Free Press Journal

Queen to Wild: Women-centric films that spell inspiration


These women might look ordinary on surface, but deep down they are a power house of talent and confidence, and these power pack performances just prove it, writes SHIKHA JAIN

Movies are usually about heroism, where a man rescues and comforts the female character and takes responsibility to fix all the problems. However, looking at the recent trends in the world of cinema, we can see that there is a small shift from the typical movies to a new kind of women-oriented cinema. Talking about feminism and women empowerment has become more like fashion these days.

Also Read: Women’s Day 2018: Popular TV stars debate the ‘gender gap’

Mother India, Coco Before Chanel, Damini and Gone With The Wind will remain as classics, but this women’s day we have something like 21st century kind of movies to get inspired from.


The 2014 surprise hit, which established Kangana Ranaut as the youth icon among young girls, is a simple coming-of-age story of a naive and introvert girl. Her solo journey to Paris and Amsterdam is a journey within. From the fear of public embarrassment after her fiancé calls off their wedding, to the confidence of letting go of social trappings, Rani is every woman. She embodies you, she embodies me, and she embodies millions of us. Women are shown enjoying themselves and painting the town red without needing the presence of a man.

English Vinglish

A typical housewife, with minimal qualification straddles patriarchal and linguistic hegemony in her late 40’s by learning English. Indian screen legend Late Sridevi triumphs in a gentle, but affecting, story of a woman’s awakening self-respect. There is a growing body of work that shows Indian female characters flexing their muscles. All they need is the will to change things around.


It was touted as a feminist film because the lead female character in the movie struggled against patriarchal beliefs and ended up winning a gold medal for India. It is also a tribute to sheer physical power. We’re used to seeing women’s bodies on screen — in various stages of undress, designed to titillate and excite, but have not seen it so athletic, so perfectly proportioned, so powerful, so designed to be a weapon of mass destruction, and so suited to the arduous and enthralling sport of wrestling.


Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s ‘Pink’ talks about single women living in metros, of making choices of clothes, late nights and about consent; ‘no means no’. She could be your girlfriend, wife, fiancé, friend, classmate, neighbour, stranger or even a prostitute, but ‘no means no’. This is one of those hard-hitting films, which talks about the ‘character assassination’ every woman undergoes, because she chooses to take charge of her life, and determines its course on her own terms.

Lipstick Under My Burkha

To escape patriarchy is simply a matter of bold decisions and smart choices. The persuasive power of the film’s narrative resides in showing four women striving to escape the conditions of their lives and almost succeeding. The title of the film seems to equate the burkha with oppression and the lipstick with freedom. It shows women looking for sex, enjoying it, looking for freedom from oppression, looking to be able to smoke and drink freely, looking for the chance to earn a living and be good at it.


Suffragette is a tart reminder to those who are casual about democratic gender equality that votes for women were not something that naturally evolved due to the ruling class’s innate decency; they had to be fought for. It is a valuable, vital film about how human rights are won. It teaches you to stand up for yourself, and for women everywhere.

The Help

It is directly related to the idea of how race creates a specific dynamic in today’s world. It tells us about the suffering of black maids working for white households and how they stood up for one another in times of need again and again. The social change is only possible through an individual change.

Wonder Woman

Action films are a unique genre for feminist advances. It is a masterpiece of subversive feminism. Superhero movies have a history of traditional male heroes and them soaking violence. The most feminist thing about Wonder Woman is that it doesn’t just stick a female character into a male-dominated formula; it rewrites the formula itself. In the world of men, we have a female superhero doing everything what a male superhero would do. The idea is to convey that women are just as powerful as men – and should be represented as such.


The movie is about a woman who hikes the Pacific Coast Trail alone to work through her grief and trauma and face herself in a real way–as well as prove to herself that she can be the woman she aspires to be.

No matter what life threw at her, she never gave up, rather she challenged and rediscovered herself, after the devastating loss of her mother and the deterioration of her marriage left her feeling lost.

Mad Max: Fury Road

The movie destroys Hollywood’s restrictive definition of what beauty is. While still showing beautiful women, this movie also has a lead woman, strikingly beautiful, yet, missing an arm. This explodes the myth that to be beautiful one must be flawless and perfect. It also conveys a very strong message that says, “We are not things” and be like ‘Furiosa’.