Five of the best women-centric Bollywood films (from 2011-19)
In a largely male-dominated society such as ours, women have struggled to raise their voice, not only on the streets, but even in literary and cinematic works. However, fighting through a galore of ignorance, sexual objectification and even pseudo-feminism, there were some cinematic jewels that let their women shine, and shine bright. Here are five of the best women-centered Bollywood films from 2011-19.
'Lipstick Under My Burkha' (2017)
Writer/director Alankrita Shrivastava's second film daringly explores the intertwined lives of four women- a 55-year-old widow narrating an erotic novel as she moves along her mundane life, a college fresher who dreams of freedom, a dominated Muslim housewife, and an ambitious beautician. Through the film, Shrivastava makes you realize that it is okay for women to have secrets and dreams. Cliched concept, exemplary delivery.
In this unfairly ignored gem (produced by Ajay Devgn), Leena Yadav takes you to a gut-wrenching desert village of Rajasthan, where patriarchy is the norm, and women are too tired to raise their voices. The movie, starring four amazing women actors (Radhika Apte, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Surveen Chawla, Sayani Gupta), makes you both cry and smile as these women battle their ups and downs.
'Margarita with a Straw' (2015)
In Shonali Bose's Margarita with a Straw, Kalki Koechlin gives her career's best performance to bring us one of the most unconventionally inspiring women characters we have ever come across. The movie follows the story of Laila, a young girl suffering from cerebral palsy, who deals with self-acceptance issues and her complex relationship with a blind girl. Get your margarita and watch this one!
Queen was that moment for Kangana Ranaut that every woman actor waits for in her career. Vikas Bahl's second silver-screen outing brings to us the fascinating character of Rani Mehra, a shy and meek Delhi girl, who embarks on her honeymoon trip to Europe, all by herself. In the process, she learns to take charge of her own life.
'No One Killed Jessica' (2011)
Raj Kumar Gupta-directorial No One Killed Jessica, based on the infamous real-life murder of model Jessica Lal, follows the story of two strong women associated with the high-profile case and determined to seek justice- Jessica's sister Sabrina (Vidya Balan) and passionate reporter Meera (Rani Mukerji). The movie shows the harrowing on-ground realities of the murder that shook India in 1999. Still relevant, still true.