'Brangelina' on Steroids: Indian Film Stars to Wed

Experts say the case will likely be thrown out of the court, but it highlights the juxtaposition in Rai's career: one moment she's being traditional, allowing her parents to consult horoscope experts regarding her marriage, and the next moment she's making headlines for an on-screen kiss.

Perhaps that's because the Indian film industry is changing.

Princeton's Prakash says that the traditional roles of heroine and "vamp" (a "heartless seductress") are merging in India, increasingly making room for female leads to play less-than-wholesome characters.

Globalization has brought a lot of Hollywood to Bollywood, and the prevalence of multiplex theaters has made room for segmentation of the industry, allowing more diverse types of films to be made, he added.

Then why would it matter if a married Rai continued to play romantic roles on the big screen?

Prakash said that while married men can play on-screen romances, that change "hasn't quite happened yet" for women.

University of Ohio's Chawla hopes the double standard will change soon. She wants to see more actresses like Rai use their superstar status to educate viewers about the ability of married women to continue making the same career choices.

"I'm not sure that's a good example to set," Chawla said of actresses who end their careers as lead heroines after marriage. "Of course things change, but why change the things that you're doing in your career?"

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