Bollywood’s problematic age gaps between leading co-stars is quite an obvious red flag. However, in many films, this age gap has seeped into the characters they played, and a high-school student is shown romancing a middle-aged man, without any consequences. Unlike Om Shanti Om, where Mukesh was clearly the bad guy as he groomed a young Shanti since she was 16, many films make these male leads seem ‘romantic’ and ‘loveable’ instead of labelling them the predators they were. 

1. Virendra Pratap Singh, Lamhe

This movie is considered to be one of the most romantic films ever, but Pooja was obsessed with Virendra and he was attracted to a child. Essentially, Pooja was a girl he raised, and nobody found that problematic? 


2. Vijay Anand, Nishabd

This controversial film was supposed to be ground breaking when it released in 2007. But 60-year-old Vijay romancing his daughter’s best friend – a barely legal 18-year-old Jia, would in many countries send him to jail. Cheeni Kum, on the other hand, had a large age-gap as well, but both the characters were mature enough to know what was right and wrong. 

Film Companion

3. Shyam Tekchand, Haraamkhor

This movie explored a student-teacher relationship which does not end well for either of them. Shyam was a pedophile and they were not ‘in love’, a fact that required more attention. 

The Express Tribune

4. Aditya Shekri, Lucky: No Time for Love

Lucky’s entry song was in a school uniform and the movie progressed to show her fall in love with a ‘much’ older man, who saved her life multiple times, and belittled her as she timidly nodded and followed him around like a lost puppy. While Bollywood does have a tendency to pair older actors with younger women, maybe leave the school girls out of it next time? Because that’s just jail-worthy behaviour. 


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