While we’ve older men in Bollywood fighting goons, saving the world, and even playing villains, the older women get to be their moms. It’s like the career graph for an actress ranges from a love interest to a mother, there’s hardly anything in between. Slowly, but surely things are changing where female centric movies are making a difference, but even that isn’t doing justice to actors who deserve better.
Sheeba Chadha is among those many women who have proved her mettle, time and again. The actress has done justice to all her roles, despite playing the similar ‘maa’ in most films and shows. At this point, she is the choice for the mother’s role in every other film. But it’s almost applause-worthy that each of them feels different from the last one — there’s the gusse wali maa, a mother with liberal values, and even the shaant maa who ends up becoming the highlight of the film (in Badhaai Do).
The fact that these characters deserve all the appreciation is totally on her, and further proof that Bollywood wastes so much good talent. They literally have someone as good as her, who has more range than Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn combined, but even then she doesn’t get a film solely based on her, or where she gets to do something different.
Her character in Khuda Haafiz: Chapter 2 – Agni Pariksha clearly shows how actors like her can do so much, if they get the chance to explore.
It's sad that these actors are never celebrated enough, we have a culture of stars and superstars but not "actors and good cinema" https://t.co/UrmFjS4hob— Kriti Kala (@Kriti_Kala_) July 12, 2022
And to think that she’s playing mother to older actors, who in turn play heroes in 20s and 30s is so messed up. It’s like, Bollywood has so little imagination that they can’t see women as anything other than mothers. These maa wale characters don’t even seem to focus on the life outside raising her children – it’s literally all she’s shown doing, as if there shouldn’t be a personal life with motherhood.
Sheeba Chadha who plays SRK’s mother in Raees is a good 6-7 years younger than him. WTF :/— Denial Sloss (Rohit) (@rohshah07) February 7, 2017
Googling actress Sheeba Chaddha, and most articles referred to her as ‘veteran’, ‘yesteryear’, ‘seasoned’. Guys, she’s 43. How old is SRK?— Shrabonti Bagchi (@Shrabonti) May 11, 2017
We’re back to muscular heroes, fighting with dishum-dishum noises, when there are actors like Sheeba Chadha who bring something new to the similarly written characters, every time. And then they have the audacity to blame people for not watching these films. The content is the same, the actors are the same – that’s why!
#Shamshera collapses… The Week 1 numbers are a shocker… Fri 10.25 cr, Sat 10.50 cr, Sun 11 cr, Mon 2.90 cr, Tue 2.40 cr, Wed 1.90 cr, Thu 1.50 cr. Total: ₹ 40.45 cr. #India biz. pic.twitter.com/kmxpgAqEFF— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) July 29, 2022
I mean, the woman managed to make us cry with her silence in Badhaai Do, and you think that the best she can do is, play a dilli wali aunty who gossips at kitty parties every week? Seriously, some respect? It’s honestly difficult to see someone with such experience from films, stage and OTT, getting the cliched, stereotypical characters, just because we are too scared to accept change, after all this time.
Even her characters in Shakuntla Devi, Gully Boy or Pagglait, that could’ve easily been overshadowed, are actually memorable — all thanks to her performance. If that isn’t a good enough reason to give her more and better to do on-screen, then nothing can be. The way content is being portrayed today, is proof that we’re constantly picking regressive methods and opinions. And, actresses like Sheeba Chadha are restricted with these old practices, where they’re already doing more than they can, with what they’re offered.
With each passing film or show that she stars in, we keep saying how she’s “too good for any of it”, but is anyone really listening? It’s not even like she doesn’t know it, or want the same thing. But, if actors don’t even get the choice to pick from something new, how are they supposed to bring about the change?
Congratulations Bollywood, you’ve failed yet another talented actor.