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These Superstars Rock The Screen Even As Old Men With Graying Hair (DDD’s Anil Kapoor Included)

Bollywood Superstars -amitabh
Superstars don’t age. That’s what the general consensus is. If you look at the southern movie industry, you will see that superstars like Mammootty or Mohanlal easily give the youngsters a run for their money even if they are in their fifties or sixties. Another great example will be Rajinikanth, who has defied ageing on-screen and still plays roles that are young and yuppie even if he is well into his sixties. This trend of superstars caught in a time limbo has not caught up in Bollywood yet and with time, a reigning superstar has to slowly make that coveted transition, where he finds himself playing roles that are often sealed for character actors. But when a superstar plays such roles, it is the movie that benefits for the nostalgia attached is immense.

Another positive outcome of this trend that some directors write roles keeping in mind such stars that often create varied possibilities. One such movie is Piku, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone as well as Irrfan Khan is a story about a young girl and her father, played by the ever-affable Amitabh Bachchan, which is going to release on the 8th of May, 2015. Apart from the fact that the trailer has won universal acclaim with box-office success guaranteed, we also see Amitabh Bachchan in another quirky role that tells the way ‘the father-figure’ trope has changed in Bollywood. No more the ‘father’ is a secondary character in the narrative, whose main job was to chastise the wayward son, to play a doting father like our Sanskari Alok Nath, the character of the patriarch has finally come of age.

But this is not the first time Amitabh Bachchan has played such roles. Amitabh Bachchan played the role of the patriarch in movies like Mahaan, Desh Premee and Kabhi Kabhie with Kabhi Kabhie being his first outing as the strict patriarch while in Desh Premee he played the role of a school master Mahaan where he was the father as well as two sons, yes a case of triple role. But it was during his superstardom days and he finally became a bonafide character actor with that hallowed aura in Mohabbatein where he plays a middle aged character and he has not stop since then and now with Piku he has, as some opine, played one of his best roles during this second innings. Other notable movies will include Viruddh, Rishtey, Family as well as Waqt with Akshay Kumar.

Talking of a few more superstars like Dilip Kumar, he in his comeback had him portray the middle-aged crusader in several movies like Mashaal and Duniya before finally becoming the aged vengeance seeker in movies like Karma and Vidhaata. All these movies had someone young to accompany him, maybe to balance the act but Dilip Saab always gave outstanding performances, be it the wronged crusading reporter, or the vengeance seeking jailor or the gangster.

Another name worth mentioning is Rajesh Khanna who will be remembered in Avtar and Amrit, with the former a sort of cult classic that definitely inspired Amitabh Bachchan’s Baghban. Both in Avtar and Amrit, he plays role of that of an elderly who is wronged by his sons and closed ones but it is Avtar that brought him unanimous praise.

Shashi Kapoor in Kalyug and New Delhi Times played the middle aged guy with élan but it is his offshore projects in movies like Sammy and Rosie Get Laid that his character of the troubled father of Sammy got noticed. Shashi Kapoor’s, nephew, Rishi Kapoor actually had had a resurgence of sorts in Bollywood when he started donning roles that suited his age with his Rauf Lala outing in Agneepath getting him massive critical acclaim because it was the first time we were seeing him in a negative role. Also roles in Namastey London as well as Do Dooni Char were much appreciated, with the latter where he played a harassed school teacher trying to buy a car.

This list is incomplete without cult favourite, the messiah of alternate Bollywood, Mithun Chakrabarty whose slow transition to the father figure was well-received as witnessed in movies like Housefull 2 as well as It’s Entertainment and it is his comedy timings in these movies that have been well-appreciated while in Boss he plays the role of a patriarch who has a strict view of morality.

Anil Kapoor is the latest to join this bandwagon though he has toyed with this idea for years as several of his roles suggest. In Dil Dhadakne Do, he plays Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh’s father who loves the good life. In a way, this has now paved the path of another great Bollywood innings. Dangal, the rumoured upcoming movie of Aamir Khan also has him playing the role of Mahavir Singh , a wrestler who coached his daughters to glory. The movie is reportedly in some sort of trouble as Aamir Khan is having problems finding an on-screen daughter. Name of Kangana Ranaut among others have floated recently. Talking of the young bandwagon, even Hrithik Roshan plays the aged Rohit in Krissh and Krissh 3 with much conviction while we briefly see Ranbir Kapoor as an old man in Barfi.

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