So I was thinking about one of the debates we had on the BBC Asian Network a few months ago, centered around the age differences between actors and actresses in Bollywood. The overwhelming majority of the participants thought there was a double standard in the Hindi film industry, in which Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Salman Khan, each over 40 years old, dominate. Yet, their female counterparts are much younger, and in many cases, in their 20s. So the argument was that actors can be much older, but the older actresses are not given a fair shot.
Well, here is one actress who puts that argument to rest, and the proponents of the argument to shame. If you have not yet seen Madhuri Dixit in the film Aaja Nachle (2007), I strongly recommend you do. Yes, she is 40! Would you believe it. She is in great shape, still has more oomph than most of her colleagues, and commands respect on and off screen unlike any other actress. And she's just a true professional, a fantastic actress.
Madhuri is clearly an actress first, a beauty second, perhaps?! Scary, given she is stunning in both categories. But therein lies what I think is the source of the initial argument. The track to Bollywood today for many young women lies in modeling. Hence, these actresses are models first, and actresses second. See the difference?
And speaking of Madhuri Dixit, might I point out that much of the 'oomph' she exemplifies in Aaja Nachle is in traditional clothing, which is what I find most appealing. Too graceful, and still captivating like she was in her hey day. Don't you agree?