Bollywood films have once stereotypically portrayed women. They have often been portrayed as weak and vulnerable under the weight of societal norms with tears in their eyes. But with the changing times, we have also seen a change in the portrayal of women in Bollywood films. Victims or martyrs today, they are a force to be reckoned with. Yes, women in Hindi cinema have come a long way from an abala nari (helpless woman) to a strong and solid woman.
The last ten years of Hindi cinema have seen a change and we see actresses getting meatier roles. In the current era, we have seen films flourish with ideas of feminism. Some films celebrated the success of sports stars while others told of the courage of a queen. But one thing has become clear: today, experimental roles and characters are written for women. We see that the portrayal of women in Bollywood movies has changed for the better.
The current female protagonists of Hindi cinema are not only raising their voices against injustice but also fighting for their dignity and justice. We bring here memorable films that deviated from the norm and portrayed strong female characters that left their mark on society and became an inspiration to many. As Women’s Day is fast approaching, here are some memorable female leads from popular Bollywood movies who have rekindled their inner power and given fierce competition to their male counterparts.
7 memorable movies that perfectly portray the strength of women:
Sridevi in English Vinglish
The late actress Sridevi brought the character of a common housewife, Shashi Godbole, to life. She wonderfully described how the housewife, who is a brilliant housewife, makes fun of her family because she doesn’t speak English. How the wife turns the tide and speaks the language fluently while traveling abroad. But she never forgets her roots. The film also sent a message that the choice of language cannot be the benchmark for judging anyone’s personality. Sridevi carried the entire movie on his shoulder and proved to filmmakers that great movies with a good script don’t need a hero to succeed at the box office.
Priyanka Chopra in Mary Kom
The film, a biopic, was based on the life of Indian boxer Mary Kom, who rose to international fame. Priyanka Chopra beautifully brought the real-life character to life on screen. The story was about a woman entering the world of boxing, a male dominated bastion and the hardships she went through to make a name for herself in the game. How she made a comeback after marriage and the birth of her children to continue her successful journey. The story is an inspiration to many young girls who dream of succeeding in sports like wrestling, boxing and many more.
Deepika Padukone in Piku
Piku challenged the belief that sons should be their parents’ primary caregivers. Deepika Padukone as the only daughter of an eccentric old father played by megastar Amitabh Bachchan changed the mindset of many that an unmarried girl is a burden. She showed us that daughters, especially single women, can do anything a son can do for their parents.
Vidya Balan in Kahaani
Vidya Balan as the main protagonist of Kahaani won accolades for her performance. The history of the drama from the edge of the seat has been filled with many unexpected twists. The brilliant script and the phenomenal work done by the actors keep you hooked till the end. With this film by Sujoy Ghosh, Vidya has completely changed the way a pregnant woman is perceived in India. Instead of being fragile as perceived by male-dominated society, her character was strong, intelligent, and extremely determined. This has led to a change in the portrayal of women in Bollywood films
Alia Bhatt in Gully Boy
Alia Bhatt as Safeena defied her family’s expectations of her by refusing to marry. She’s also not shy about raising her voice and stays strong amidst the male-dominated story. She has been seen focusing on her medical career and has conveyed the message to many young people under family pressure that what you want in life is definitely worth fighting for.
Kangana Ranaut in Queen
It is the story of a young Rani girl played by Kangana Ranaut whose heart breaks when her fiancé breaks up with her a few days before their wedding. How she gets up and is proud to have achieved everything she dreamed of. This sweet-as-a-mouse girl whose only dream in life was to get married. She transforms into a woman of substance ready to take control of her life. It taught the women of our country that when your man breaks up with you, it doesn’t mean the end of your dreams. In fact, you are liberated and your life begins there!
Anouchka Sharma in NH10
NH10 was a gutsy film backed by stellar performances. This was a serious honor killing issue. It’s about Meera played by Anushka Sharma who showed how strong a woman can be in times of adversity. They are valiant enough to exact revenge if need be. No one had ever thought that stunning ferocity could be exhibited through a woman’s character. But Anushka did it with gusto and was widely appreciated.
Taapsee Pannu in pink
The millennial megastar has come forward to make an entire nation understand “No means no”. Taapsee star Pannu talks about women’s rights in this male-dominated society. It has also given women the strength to challenge men who like to humiliate them with physical and mental abuse. Taapsee Pannu was highly praised for her role in the film
We also have a Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya which dealt with another aspect of women dreaming high and the dowry system; Mom had the courage of a mother. Rani Mukerji’s depiction of a fierce cop in Mardaani perfectly showcases a woman’s true strength. The Dangal girls gave a message that girls can achieve great success if they get the support of their families.
Read also: Jawaani Jaaneman in Piku: Bollywood films that capture the essence of being a single father