There are times when a story’s requirement is such, that you can only cast particular people. But Bollywood does not believe in this.
Because in Bollywood, no matter what the story demands, the casting will continue to cater to a wide age gap. Or, at least, that was the case with these movies released this year:
1. Radhe: Salman Khan and Disha Patani
Salman Khan, who is 55 and was the leading romantic hero when I was 15, was paired with Disha Patani, 29 in the movie. That’s an age gap of 26 years. And unlike Salman Khan’s Bharat, Radhe did not have him play different ages on-screen.
2. Toofaan: Farhan Akhtar and Mrunal Thakur
While Akhtar was a good fit for the role, there was no logical explanation for why he should be romancing a woman 18 years younger than him on-screen. Because Mrunal Thakur was only 29, to Akhtar’s 47.
3. Bhuj: The Pride of India: Ajay Devgn and Pranitha Subhash
Though the film was entirely forgettable, the age gap of 23 years between Ajay Devgn, 52, and his love interest in the film, Pranitha Subhash, 29, was hard to ignore.
4. Bell Bottom: Akshay Kumar and Vaani Kapoor
Akshay is 54, and Vaani Kapoor, who plays his love interest in the film, is 33. And that brings the age gap between them to 21 years.
5. Bhoot Police: Saif Ali Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez
A horror-comedy that could have been better at both fronts, horror and comedy, could also have done a better job at casting, instead of romantically pairing Saif, 51 with Jacqueline, 36.
6. Sooryavanshi: Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif
Akshay Kumar does so many movies in a year, that he has appeared twice in this list because well, all his movies have women half his age playing his love interests. Like in this case, where Katrina Kaif, 16 years his junior, was cast as his character’s wife.
And going by the movies lined up for 2022 this trend does not seem to be ending any time soon. After all, Manushi Chhillar, 24, is making her debut alongside Akshay Kumar, 54, in Prithviraj, releasing in January 2022.
It’s okay for actors to have a wide age gap if their characters are so designed. Otherwise, it is just a glaring example of casual sexism at play, irrespective of how talented the star cast is. Let’s give new talent and better casting a chance? It did work wonders for the web series!