Salman, Shah Rukh, Ajay and Akshay – Best in their Forties in Bollywood?
When SRK romanced a much younger Anushka Sharma and Deepika Padukone in their debut films, it was confirmed Bollywood has finally come of age. Age no longer remains a factor when it comes to casting actors for a script. Much experimentation is being carried out and Bollywood is inclining towards realistic cinema. Authenticity of the script is crucial for making it hold ground strongly. And Bollywood superstars are breaking shackles of old notions and mindsets where film stars would descend to supporting roles as soon as they touched forty. Age is nothing more than just a mere number. If the script allows the presence of a certain actor as plausible, then why should he being 40 or not matter?
All of Bollywood biggies today are in their fourties and are at the zeniths of their careers.
Last few years have been the best of Salman’s career. He has never been more popular. His movies earned almost 750 crores in the last three years. Salman Khan is now an expert at giving hits every year. His support for the NGO Being Human has showcased to people the softer and sensitive side of Khan which never caught much public eye earlier.
Shah Rukh Khan
SRK’s upcoming romantic film which releases in November,2012 has created unprecedented excitement among audiences, bringing back memories of his original DDLJ charm. His IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders just made brand SRK a little more popular, like it was lagging behind in the rat race at all!
Akshay Kumar is romancing ladies on screen who are half his age. And why shouldn’t he? His very popular stint at television called “Fear Factor : Khatron Ke Khiladi” ran successfully for four seasons and he proved his prowess successfully by performing the most dangerous of stunts which the contestants much younger to him would fail at.
Ajay Devgan who is scheduled to host “Fear Factor : Khatron Ke Khiladi” season Five has a niche created for himself as the ultimate superpower of Bollywood. Being the son of Veeru Devgan, he has revamped stunts and given Bollywood action a newer dimension and a better perspective.
Aamir Khan seems to be getting more in sync with the tastes of the younger generation. Known for being a champion of off beat, out of the box ideas, he is investing millions in making intelligent realistic cinema for the evolving Indian audience. Being forty, has only helped in enriching his work, with experience merely polishing his genius. His popularity has multiplied with his responsible gestures towards social upliftment by creating a show like “Satyamev Jayate”. When its First Season ended, his fans were bordering on depression because Sundays were yet again going to mundane and uninteresting. Aamir successfully pushed every Indian a thought closer to creating a better society and making weekends more purposeful. Brand Aamir has always been synonymous with diversity, investing in cinema which has a social message and shows which create a better society.
Saif Ali Khan
Saif Ali Khan had years of struggle before he finally shot to fame with Farhan Akhtar’s “Dil Chahta Hai”. Belonging to the illustrious family of Mansoor Ali Khan, Nawab of Pataudi and veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, he took a while to fly high. But once he started off, there was no turning back from there. After starring in an array of hit films, he finally started his own production company Illuminati Films’ “Love Aaj Kal” which went to be a blockbuster hit! Saif Ali Khan is today Bollywood’s one of the most leading actors in a relationship with Kareena Kapoor who is one of Bollywood’s highest paid actress. At 40, Saif’s star power has never felt better it seems!
So how has being forty harmed any of these stars? Age has rather become a driving force for them to come out with better performances. Each of these stars have their unique fan following and target audiences. And yet, each of them is attaining new earmarks of success at an individual level.
What seems to have changed from earlier times? Trade Analysts confirm that Indian consumerism is acquiring newer trends, especially when it comes to Bollywood. In the 1960s and 1970s, superstars by their later thirties and early forties were readily taking up the roles of elder brother and father in sappy family soap operas and films. Directors were always looking for fresh and younger faces that would fit better in their similarly-dramatic-plot kind of script. The scripts were usually monotonous and largely all the same. Centered on family drama and romantic liaisons, scripts had absolutely nothing new to offer. And hence actors were soon retiring after their youthful phase was over.
Contrarily new age Bollywood is more about the star power and their brand value. A certain SRK and Aamir Khan have already created a reliable name for themselves in this industry. Their ground is so strongly placed in the hearts of their audiences that it would surely garner big mullah for the producers. They are names which can be trusted. Anything associated with their name has their prestige and good will at stake. And they wouldn’t leave any stone unturned to make it a success.
Why talk of being Forty? Bollywood’s very own Shehenshah, Amitabh Bachchan is the ultimate big Brand of Bollywood. He is 69. And he has the Midas touch. Whatever he touches is bound to be successful. He did go through his share of misfortunes and lows, but when his high struck, he became the Undisputed Sultan of Bollywood. His production company, ABCL which ran into huge losses revived due to Bachchan Senior’s shrewd business skills. ABCL is a power packed house. With Aishwarya Rai joining Brand Bachchan, their popularity has just increased.
His humility, personality and stature are absolutely overwhelming. People are in awe of him and his brand image has got a strong boost in the last few years. He endorses the most expensive Reid and Taylor suits to the most basic maggi. He dances, he sings. His commendable versatility is the driving force behind Brand Bachchan. And going by his age and experience, it seems it has evolved his brand power in a way it never was before. Amitabh Bachchan has never been this popular in his life and every year his popularity seems to be growing manifolds.
In the consumerist world, in the glamorous fashion world or in the real world, ageing is inevitable. But Bollywood stars are teaching us to age with style and class, and what is age really. It is just a year added to your experience and not another wrinkle or a grey hair. And remember, grey is stylish too especially if it is the face of a powerful brand.