New Delhi: Director Sudhir Mishra, whose films 'Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi', 'Dharavi' and 'Chameli' saw women playing strong characters, feels actresses today are not chosen on the basis of their talent.
Mishra's said actresses these days are just used for "glam quotient and sizzling item numbers".
"I really miss those days when directors like Guru Dutt, Satyajit Ray and Vijay Anand used to select actresses on the basis of their talent. But, today, we look for actresses in models. They have the glam quotient and film's budget being managed by their sizzling item numbers," said Mishra while speaking on the topic of 'Depiction of Women' at the Centenary Film Festival here.
Having started his career as an assistant director and scriptwriter in Kundan Shah's comedy classic 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron', Mishra made his foray into direction with serious issue-based films.
He feels that during 80s and 90s women characters in films deteriorated when traders company took over the film industry.
"Hindi cinema has been showing strong women characters since 1950. 'Guide' and 'Mughal-E-Azam' are the best examples of films of that era.
"But, the retardation of women took place when trader companies took over the cinema in. But parallel cinema didn't change its track and filmmaker like Shyam Benegal used his actresses as a strong character in his films, Mishra said.
The 'Inkaar' helmer said his upbringing helped him realise the importance of women.
"My upbringing helped me to portray women in a strong light. I was very much attached to my mother and grandmother and I have seen how they used to balance everything in our house. That inspired me always to show women stronger in my
scripts," he added.