It’s 21st century! Women in Bollywood are no more just side chicks or supporting actresses. Their roles have transformed into a powerful screen presence. Today we have movies that portray every shade of women –ambitious, adventurous, fashionista, strong, fearless, funny, serious, sassy, emotional and much more. Besides, women have managed to mark their presence in directing, producing and writing. Let’s celebrate this women’s day by watching some women-centric movies. Here you go!
Mother India (1957)
Directed by Mehboob Khan, the epic melodrama is one of the top women oriented movies till date. The film stars Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar and Raaj Kumar. Mother India represents India after independence and portrays the story of a poverty-stricken woman who in the absence of her husband survives against cunning money-lender and her efforts to raise her sons. Fighting all the efforts she sets an example for the ‘ideal Indian woman’.
Bhumika: The Role (1977)
The film features Smita Patil, Amol Palekar, Anant Nag, Naseeruddin Shah and Amrish Puri in lead roles. Bhumika portrays the life of Usha (Smita Patil), an actress, who starts her career as a child artist and over the years, becomes a successful actress. 22-year-old Smita Patil gracefully portrayed the journey of Usha from a chirpy teenager to a deeply wounded middle-aged woman.
The crime thriller directed by Rajkumar Santoshi showcases the story of a woman, essayed by Meenakshi Sheshadri (Damini), who fights against her own family to give justice to her maid. The maid is gang-raped by her brother-in-law and his friends. The family tries to prove that Damini is mentally unstable and confines her into a mental asylum. The film also stars Sunny Deol and Amrish Puri. The iconic dialogue ‘Tarikh pe tarikh’ is remembered even today. Sunny Deol who plays the role of an alcoholic lawyer helps Damini to get justice to the victimised girl.
Chandni Bar (2001)
Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, the film features Tabu (Mumtaz) and Atul Kulkarni (Pottya Sawant) in lead roles and illustrates the realistic life of Mumbai underworld including dance bars and prostitution. Mumtaz is into prostitution and gets married to Pottya, she works hard to provide a better lifestyle for her kids and also sees to it that her kids are away from the world of prostitution and gangsters.
English Vinglish (2012)
The comedy-drama portrays the life of Shashi Godbole essayed by Sridevi, who is a housewife and runs a household ‘laddoo’ business. Her husband and daughter take her for granted and makes fun of her lack of English skills. Her niece helps her to learn English by enrolling her in a secret English class. She passes the course with distinction and with the same the perception of her husband and daughter changes.
Indian comedy-drama features Kangana Ranaut (Rani) in lead role. Rani is a shy Punjabi girl from New Delhi. A day prior to the wedding her fiancé calls off their wedding citing lifestyle issue and explains how she is a wrong match for him. Wanting to take control of the situation she embarks on her pre-booked honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam. Over the tour Rani gains confidence and gets a complete makeover.
Margarita with a straw (2014)
The film illustrates the life of Laila (Kalki Koechlin), a teenager with cerebral palsy who is a student and an aspiring writer. She falls for her college mate but gets rejected and moves to New York with her mother for her further studies. Later she discovers that she is bisexual. The story revolves around the subtle aspects of modern life and the need to accept the changing rituals of the society.
The film portrays the life of four ordinary women with a thirst for ‘something’ more that they have. Their village is possessed with child marriage, dowry, rape, physical and mental abuse. These four women have a common meeting point, a local fort, where they discuss their life and secrets. They later plan to leave the village in search of a better life away from the traditions and customs.
Based on a true story the biographical thriller features Sonam Kapoor in the title character, who is a flight attendant. On a regular day to work, when she boards Pan Am 73, a Libya sponsored terrorist group hijacks the plane in Karachi. Neerja ruins the hijackers plan and manages to save 359 of the 379 passengers and crew on board. Neerja Bhanot has been posthumously awarded the Ashoka Chakra and she is the youngest person to be felicitated with it.
Nil Battey Sannata (2016)
Directed by Ashwini Iyer, Nil Battey Sannata portrays the life of a single mother who is taking her efforts to get her daughter concentrate on education. While her daughter feels her education will not assist her to land up a job. Hence, her mother makes a decision to educate herself and showcases the power of education.