're much more ready to take them in any role, no matter how absurd. Not completely ready, of course, as every now and then we are collectively repulsed. It would be an interesting study to see how this phenomenon plays out in various cinemas around the world. I'm sure Hollywood does it all the time but I'm having trouble thinking of an example - the things that leap to mind are notable because of the age difference between the male and female leads, not necessarily because of the age of the actor compared to that of his character. I know it's common in tv, when 20somethings regularly play high school studens.

Main Hoon Na of course plays it just right - we get our beloved SRK in the golden plot mine of college, but there's no pretending he's 22. Instead we pretend he's 30, but that's a little easier to swallow with my Lays and Pepsi.

I also have to stick up for my man and wonder why Akshaye, who was born in 1975, is flagged twice for age violation, whereas Salman, ten years his senior, is panned only once - and that for a film made two years before the ridiculous pairing in Lucky. They seem to have it out for his hair - there's no mention of him otherwise looking too old or not being able to act the right age. All of the leads of DCH were far more believable as recent graduates than Salman or SRK.

Aside to costume designers: certain actors would look much less silly as college students if you didn't put them in such insane clothing. Not all college students wear pleather to class, you know.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The reason salman doesnt get flak for pairing up with young 'uns could b 'coz he is still unmarried. I think it is difficult 4 people to see him as an aged star 'coz he lacks the domesticated image most of the married stars project.
I mean take a look at his personal life..... banging at the door of his gf who jilted him, in the middle of night...,dui&killing pedestrians.....,hunting endangered species....,beating up journalists....very irresponsible& immature behaviour.
I guess it is difficult to age such a colorfull man on screen as well.

Beth said...

That's a really interesting point. I hadn't thought about that. He deifnitely seems to live by the hatable motto "boys will be boys," and I can see how that would shape how we think of his maturity level. I'd have to do some research since I am not too up on the family lives of the Bollywood pantheon, but I wonder if the same thing holds true for other BW bachelors? Saif, Aamir, and SRK all have been married and have children....

Accidental Fame Junkie said...

Age really doesn't matter. Haven't you seen Amitabh Bachchan? But this is really a new phenomenon: seeing ageing actors in appropriate roles. In regional Indian cinema it is worse. 50 year olds pay college kids! Have you seen "Bollywood Calling?"

Obi Wan said...

Actually, this phenomenon has reduced drastically in the last few years, as AFJ has also mentioned. Why just Bachchan Sa'ab, take SRK (no college roles since KKHH), Salman (Tere Naam a couple of years ago, but carried it off because of the powerful role), or Aamir(Mangal Panday, Sarfarosh etc, were mature roles, Rang De Basanti, releasing on Jan 26th, has him playing an ex-college student, but he's looking very young). With newcomers like the 24 year Shahid Kapoor around to play the college kid, we've, hopefully, got rid of that oddity for good.