Gone are the days when leading ladies retained their throne and hold in Tollywood for more than a decade. The top actresses from yesterday, starting from Savitri and Sridevi to Ramya Krishna, all enjoyed their top positions for long durations. The last 15 years had been a completely different story. The lifespan of actresses in demand had been linearly decreasing over a period of time. Despite pairing opposite the top heroes in Tollywood, the current ladies are trying hard to sustain in the top slots for long.
Interestingly, patterns are rather different in Bollywood. While the yesteryears like Poonam Dhillon and Padmini Kolhapure had brief timelines, actresses in the late 90’s such as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Juhi Chawla and Kajol held the reigns for a decade or more.
Tollywood now sees shorter life spans for heroines. One such example is Aarti Agarwal, who took the silver screen by storm in 2001. She acted in several big ticket films back-to-back with the likes of Venkatesh, Chiranjeevi, Bala Krishna, Prabhas, Jr. NTR and Nagarjuna. Aarti had a gradual downfall and now stars in low budget tasteless flicks. Her place was later taken by gorgeous Shriya Saran. Her golden span was also short, despite starring with superstars like Rajinikanth. Trisha’s craze grew manifold after hits like Varsham, Nuvvostannate and Athadu. Her graph was a little inconsistent later while juggling films between Telugu and Tamil. Same was the case with Nayantara. The trend continued with Ileana D’Cruz, Tamannaah and Kajal Aggarwal. Currently, top slots belong to Samantha, Shruti Hassan and Rakul Preet Singh, bagging maximum offers.
Main reason behind this pattern could be those Tollywood formula scripts. Constant focus on hero centric plots and comedy eventually led to confining our leading ladies to just serve for glamour. Now, the film industry sees supply of glamorous queens exceeding the demand. So whenever there are a couple of flops from a top heroine, stage is set for a fresh face to take her place. Well, we can safely infer, the casting mantra followed seems to be ‘Familiar glamour breeds contempt’.