Telugu Actresses Marginalized as Mere Glamorous Props in Films:
In the world of Telugu cinema, the recent much-anticipated action film ‘Skanda’ disappointed fans by relegating the talented actress Sreeleela to a few songs and scenes. This pattern of male-dominant storylines appears to persist in the industry, impacting even renowned actresses like Tamannaah (in ‘Bholaa Shankar’), Shruti Haasan (‘Veera Simha Reddy’), Ritu Varma (‘Mark Antony’), Anu Emmanuel (‘Ravanasura’), and Sakshi Vaidya (‘Agent’). These actresses often find themselves relegated to dance sequences and comic relief roles while the male heroes take center stage and occupy the majority of screen time.
This trend is disheartening for actresses who possess the talent to deliver exceptional performances beyond just looking attractive on screen, according to industry insiders. Director Teja, who ensured equal importance for Kajal Aggarwal in his successful film ‘Nene Raju Nene Mantri,’ emphasizes the need for a balance between the roles of heroes and heroines.
He points out that even legendary actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth have shared significant screen time with their female co-stars. For instance, Aishwarya Rai had a pivotal role opposite Rajnikanth in ‘Robo,’ and the massive success of ‘Baahubali’ can be attributed to the roles played by Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, and Ramya Krishna.
Producer Vishnu Induri, on the other hand, dismisses claims of bias among producers and directors, stating that the prominence of male leads is primarily script-dependent. While acknowledging that the industry is hero-centric due to the star power and fan following, he contends that there are films where heroines have substantial and impactful roles. He emphasizes that the industry isn’t inherently biased and decisions are based on the specific demands of each script.