March 8 Watch-List: 8 Films That Changed The Portrayal Of Women In Bollywood

Over the recent years, Bollywood has been producing films that promise a positive change in the way female characters are written and showcased. Though it is just a drop in the ocean, this trend has certainly initiated conversations about the need for gender equality in the society. So, on the occasion of Women’s Day, we have shortlisted 8 such movies that revolve around strong female leads.

1. Kahaani (2012)

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Breaking the stereotyped weakness of a pregnant female character, Kahaani is an epic thriller with the most unexpected climax scenes. Complete with plot twists that keep you on edge, the film focuses on the courage, grit and sharpness of a woman who takes on a dangerous mission by herself.

2. Queen (2014)

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Instead of telling the cry-story of a woman whose fiance cancels their wedding, Queen traces her journey from timid to confident. The film gets cheerful and inspiring as she decides to go on a honeymoon to a foreign land, alone!

3. NH10 (2015)

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Based on the horrific trend of honor killings in many communities, NH10 portrays its female lead as a brave, protective and vengeful woman. While trying to fight the unreasonable traditions imposed by goons, she emerges as an unstoppable braveheart avenging her husband’s murder.

4. Neerja (2016)

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Neerja tells the true story of  Neerja Bhanot, purser for the Pan American flight that was hijacked in 1986. While facing the dangerous hijackers, she emerges as a hero who sacrifices her life saving the passengers on the plane.

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5. Angry Indian Goddesses (2015)

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Described as “India’s first buddy female pic”, Angry Indian Goddesses is a fun-filled entertainer that takes a dig at the numerous issues faced by women even in modern, urban settings. Raising serious questions around the idea of gender equality, the movie concludes in a thought-provoking, open-to-interpretation fashion.

6. Margarita With A Straw (2014)

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Featuring Kalki Koechlin in the role of a teenager suffering from cerebral palsy, this film throws light on the themes of human sexuality, self-acceptance and more importantly, the need for a more inclusive environment in the society.

7. Mardaani (2014)

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Bollywood doesn’t have too many action movies with women as protagonists. However, Mardaani surely changes that. Its thrilling story line is all about standing up and fighting for the right cause. Featuring Rani Mukerji in the lead role of a stern police officer, the film delivers just the right punch.

8. Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016)

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Another movie with an open-ended conclusion, Lisptick Under My Burkha is a dark comedy that highlights the taboos faced by women in a conservative society. The film stars an ensemble cast comprising of Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur, all playing characters who express and explore their collective desire for freedom.

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