Bollywood Moving Towards Women Empowerment In 2018
It has been more than 100 years since our film industry came into the picture (pun intended) and since then it has only grown. It is as diverse as the genres of movies and has given us films that we enjoy, love, and take inspiration from. While commercial drama and entertainment is the forte of Bollywood, the last couple of years have seen a sudden move towards movies focused on women empowerment, especially in 2018. And unlike the past decade, these women-oriented movies did exceedingly well on the box office and also received critical acclaim. This wave has changed the way Indian audience looks at movies and it has created a massive shift in the content of Bollywood movies. For this we are grateful to the following movies:
This year Bollywood had an extremely controversial beginning with Padmaavat finally getting a release date. Loosely based on the poem Padmavat, it starred Deepika Padukone portraying the central and titular character along with Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor as her co-stars. This was also one of the very few Bollywood movies ever, where the female actor was paid more than her male counterparts. Woot for SLB on this one!
Having a male protagonist spread awareness about women’s needs and sanitation is a commendable milestone in itself. This movie was inspired by the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary pads with an intention to make it available to everyone. It was great to have a movie in the first quarter where the story was a bigger hero.
Since forever, we have seen spy thrillers being based on a hero but Raazi, which was based on the novel Calling Kismet, revolved around a female spy who did more than fighting and training to serve the country. This movie is one of the very few movies that showed gender equality and got appreciations from the critic and audience alike. Raazi was also the second movie ever to cross the 100 crore mark domestically with a female lead.
Veere Di Wedding
Another movie that falls into the “one-of-the-very-few” category was Veere Di Wedding that revolves around four female friends who want to live life on their own terms. Female buddy films are not a thing for Bollywood and this one made its mark. The film starred Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Swara Bhaskar, and Shikha Talsania in lead roles and they introduced the audience to crass-talking, malfunctioning, imperfect urban girls who were happy and proud of their imperfections.
Stree revolved around an Indian folk legend where a female spirit is known to attack and abduct men. The movie, with more male characters than female, has a strong message towards women empowerment and it snuck the message under the extremely hilarious screenplay and story. Some instances where Vicky (Rajkummar Rao) mentions that a woman needs to be treated with respect and we as a society need to modify our thought process makes this movie so amazing.
There are movies with a social message and then there are female-centric movies, however, Pataakha has created his own separate category. It is the first ever sibling rivalry movie in the last decade that revolves around two sisters. While bro movies are a dime a dozen in Bollywood, Pataakha is one of its kind. Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, Pataakha starred Sanya Malhotra and Radhika Madan who performed excellently in the film.
Being a helicopter parent is not really a compliment and this movie explained it very well. Eela (Kajol), whose life revolves around her son, forgets about her dream of becoming a singer. As his son grows up, this relationship starts to become suffocating for the millennial boy who has no privacy in life. The movie shows both sides of a relationship and shares a very important message for single mothers to let go things a little and pursue their passion that devotion is very generous but self-love is also very important for a person.
2018 has been a great year for Bollywood. There were movies that entertained us and there were movies that educated and inspired us! We’ve just one thing to say, keep’em coming guys.