She is bold… She is fierce… She is powerful… She is independent and she is breaking the stereotypes. She is the ‘new woman of Bollywood’.
For a very long time, Bollywood movies have given us women who played second fiddle to the men, or were just present as the ‘beauty’ or ‘oomph’ factor in movies.
Of late though, writers and directors from Bollywood are creating women characters who believe in breaking all the barriers. Here is a list of 7 female characters from movies in the last give years, that have inspired female audiences to break free from all the stereotypes and norms.
“It’s never late to learn something new” – Shashi
Shashi played by the talented Sridevi, is a character who progressed over time to find her true self in the movie English Vinglish. Starting as a lady who was constantly disrespected by her family for not knowing proper English, Shashi comes out as a fiercely independent woman who knows how to run her own life. She breaks the norms with her determination to study and learn English at a certain age when she is generally expected to be at home and only take care of her family. Managing her family, her ladoo business and her struggles to learn English, altogether make Shashi the breakthrough woman.
“Don’t let a new experience scare you. Take the challenge and you’ll come out as a winner” – Rani
A list of breakthrough women characters from Bollywood will look futile without Rani from Queen. Rani played by Kangana Ranaut is simple and an innocent girl who later becomes a liberated woman. She was ditched by her fiance because she was apparently not modern, fashionable or from a high-class.
She decides not to wallow in self-pity after this but travels places on her own. After being back from her ‘solo honeymoon’ she is approached by her ex-fiance again, but she refuses him and moves on with her life as an independent woman, teaches us that being independent is empowering. Rani make us realize that marriage is not the be-all and end-all for women.
“I am not sterile, it’s you who are at fault” – Lajjoo
Parched, a movie set in the village of Rajasthan where patriarchy and chauvinism are at its highest peak. In such an environment Lajoo played by Radhika Apte is that woman who stood up to her abusive and chauvinistic husband. She tried changing the customs of their society by breaking the stereotypes and blaming the man for not being able to give her a child.
“Mental health is a serious issue, there is nothing wrong in getting therapy”- Kaira
Kaira played by Alia Bhatt in Dear Zindagi is a free-spirited, hard-working girl in her 20’s. Like every other girl of that age she is moody, career-oriented and tries to live her life to the fullest. But she has other issues to deal with in her life.
Those issues are not generally discussed in the society, like the longing, depression, anxiety and affection. Kaira takes these matters to the surface, accepts her mental issues breaking the taboo surrounding mental health. She questions the norms of “log kya kahenge” and “mental issues are nothing just a phase”. Hence comes out as a person who rather than finding the ‘perfect love’ starts loving herself more.
“You want to be an RJ, have you ever done it before?”- Baghi (poet played by Vijay Maurya)
“No, but I can do it”- Sulu
Sulu is played by the capable Vidya Balan in the movie Tumhari Sulu. She is that character who is sweet, determined and very hard-working. She as a person wants to do something on her own in life and prove her worth to the society that keeps taunting her for being useless. She goes up to become an RJ for a late-night show which is not usually accepted in the society. Despite all the struggles, she challenges the norms and comes out as a hero for the middle class ‘Bhartiya-Nari’.
“You don’t have to be a son to take care of your parents”- Piku
“Beta hoga to budhape ki lathi banega.” This is the generalized idea or mentality of our people. Women too can support their parents in every manner possible is what Piku proves in the film. Played by the versatile actress Deepika Padukone, Piky breaks the norms as she remains unmarried and lives with her father in their own home.
“You don’t understand girls because no one tries to understand them” -Jasmeet
Last but not the least, its Jasmeet played by Parineeti Chopra in the upcoming movie Namaste England directed by Vipul Amrutlal. In the recently launched 3 minutes trailer, Jasmeet appears to be a character who wants her freedom from the norms and ideals of the patriarchal society that always tries to pull women down. She demands her freedom from her husband Param (played by Arjun Kapoor). She questions the morality and double standards of the hypocritical society.
These were few recent women characters in Bollywood who emerged as role models, inspiring many women in real life. Do you also relate to these characters? Or do you have some other female breakthroughs characters inspiring you? Then comment your views in the comment section and share this article with millions of other women who can relate to these characters just like you.
Also, if you feel that Jasmeet form Namaste England sounds like a promising character then watch the trailer here and prepare yourself for the movie release.
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I read, I write, I dream and search for the silver lining in my life.
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