Women do, men don't have a shelf life in Bollywood: Vikram

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After his first foray into web series with Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired Maaya, Vikram Bhatt is coming up with two more shows for netizens: Shiddat and Gehraiyaan.

Shiddat is based on the struggles of an aspiring actress. “I have been up, close and personal with actresses, and I know that it’s not easy for a girl to make it big in the man’s world. Women have a shelf life in Bollywood, but men don’t. The three Khans are all 50-plus. Women who worked opposite them initially aren’t in the frame anymore,” says Bhatt.

“The industry has very few roles for women. Generally, they have been decorative, unfortunately. Don’t want to take away anything from some fabulous actresses in every generation, but you can count them on fingers,” he adds.

Bollywood is now opening up to strong female leads, but the situation was different a decade ago. Bhatt says, “When I made Kasoor (2001), which had a strong female protagonist, a big director called me and said, ‘Agar tune heroine ko hero bana diya hota toh picture bahut chalti.’ (The film would have worked better had you replaced heroine with the hero.)”

Both the shows are going to be raw and hard-hitting, he says, adding, “They won’t hold back punches. It will also show a bit of underworld, and how women tactfully handled all sorts of pressure, sometimes tender, sometimes manipulative. She has to play many roles to play that one role in a film.”

He snaps back when asked about the medium. “It’s like saying a tennis player has to play only on the grass court or clay court. Also, on web, you don’t need to bother about the compulsions attached to feature filmmaking. There’s no worry of multiplexes, screens, songs etc. Throughout the world, a lot of good writers are moving towards the web.”

The shows will be launched next month on Vuclip’s OTT video on demand service Viu.