Planet Bollywood
Women Empowerment in Hindi Films
- Pankaj Kumar Sinha, Planet Bollywood Correspondant           Let us know what you think about this article

These days, we observe a beautiful trend in Bollywood films with some brilliant roles being written for heroines and also for female character artistes. Female actors have started being taken seriously in Bollywood and we want this trend to stay. Let us accept one truth - women add more strength and substance to any family in real life. India is also changing and today women are matching steps with men in every field and also, as a bread earner for the family. The contribution of so many women is our country cannot be ignored and now we are able to see the same in celluloid. There are so many heroine centric films being made which are also becoming successful at box office. The Indian audience has been welcoming women centric films with open arms. The audience wants newer stories to be told and see interesting characters on the screen.

'The Dirty Picture', 'Kahaani', 'Fashion', 'Queen', 'Mary Kom', 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns', 'NH10', 'Piku' and 'Neerja' have been trendsetting films for heroines in the Bollywood and also have done well at the box office. These movies were well liked by the audience and got good reviews by film critics also. The success of these films encourages filmmakers to make more women centric films. We would also like to see heroines getting substantial roles in commercial films also. We do not want to see them any more as glamour objects doing six scenes and three songs. Their character should add value to the storyline. We would like our superstar male actors to support this trend by becoming a part of women centric films. This will be a good boost for the heroines in the industry.

The actresses like Vidya Balan, Kangana Ranaut and Priyanka Chopra have been the brave heroines and they chose tread a different path. They waited for movies with better roles for them than only acting in commercial films with big heroes. They have done that but have maintained a fine balance between doing commercial films and women centric films. Now other actors have started following them. We always had women centric films made but the recent success of these films showing India is changing in a positive way. The box office success for any film is most important.

We are also seeing good character roles being written for older actresses like Shefali Shah and Rathna Pathak Shah in movies like 'Dil Dhadakne Do' and 'Kapoor and Sons Since 1921'. They gave brilliant performances. We always had a shorter shelf life for female actors but I can see that changing. The shelf life is only for stars, not for actors. If you are a good actor then you will always remain a good actor. Marriage or children should not change that. Instead they should add more maturity to your acting performances. But the roles should not be restricted to playing mother or older sister. Juhi Chawla is great example for this. She was top star of her heydays. But after her marriage, she has been part of brilliant films and we have seen her playing more interesting characters in movies like 'My Brother Nikhil', 'Jhankaar Beats', 'Gulaab Gang' etc.

The Bollywood is going in a right direction as far as making women centric films are concerned. The heroines have to play important role in their choices to take this forward. They have rights to make a choice to be just a glamour object in a film or actor of class being part of brilliant stories. The commercial cinema is also important but better roles should be written for heroines to these films and being more value addition to the story. The Kareena Kapoor Khan starrer 'Ki & Ka' is expected to contribute significantly towards this trend. It seems to have an interesting plot with hero of the film taking care of the home and heroine is the breadwinner of the family.

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