Indian cinema has evolved with time. Both content and presentation has changed. Also, the delimitation between the male and female actor has ended as now the female lead also takes charge of the movie. Formerly, male leads were given more importance and the female lead was just considered an arm candy.
But things have changed now. Indian cinema has witnessed a significant transformation in the way women are portrayed through movies. Their roles have changed over a period of time, from total dependency on their male counterparts to independently carry the storyline forward.
Now movies portray women as more independent, confident, and career oriented. Here are some movies in which female leads carried the success on their shoulders.
Queen was a pathbreaking movie of Kangana’s career. 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. A movie doesn’t need a hero, it needs a queen; hence proved.
Tanu Weds Manu
Though the movie is about two strangers who met and fall in love, but it was, and will always be, about Tanu, and the way her confusion regarding love comes to an end. The movie gave us the most confused but real female protagonist. She was neither simplex nor weak, but was pregnable in an adorable way.
The Dirty Picture
This movie proved that Vidya Balan is indeed the queen of challenging roles. She pulled off the bold role effortlessly and won hearts. 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.
Though Shah Rukh Khan is irresistibly charming giving the life lessons, Alia Bhatt is the heart of the movie. Dear Zindagi is the journey of Kaira, an ambitious girl dealing with a burnout following failed relationships, familial alienation and her journey to deal with issues which stem from deep in her past. The movie was an intelligent and much-needed take on why mental health is so important.
The idea that women can be unmarried and take care of their parents was normalised in Piku. Piku showed the struggles of a young independent woman juggling between her personal and professional life. She was a loving (at times irritated) daughter and a brilliant professional, depicting the reality of many working women today. Piku is the character we can all relate to.
The movie exposed the harsh realities of the world of modelling. Along with that, the movie wholly rested on the shoulders of its three female protagonists. All three of them gave exceptionally great performances. The success of the film proved that women were ready to own the parts written for them.
Lajja is a hard-hitting film that highlights the wrongs done by the Indian society towards the women. The contrast is too glaring to be ignored. All the four female protagonists portrayed impressive characters with aplomb. Lajja was one of the first films that wore the badge of feminism with honour and pride.
Tabu is one of the finest actresses of Bollywood. Chandni Bar brings to light the dark and helpless lives of numerous women in Mumbai who are caught in the web of underworld, prostitution, dance bars and crime. The movie came at a time when bar dancers were the subject of conversations only in murmurs and whispers. But Tabu effortlessly got into the skin of the vulnerable yet determined Mumtaz.
No matter what society has told us throughout our lives, women are powerful, brave, and remarkably strong.