It's no secret that most Bollywood movies are far too happy typecasting female actors, especially of a certain age, rather than fully utilizing their talent through original stories and well-developed characters. Here's a look at some of the movies where female actors were completely wasted:
1. Sheeba Chaddha in Shakuntala Devi
The brilliance of Sheeba Chaddha is that she does not need more than a single frame to leave a lasting impact. The tragedy is, filmmakers rarely offer her more than that, especially in mainstream cinema, like Shakuntala Devi.
2. Supriya Pathak in The Big Bull
One of film industry's most talented actors, Supriya Pathak's powerful act in Ram-Leela is just as memorable as her endearing performance in Love per Square Foot. Not to forget Khichdi's Hansa. And yet, she hardly has more than 3 scenes in The Big Bull and even fewer dialogues. Relegating an actor as talented as her to the sidelines is the real scam!
3. Shefali Shah in Mohabbatein, Karthik Calling Karthik
Bollywood is not deserving of Shefali Shah's talent. Because an actor who can speak volumes through her expression alone was pushed to the sidelines, literally. Though she did complete justice to the roles, there is no denying the fact that she deserved more screen time in both cases.
4. Rajshri Deshpande in The Sky Is Pink
While The Sky Is Pink was a decent film, there was nothing decent about the screen time awarded to Rajshri Deshpande - an actor who had impressed audiences first with S Durga, Angry Indian Goddesses, and later, with Sacred Games. Yes, it was supposed to be a cameo, but even then, it could have been more cleverly crafted.
5. Tabu in Golmaal Again, Jawaani Jaaneman
Though I loved her hippie avatar in Jawaani Jaaneman, I walked out of the movie hall feeling shortchanged because the movie favoured Saif's repeat of Cocktail over Tabu's refreshing act. And while she certainly has the talent to elevate even a poorly written role, like the kind Golmaal Again offered, it's not fair to subject her talent to such mediocrity.
6. Seema Pahwa in Suraj Pe Mangal Bhaari
With movies like Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Seema Pahwa brought a refreshing energy to the character of "desi mom". But no matter how talented an actor, if you start stereotyping them as it happened with Suraj Pe Mangal Bhaari, then there is little they can do to set apart their performance.
7. Tillotama Shome in Hindi Medium, Angrezi Medium
Her filmography includes some of the finest movies ever made, be it then her debut film, Monsoon Wedding, the critically acclaimed Qissa, or the recently released, Sir. And yet, even mainstream films with a good plot fail to write a good role for Shome.
8. Ayesha Raza and Ashwini Kalsekar in Laxmii
Yes, Laxmii did lay most of its talented starcast to waste. But it seems like Bollywood is on the path to add Ayesha Raza and Ashwini Kalseckar to the list of "stock actors" i.e. the group of actors who effortlessly nail every role they're cast in, and yet rarely get a chance to flex those acting muscles. And that's truly unfortunate.
9. Tisca Chopra in Good Newwz
Casting Tisca Chopra in a blink-and-miss appearance, despite knowing how talented an actor she is, is certainly no good news. Sadly though, such miscastings seem to be becoming a norm.
There is definitely a need to carve better roles, because clearly, there is no absence of talented actors.