Unarguably, the mainstream Bollywood is drenched in countless stereotypes, and the casting decisions only serve to accentuate them. 

If you wish to remember Seema Biswas as fierce and gutsy Phulan Devi from Bandit Queen, then the latest Akshay Kumar-starrer Bachchhan Pandey will get your rage flaring.

Bachchhan Pandey
Source: Digall

In this mafia-comedy, Seema Biswas (57), an acclaimed thespian, who delivered some of the finest performances throughout her career, is playing Akshay Kumar's (54) mother. 

Seema Biswas
Source: TOI

Bachchhan Pandey is a film in which a 54-year-old man romances girls half his age; whereas a 57-year-old woman sits on the floor and if I claim that she uttered more than 4 lines, it would be an exaggeration.

Akshay Kumar and Kriti Sanon in Bachchhan Pandey
Source: YouTube

Also read: With Each Film, Akshay Kumar Gets Older And His Heroines Get Younger. Here's Proof

If you still argue that mature actresses are grouped in the maa-bua-chachi scheme of things in a boatload of other films too, then all we can ask of a celebrated actress is that she gets some deserving screen time, right?

Seema Biswas as Phulan Devi
Source: Amarujala

Allow me to enlighten you: Biswas portrays a mother who hasn't spoken to her son in ten years, owing to his life choices. What do you think the value of a character will be when she has no interaction with the protagonist, who apparently is the centre of his universe?

When actresses reach an age threshold, they're typecast into specific roles. But, well, actors too grow old, right? Or did I learn some different science?

While men in Bollywood continue to get complex, challenging roles as they grow older, women are draped in pale sarees playing the mothers of the same actors they were coupled with years ago.

Akshay Kumar in Bachchhan Pandey
Source: HT

Bachchhan Pandey did hit the right nerves in a touching climax sequence where the mother and her son finally have a conversation. Yet, we can't wrap our heads around the casting choices, to begin with.

Bollywood, in nefarious ways, reeks of casual ageism and it's unfortunate because it largely traps women, leaving a narrow window for them to play leading roles.

Seema Biswas in Bandit Queen
Source: Eastern Eye

It takes me back to Atrangi Re in which Seema Biswas also played Rinku's (Sara Ali Khan) 'naani', the same film in which Sajjad (Akshay Kumar) was supposedly Rinku's love interest. 

Seema Biswas in Atrangi Re
Source: Disney+ Hotstar

Awkward, right?

Akshay Kumar and Seema Biswas in Atrangi Re
Source: Bollywood Trendy

Who is allowing these casting decisions, after all?