It’s interesting how some movies mirror reality and a few inspire it. And when the latter happens, it almost kickstarts a new revolution. To better the state of women in India, Bollywood has to inspire the women of India. Thankfully, Indian cinema is experiencing a revolution when it comes to producing female-centric movies. And boy, are we glad!
We’re not saying they never existed in the past, they did. Films like Mother India, Umraojaan and Mili are a few examples of the same. But all of these movies were like needles in a haystack. Women-centric movies weren’t all the rage back in the day but in recent years the tectonic plates of Bollywood have started to shift and evolve.
A typical commercial success is not garnered only by a Khan anymore, the women of Bollywood have worked all the way up to the spotlight and how. It may have started with women raising their voice through films like Lajja about the varied patriarchal ways of the society. But slowly yet steadily we reached progressive films like Page 3 and Fashion – where the leads didn’t just shun misogynistic and orthodox identities of Indian women within the film but proved that women don’t have to be mere accessories in the industry. Their calibre is at par with male actors and they can skillfully handle the responsibility of a lead character.
Thus began the evolution of Bollywood, where we saw a number of actors play strong roles and many more directors develop faith in movies with female leads. Vidya Balan has to be one of the best examples during this transformation. Her inspiration, as she states, has always been Rekha – who was a maverick of her times and starred in Khoobsurat and Khoon Bhari Maang. Vidya herself was a class act in Parineeta, Dirty Picture and Kahaani; we can only marvel at her melange of talent and consistency. She undoubtedly made her idol proud and gave us hope for a feminist future of the industry. And if we look at the stats, women are surely stealing the show!
With Queen, Gulaab Gang, Mary Kom, Highway and Mardaani – the year 2014 overpowered the big screen with a list of female-oriented movies. In fact, Queen won a Filmfare for Best Movie, while being nominated against PK and Haider.
2014 could easily be the benchmark of this revolution and what followed were many more delightful cinematic experiences. We fell in love with a grumpy Piku(from Piku) who unconditionally loved her father, an ambitious and brave Datto(from Tanu Weds Manu Returns) who is a national athlete yet naive lover, a fearless Neerja (from Neerja) who sacrificed her life to save others, and a self-made Akira(from Akira) who’s a fighter. Hats off to all of these actors for being a beacon of hope and inspiration to all its female audiences.
We’ve experienced spectacular movies of the scale of Secret Superstar, Simran and Mom this year and are curious to watch Vidya Balan win us over in Tumhari Sulu and Deepika create history in Padmavati.
The year hasn’t ended and neither is the lady’s reign anywhere close to the finish line. May they own the spotlight just the way they own our hearts and in the famous words of Beyonce, who run the world?
Watch them steal the show here.