The rise of feminine power in movies

Neerja Bhanot’s biopic in 2016 showcased the underestimated feminine power of an ordinary flight attendant who not only saved the lives of passengers on board, but also sacrificed her life defending the terrorists. Not only the audience loved the movie, but also applauded the story and the performance. The recent movies like ‘Pink’, ‘Naam Shabana’ , ‘Phillauri’ were all about the various shades of feminine spirit. Some were courageous, lovable, unsung and some even waiting for love after life. Bollywood has definitely started recognizing the role of feminine power in movies.

Priyanka Chopra as Mary Kom in the sports biopic

An actress is no longer an oppressed victim or an eye candy. She is a fearless hero in herself who can overshadow even a celebrated star. It is not that Bollywood hasn’t made women-centric movies. There are countless movies dedicated to feminine spirit. Classic movies like ‘Pakeezah’, Sujata’, ‘Mera Saaya’, ‘Sharmilee’, ‘Seeta aur Geeta’ were testimony to the several faces of womanhood. The 90’s movie – Damini directed by Rajkumar Santoshi was a cult movie which highlighted the struggle of a woman to seek justice for her maid who was brutally raped. Since 90’s movies were all stuffed with item songs, action and comedy, there was no place for woman oriented cinema.

Neerja showcased the extraordinary courage of an ordinary girl

Yashraj Films gave a new lease of life to feminine power with the sports movie – Chak de featuring Shahrukh Khan as coach for women hockey team. Inspired by a true story, Chak de India recognized the unsung power of femininity. Not just movies, but even television has shown some of the inspiring serials. In late 80’s, actress Kavita Chaudhary came up with an inspiring TV show – Udaan which was based on life of Kiran Bedi, the courageous female cop. Even Rajni, a popular TV show on Doordarshan was based on an ordinary house wife who solves the issues happening in society. The 2011 movie – Dirty Picture exposed the dirty side of cinema and the story of an actress who will go to any lengths to find her mark in the movie world. This movie was based on Silk, a forgotten actress of South movies. Though Dirty Picture was a successful at box-office, the bold theme was not meant for family audience.

Phillauri was an entertaining movie focused around a ghost bride

In today’s society, a stud is admired for his flamboyant skills, but the same admiration doesn’t apply for a tomboy natured girl who has too many male colleagues in her social circle. She is labeled as a slut. What a low-leveled mindset of today’s society !! The movie Pink highlighted the dark truth of today’s 21st century women and how they are subjected to molestation, verbal harassment if they don’t agree to the lusty demands of spoilt aristocratic boys. Pink was a hard hitting movie highlighting the plight of girls staying in Delhi. The upcoming movie – Maatr will see actress Raveena Tandon as an avenger seeking vengeance on the people responsible for raping and killing her daughter. The 1998 movie – Dushman starring Kajol was based on Hollywood movie – Eye for an Eye. A brilliant projection of feminine spirit, it showed Kajol avenging the death of her twin sister who is killed by a psychopath. Other woman oriented movies like Chandni Bar, Astitva, Satta were topical and highlighted the struggle of woman for her identity. It is not that woman oriented movies have to be just serious. It can be a rom-com too. Movies like Aisha, Jab we Met, Hasee toh Phasee showed the jovial side of femininity. The Sonam Kapoor starrer – Aisha was based on Jane Austen’s best-selling novel – Emma, a match maker who ends up messing the lives of her friends by choosing a wrong partner for them and confusion erupts.

Naam Shabana is story of a undercover field agent

Now the dynamics of movie making has changed recently. Movies like ‘No one killed Jessica’, ‘Piku’, ‘Jab We Met’, ‘Highway’, ‘Neerja’, ‘Fashion’, ‘Mary Kom’ , ‘Mardaani’, ‘Akira’, ‘NH10’ have strong content focusing on female power. The recently released movie – Naam Shabana is loosely inspired on life of a real field agent. Even the romantic comedy ‘Phillauri’ featuring Anushka Sharma as the ghost bride is winning the hearts of audiences’ worldwide. The upcoming movies – Maatr, Noor, Mom, Begum Jaan are all topical showcasing the different strength of women coming from various walks of life.

Sonakshi Sinha will be portraying role of an aspiring journalist in upcoming movie – Noor

Bollywood is all geared to come up with more topical movies which will not only be entertaining, but also focus on the feminine power that was trampled by egoistic masculine star power. There will be a time when audience won’t need any Dabanng hero anymore. A powerful story will be enough to attract the audience to theatres.


Mardaani – A thought on spirit of courage


The term “Mardaani” symbolizes courage, fearlessness, masculinity, guts and a sense of patriotism in every man and woman to awake from the slumber of letharginess. ‘Mardaani’ was the title conferred to the great rani laxmibai of jhansi who laid her life fighting against the supremacy of british. Though she died, the fragrance of her ashes spread all over the nation, inspiring several freedom fighters like Bina Das, Kalpana Dutta and Pritilata Waddedar. The recently released hindi motion picture – Mardaani revolves around Shivani Shivaji Roy – a cop from Crime Branch whose battle becomes personal when her adopted girl named ‘Pyaari’ is abducted by the human trafficking gang, ran by a mysterious kingpin named ‘Waltz’. The girls are not only abducted, but also forced into flesh trade. Clues by clues brings Shivani more closer to the mysterious kingpin. But the moment she lays her hand on the clues, the fast the witnesses are slain. How Shivani cracks down the case and brings an end to illegal human trafficking has been shown very brilliantly in the movie. The USP of this movie is its raw, realistic treatment on life of cops, their attempts to crack down the case through help of informers. Above all, it is the spirit of their courage, honesty, fearlessness that keeps our city safe from every threat.

Kudos and a standing applause to actress Rani Mukherji for bringing the life a cop in a realistic and convincing way. Movies are reflection of reality and we see what exactly is happening in our lives and society. But after watching a hard-hitting movie we are only motivated to a short extent. After a short span of time, the motivation fades away. If a woman like Shivani can fight against human trafficking, can’t we at least fight for our rights and ideals.

Along with human trafficking, there are several anti-social practices carried out in our city. To end a corruption or bring down an injustice, you don’t need to be a cop. Your courage and action is enough to awake the lethargic souls. Every now and then, a person is miserably crushed by injustice in every walk of life – an office employee insulted by a team leader, senior citizens harassed by corrupt officials, a woman burnt for dowry, a girl molested by her own relative, a new student bullied in college, impact of domestic violence on a child and above all our fear to stand up against every wrong. Let our patriotism and courage be not limited to standing for national anthem in theatres. The moment I finished watching this movie, I knew I had to write on spirit of courage and spirit of ‘Mardaani’. This article is not a review on the movie, it is an awakening call for every one of us to wake from the slumber of idleness and stand up for our rights. Hope you all will connect with this inspiring thought.

Prashant Badiger