Bollywood films were often blamed for promoting misogyny through the cinemas. For years woman characters have just been used as props in the story-plot. There was a time when from film plots to pay cheques— everything shouts out their supremacy!
But the time has changed! The female actors have proved enough their mettle. Now Bollywood can boast that there are some films that have strong female characters where they played the ‘hero’.
The industry has reached a stage where filmmakers are becoming more driven and focused towards highlighting social issues, women empowerment to inspirational stories that would be remembered for a long time among the cinephiles. So, on this women’s day, here are 8 such Bollywood women-centric films and the path-breaking roles that changed the way society used to perceived women characters on screen once.
English Vinglish: It was Sridevi’s comeback venture and anticipated one as well. When the gorgeous lady was finally done with Gouri Shinde’s ‘English Vinglish’, audience couldn’t get enough of her. Although, she was known mostly for her ultra-glamorous roles throughout her career, she chose to play an underdog in her come back film. The film captures the essence of that timid housewife who explores a new foreign country all by herself, where English is the primary language. It’s enough to prove women empowerment.
Queen: This is the film where Kangana Ranaut gave all new goals to girls and women who have gone through heartbreaks. The way she ditches her sad phase of life and heads to explore a foreign country (France) by herself was enough to shows what a woman is capable of when she decides to live her life on her own terms and chooses to make herself happy. Independence and self confidence, the two key points were depicted in ‘Queen’, that defines every woman’s character in the best possible way.
Mardaani: It was Rani Mukerji’s comeback after a long gap from the Bollywood scenario. With such a strong storyline which highlights a woman’s drive and focus towards achieving her goal with or without anyone’s aid.
Kahaani: A pregnant Vidya walking around alone at the chaotic streets of Kolkata looking for her missing husband made for a very intriguing narration. With no big male actor, the story entirely focused on Vidya Bagchi, who is the main protagonist of the film. Who may on the surface look like a helpless woman in search of her husband, but in reality she was a strong-willed woman who came to an unknown land for a secret mission. The brilliant climax is enough to portray the woman empowerment! The way director Sujoy Ghosh depicted the comparison of Maa Durga and Vidya, really makes it worth to watch!
Pink: “No means no.”—hope every cinephiles remember this dialogue till date. The film spoke about consent and delivered a very pertinent and strong message. That a woman can be open to you and she flirt with you even and yes, she can deck herself in revealing cloths, but if she says no to a sexual relationship, she must be respected. The four women in the film were strong willed and despite the stark backgrounds they belongs to, all these characters just echoed the thoughts of women across the country, rather it would be better to say ‘across the world’.
Lipstick Under My Burkha: In our country, to talk about sex and one’s sexual desires openly is considered a taboo. Specially for women. A woman, who talks about what she wants in bed openly, is often frowned upon. But this film celebrated women who were perhaps comfortable expressing their feelings about sex. Be it Ratna Pathak’s character or Konkona Sen Sharma’s, these women were unabashed and strong in their own unique way.
Parched: Radhika Apte starrer film deals the life of four ordinary women with a thirst for ‘something’ more than they. The village is possessed with child marriage, dowry, rape, physical and mental abuse. These four women used to meet at their secret place and discuss their lives and all secrets. They later decided to leave the city.
Tumhari Sulu: This film stars Vidya Balan as Sulu in the titular role, an ambitious middle-class housewife who becomes radio jockey for a late night relationship advice show.