The past decade has been a transformative one for the Bollywood industry especially when it comes to female representation. In a largely male dominated, patriarchal society, rarely do strong women centric roles get written in Indian cinema. But the last decade has seen the rise of many women-centric Bollywood movies.
Here’s a list of some women-oriented Bollywood movies from the past decade that had a strong impact on society.
The Dirty Picture (2011)
Loosely based on the life of Silk Smitha, the movie begins as nostalgia and ends as invention. Silk’s life is a biography of freedom, of a woman who wish to live her own way, arguing her right to her sexuality, while trapped by the hypocrisy of society and male imagination. Vidya Balan achieves what Silk Smitha failed to- a place in a male-dominated world.
A pregnant woman in search of her husband fighting against all odds… that too with a serial killer on the loose, swept the audiences off their feet. Taking on figures of authority when a woman is supposedly at her weakest, Vidya shattered loads of stereotypes while going up against naysayers. The movie celebrates strength, power and courage of women.
English Vinglish (2012)
We see role models everywhere, but never in the homemakers and mothers around us. This movie perfectly represented Indian housewives – the section of society we tend to ignore, not realising how important their role is in our lives. And though the protagonist who learns a new skill, yet she successfully schools her family on how every member deserves equal love and respect.
It is the story of a girl who is deserted by her groom a day before marriage, but she decides to go on a solo honeymoon. It is great to see how beautifully she transformed from a timid girl into a strong and independent woman. It encouraged and inspired women to come out of their shells and follow their dreams.
Mary Kom (2014)
Based on the life of Mary Kom, the movie featured Priyanka Chopra in the titular role. Fighting against almost insurmountable odds, Mary Kom shows us how dedication, sacrifice, and hard work is the only way to earn respect.
Margarita With A Straw (2015)
Laila, played by Kalki Koechlin, has cerebral palsy but isn’t afraid of being among ‘abled’ people. She tries to study and find love in a foreign country. The movie embarks an exhilarating journey of self-discovery.
The superstar of the millennium had to come forward to make a whole nation understand “No means No”. This is a very well-written and enacted courtroom drama which Bollywood has never done before. It was a movie where women got the meatier roles but it was meant for the men population of our country who carries a patriarchal mindset. The first Bollywood movie that stresses the importance of a woman’s consent even if she is your wife.
Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017)
It’s a tale of 4 women from different blocks of the society. Too many unnecessary controversies surrounded the movie before the release. Disgusted by silly societal norms and guidelines, these four women lies, cheats, and steals to lead a life they feel right.
Tumhari Sulu (2017)
Sulu is a homemaker with dreams and aspirations who believes in accomplishing them. The movie fairly portrays her transition from a housewife to a late night Radio Jockey and beautifully hit upon the traditional gender roles and stereotypes.
Two female cops, who are responsible for the safety of other women, battle misogyny at every turn. The movie succeeds as far as highlighting the real issues that women of India face on a regular basis.
Indeed, silver screen contribution to improve women’s status in Indian society is incredible.