New Delhi: International Women’s Day will be celebrated across the world on March 8 and on this auspicious day, the achievements of women from all over the world are honoured and therefore this day is thoroughly dedicated to them. We all are truly aware the best medium to spread awareness is Cinema. For decades, in Hindi cinema actresses has graduated from being the 'abala naari' to the woman of substance and strength who stands for her rights, raises her voice against injustice, fights for her dignity and self-respect and also rebels when she has to.
As International Women's Day is around the corner, we get you the top women-centric Bollywood films which celebrate women’s strength, power, and courage.
1. Mother India
Mother India is a classic film coming from the early era of Indian Cinema. It was a path-breaking film of its time. It is considered to be one of Nargis Dutt’s most impressive and iconic performances. Nargis as Radha is a poor villager who fights all odds to raise her two sons. She is looked upon as the epitome of justice and a god like figure by the villagers. Staying true to her principles, she kills her immoral son for justice’s sake.
2. Bandit Queen
The movie is a biography based on an Indian dacoit, Phoolan Devi’s life and portrayed by Seema Biswas who was sent to prison in 1983. She was prosecuted by the Indian police and turned into a legend by the people. It’s the story of a woman who fights all the mayhem done to her by the men, from the police to the goons. Ultimately she over powers them all and comes to fore as a strong woman. Shekhar Kapoor directed the film based on the biography, India's Bandit Queen: The True Story of Phoolan Devi by Mala Sen.
3. English Vinglish
This 2012 Gauri Shinde film very sensitively explored how home makers are often sidelined in conversations, disrespected by their own children and husbands, undermined and underestimated within the very family units that they have spent their lives nurturing. How the heroine Shashi gains her self-confidence back by enrolling in an English-speaking course is delicately portrayed by the late Sridevi. The film also starred Adil Hussain, French actor Mehdi Nebbou, and Priya Anand.
Queen is a beautiful story of a young girl Rani played by Kangana Ranaut. It’s heartbreaking when Vijay played by Rajkumar Rao, just a day before the wedding breaks the news to Rani that he is no more interested in marrying her. The simple, small town girl is shattered but soon she decides to stand for herself and to go on a honeymoon all alone. During her travel, she meets new friends, discovers the world and life and comes back as a changed person, ready to take control of her life.
Another milestone for women-centric films in India, Pink, starring Taapsee Pannu and Amitabh Bachchan in lead roles gives a strong message on sexual harassment and abuse. Pink tells us why ‘NO’ means ‘NO’ and how it is mandatory for a man to ask for a women’s consent before he comes close to her. Taapsee Pannu surely gave one of the best performances of her career in this one post which she becomes one of the most renowned Bollywood actors.
Taapse Pannu’s film which talks about the topic of domestic violence is a hard-hitting and thought-provoking which was single-handedly carried by Taapsee on her shoulders. Not only her breakthrough performance in the film is getting critical acclaim, but fans also salute her courage to take up such a sensitive topic and gives a strong message on how women who face domestic violence should raise their voice.
Starring Deepika Padukone in the lead role, Chhapaak is the story of acid-attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, who was attacked by a known person at the age of 15. Chhapaak tells the inspiring story of Laxmi who started campaigns to prevent acid attacks and also filed a PIL to stop acid sale in India. She is an inspiration for all the women out there who have ever been an acid attack victim. Deepika Padukone performed her role brilliantly and is the soul of the movie. Directed by critically-acclaimed filmmaker Meghna Gulzar, Chhapaak is a must-watch this International Women’s Day.
Vidya Balan's hit film Kahaani, where she plays a role of Vidya Baghchi, also has a portrayal of a strong woman. Vidya's character is in search of her missing husband. She travels from London to Kolkata alone in her final trimester of pregnancy to find her missing husband. As the story moves forward, we get to know Vidya's character in an even better manner. She is a very patient, fearless and has a good sense of humour. Even though she faces lot of hurdles when she hunts for her missing husband, Vidya puts up a brave front and finally succeeds in her motive which is revealed at the end of the movie.
9. Mary Kom
Mary Kom is true life story of the Indian boxer who won great accolades internationally. Priyanka Chopra plays the real life character on the big screen beautifully depicting Kom’s story. It is special because of the hardships Kom had to go through through her career. She makes a comeback post her marriage, and a mother of two Kom continues her successful journey against all odds.
The film is based on the life of air hostess Neerja Bhanot who was shot dead by terrorists who hijacked Pan Am Flight in Karachi on 5 September 1986. Sonam Kapoor plays the title role in this film that traces the journey of a 23-year-old flight attendant who sacrificed her life while protecting the lives of 359 passengers. Neerja is a must-watch this International Women’s Day.