"At a macro level it looks perfect, but when observed at a micro level, even this trend has its holes. To get a hit film today, the entire packaging is important; the audience would accept you as a superstar only if you are 'worth' it. The Munna-Circuit hit pair of Sunjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi was not enough to save a mundane film like 'Anthony Kaun Hain?' The actors are only accepted if they give good performances in outstanding films. It does not matter if you are Saif or Shahid," adds Mayank Shekhar.
Veteran filmmaker Ramesh Sippy concludes, "Maybe the people don't have good scripts and subjects that can present teenagers in a better way. But there are a few people like Sanjay Leela Bhansali who is making Saawariya with Anil Kapoor's daughter Sonam and Neetu and Rishi Kapoor's son Ranbir Kapoor. There are no rules in the game of BO Success. Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio were very new and created history after 'Titanic'. To change and adapt is a law of nature and if the audience change, cinema has to adapt to the changes."
For now, Shahid, Zayed, Kunal and the likes just have to wait a little to grow up, and grow big.
The beedi lit up only after the jigar gathered more aag
The ladies are not far behind, either. The ones who are going strong at the moment are also in their 30s (and here, we are not talking about Madhuri Dixit who's making a comeback after just crossing her thirties as well as Chirpy Chawla, Juhi who has created another niche for herself altogether). The earlier trend of heroines debuting at 16-17 and retiring after marriage or when they hit 30 whichever came first, has been quite reversed. The most promising actress of 2005-2006, Vidya Balan, is rocking at 33 with big hits, and big-budget films in her kitty. In fact, she got her big break Parineeta only after crossing 30. No wonder she hasn't stopped smiling big with her 32s since!
Similarly, 33-year-old Aishwarya Rai,arguably the most beautiful woman in the world, is also shining better than ever by flaunting her newly acquired sexy image (post-Dhoom: 2) and her subtle act in Guru. Seems marriage is not going to stop global citizen Ash either as she has blockbuster releases coming up which include Ashutosh Gowariker's Jodha Akbar and RGV's Sarkar 2. Bubbly Preity Zinta, too, is nudging at the peak of her career and has already nudged past 30. Remember, Salaam Namaste and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna? The lady also simply rocks in the promos of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom which has another lady nearing the 30s, Lara Dutta, keeping her company.
With them is Preity's friend or foe (or whatever) currently Rani Mukerji who is also witnessing a golden era following a spate of flop movies three or four years ago. Starting her success journey with Chalte Chalte with her mature performance, she is continuing to win laurels in movies like Hum Tum, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and so on. Another mature lady is Bipasha Basu who can still give a run for anyone's money or fag out a fresh teenager with her beedi. Shipla Shetty career has completely got rejuvenated post Big Brother and now in her 30s, Shilpa is an international celeb.
And there is no stopping Madame M , Mallika Sherawat who has made it her own way post 30s. She is almost 35 now and has a true blue Hollywood film, Unveiled in her kitty.
Tabu and Urmila Matondkar might be in their mid 30S but there is no slowing down as they are rocking with Cheeni Kum (plus the rave reviews for The Namesake) and the upcoming Mehbooba act (in RGV's Sholay) respectively.
On the other hand, the younger lot (Ayesha Takia, Amrita Rao) are facing tough competition from this older brigade and are finding it tough to hold on to their own. Didn't Kangana struggle in Metro with her older competitors- Shilpa Shetty and Konkona around? Teenager Sneha Ullal is still considered a clone of Ash, but is yet to get anywhere near her in more ways than one. But never mind, gurrls, your days are just some years away!
Karan Johar first cover shoot
Day 1 - Cannes 2007