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These upcoming Hindi movies in 2019 (and a few that are already on the screen) promise to show us women as they are in the ‘real world’ – in a range of avatars. Check out our list, and make your plans!
“Nahin, mujhe chod ke mat jao, mai tumhare aage hath jodti hun”, (Don’t leave me!) this must’ve been said by at least a gazillion women in Hindi Movies on screen all through the 90s and sometimes even in the early 2000s. We’ve come a long way from there.
From the last few years, all our women onscreen have been rising to the occasion and celebrating life independently and how! From a woman who went on her honeymoon alone (Queen) to a daughter who wouldn’t budge for a man, prioritizing her father before anyone else (Piku) to a naïve simple housewife plunging ahead to take English classes to remind her family that she can achieve anything she wants to (English Vinglish). Last year too, we saw some terrific characters on screen, in Raazi, Andhadhun, Padmaavat, Hichki, Pari and more. We finally have iconic female characters now redeeming the terrible parts that they were confined to in the past.
While 2018 was exceptional, Hindi movies in 2019 look even more promising. Let’s take a look at the upcoming Hindi Movies in 2019 with strong female characters.
One of the most anticipated historical movies of this year, Manikarnika is the story of valour of the Queen of Jhansi. While we studied her through school perhaps only with a slight peek into her life, here is a detailed and a much celebrated movie on her life, her resolve and her determination to serve her country. Today, while we still argue about gender roles, here is a story to remind everyone that some women broke those barriers long, long ago.
At the centre of this movie is another strong woman, Kangna Ranaut who has been constantly battling the controversies around her. For what it’s worth, nobody has called out the hypocrisy of the film industry like she did and stuck through with it all along. Surely a film not to be missed, this one should be on the top of our bucket list of movies to watch in 2019.
Release: Out already in Jan 2019
Verdict: It’s a winner. Manikarnika has done exceedingly well in its release week and picked up pretty quickly. Despite the controversies surrounding it regarding the directing credits or actors walking out of the movie, the film was a super success. One of the most reassuring things in times of these big budget mindless entertainers, it reinstated the belief to never underestimate the audience. And of course there is clearly nothing women can’t do.
Every time there’s a piece of NEWS from Delhi, it does bring back some chilling memories and every time there’s a movie on crimes against women from the capital, it makes for a compelling watch. Soni is a Netflix movie revolving around two policewomen on the trace of crimes against women. The trailer is really gripping and I can’t wait to hop on to Netflix just to see it.
Verdict: On one hand there are the typical male bashing, women avenging dramas that have the woman riding on a horse on a rampage to kill her assaulters and then provide a near perfect but impractical solution to her viewers. On the other hand, are movies that subtly hold a mirror to us, showing us the real picture of our life. A picture of how difficult it is still for women on the streets, to stand up to rough men in a difficult job. Its 2019 and we speak about women empowerment or is it yet to happen as a reality. Soni stirs a great deal of unrest in the viewer but makes for a compelling watch.
With a movie that literally has a minute-long name, I was initially skeptical if I would have the patience to sit through the trailer at all. But as they say, patience pays, and it did with this one. Through most of the trailer, it looks like yet another fluffy story about a shy girl being constantly pressured to get married. All prospective grooms keep entering her life like she’s an airport lounge, but at the end it’s all too overwhelming for her and she breaks into a monologue.
It’s in the last glimpses we realize that she may not be interested in marriage at all, but needs a companion, and no judgements from the society. She wants the freedom to choose her partner without the fear of disapproval – especially when her partner is a woman.
Release: Feb 2019
Verdict: Although the movie did not do well financially, it did find a lot of mentions and strong reactions on all popular sites, especially since it addressed a sensitive topic in a subtle way in a mainstream Hindi film. A first on many levels but refreshing narrative and a sublime performance by all the cast.
After Slumdog Millionaire, suddenly along with the rest of the world, we as Indians also noticed the poverty in our country and the lives of the many underdogs who reside in the slums of Mumbai. Jai Ho had given a face to the countless dreams that were waiting to take off in these slums.
Gully Boy catches the same nerve and a lot more. It’s the story of an underdog, a suppressed kid (Ranveer Singh) who discovers rapping and tries to break into the music scene with his exceptional talent. Gully Boy is a captivating story about what goes into the making of an artist and also includes some fine (female) characters who break the shackles of their pressured, ordinary lives, and impact his life. This one’s already a winner with its casting and the absolutely addictive music. We have a perfect plan for Valentine’s Day.
Verdict: Gully Boy has become pop culture, and has influenced the youth in a big way with its dialogues and music. But special mentions were given to the female characters in the movie, all of which were superlatively entertaining, engaging and classy performances. Alia Bhatt’s dialogues became a rage, Kalki proved why she is awesome, and all other characters like Ranveer’s mother, grandmother, Albina, his aunt, Alia’s mother, all of them leave an imprint on our minds for long after the movie is done. This just goes to prove that strong female characters are not always in a women oriented film; they could be just as influential in a regular film.
Even if it was just a rumour that the world would end in 2012, metaphorically it did for all of us when in December the horrific news of Nirbhaya came out. The memory of the 2012 gang rape case still sends shivers down our spine. Delhi Crime is a Netflix series that covers the aftermath of the case as an anthology. It also brings to focus the work done by Vartika Chaturvedi in tracing the culprits and bringing momentum to the case which had the nation horrified.
Release: 22nd March 2019.
Verdict: The series is a disturbing but engaging watch. It brings back the horrific memories of the gruesome crime in 2012 that shook the nation. But Shefali’s portrayal of the brave office Vartika is a performance that will be in memory for long.
How long do we satiate ourselves watching girl dramas from the west be it Gossip Girl, Sex in the City, Girls etc.? It’s about time we have one of our own. While Veere di Wedding covered that for us in the movies, we finally have a series to binge watch on a weekend that is just for us girls. Released on Amazon Prime, Four More Shots Please is a drama about 4 female friends from different walks of life dealing with their lives in a modern conflicted world. Lap up ladies, don’t miss this one for sure!
Release: 25thJan 2019.
Verdict: It’s a first attempt at a female friendships drama, so it begins a bit a raw and rough around the edges. While the cast is interesting, the individual stories keep the viewers glued. Good for a one-time watch.
Badla is a super interesting gripping murder mystery about a woman (Taapsee Pannu) who is falsely accused of murdering her partner. What unfolds next is so unexpected, and holds you by the head, that you wouldn’t want to even turn your head around to catch a breath or even blink. It is one of those rare well-made thrillers that would actually need you to bring your brain along and some more.
Release: 8thMarch, 2019
Verdict: Absolutely flawless this thriller is a treat for fans of this genre. Compelling performances from Taapsee and Amitabh Bachchan, and a surprise element in the form of Amrita Singh. This is a concoction that should not be missed especially if you are craving for something engaging to watch.
Laxmi Agarwal, is an acid attack survivor and a fighter to stop acid attacks in India – and her life has been a constant inspiration. The word around is that Meghna Gulzar and Deepika Padukone would be creating this fine story and we would only have to wait with bated breath for this one! Deepika Padukone essays the role of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. She not only stars in the movie, but is also the co-producer raising the stake of this inspiring movie on the life of a survivor.
Image source: YouTube
If you google Mental Hai Kya and are not hooked, I’d be happy to lose a bet. Kangna and Rajkumar Rao, two talented and quirky actors doing some quirkier things on the poster is making this seem like a sleeper hit. I’d place a bet on that one for sure, who’s in? There’s addition to the starcast with a cameo from Shahrukh as was expected.
Release: Was supposed to release on 29th March 2019, still waiting.
Shooting for the film is ongoing, and going by Kangna and Rajkumar’s filmography the expectations on this one are quite high!
No trailer yet.
Kangna Ranaut fans can rejoice. The woman is unstoppable clearly. Starting the year on a magnificent note, she seems to be raring to go. She has another gem this time – a sports drama based on the life of a kabbadi player. Kangna stars in the titular role alongside Jassi Gill, Richa Chadha and Neena Gupta. Helmed by Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, this movie boasts of women power and how. Filming is ongoing and release is scheduled for later this year. Let’s go kabbadi kabbadi kabbadi…
Release: Dec 2019
Image source: YouTube
When Priyanka Chopra announces a movie in India, its sure to create waves. The resounding success of her Hollywood movies and series, raises the stakes for her next movie in India. Well Priyanka always manages to surprise us and this time it is with the movie The Sky is Pink. Directed by Shonali Bose who directed ‘Margerita with a Straw’ this drama is based on the life of motivational speaker Aisha Chaudhary who was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. She had a rare health condition that crippled her physically but still did not stop her from being an achiever, TedX Speaker and much more.
Release date: 11thOctober, 2019
When was the last time we saw women getting together for a black comedy? Let me scratch my brain, ummm, I guess NEVER. Women friendships or just satirical black comedy with female characters is vastly untapped in Hindi movies. But looks like 2019 is going to change that game for us. The movie stars Konkona Sensharma and Bhumi Pednekar directed by Alankrita Srivastava who debuted with the movie ‘Lipstick under my Burka’. The cast is eclectic and one can only wait with bated breath to check out the marvel this one’s going to be.
Release Date: TBD
When you hear that quirky a title, you realise this is just some dusty drama about the rural lands. Look closely and it’s a super quirky tale about world’s oldest and first sharp shooters, Chandro and Prakashi Tomar. Created under Anurag Kashyap’s banner, this one stars Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar in lead roles. The story is a seller already but so is the starcast which adds more zing to the already catch title.
Release date : TBD
If you’ve seen Hidden Figures and wondered why are women scientists never celebrated in our own country it’s because we always underplay their achievements. The spectacular achievement from India that sent our Mangalyaan to Mars included many extraordinary women, and was accomplished in much less time and budget than the US and Russia. Here’s an ode to them, Mission Mangal.
The cast boasts of Vidya Balan, Tapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha and Akshay Kumar. If reports are to be believed, we will finally have a space related movie of our own land. This indeed would be a giant leap for wo-mankind in India.
Release: Mid 2019
Although this movie was released in 2018, it won the best documentary at the 91st Academy Awards and so it should definitely be on our watch list.
This is a documentary about Indian women in the rural villages leading a quiet revolution. It follows a group of local women in the village of Hapur who learn to operate a machine that makes low cost biodegradable sanitary pads. It addresses a lot of issues our country has around menstruation, female hygiene and the tabboos that are based on fickle beliefs, and stars the inspiring activist Arunachalam Muruganantham.
Despite living in India, we still don’t know the grassroot problems the women in the villages face, especially when it comes to the most basic need of life. Go watch on Netflix now.
Released on: 5th April 2018
Bonus: Before I close, there is one non-Hindi movie to add to this list…
While this one is a Marathi movie, it makes a big case for broadening what you watch this year. Even in times when child marriage was a ‘normal’ tradition, there were exceptions and how. Married at the age of nine, little Yamuna was renamed Anandi by her 20 years’ older husband Gopalrao Joshi. But unlike other males of that generation, he encouraged Anandi to go to school and supported her to pursue medicine.
Anandibai Joshi was India’s first female physician and first woman to graduate with a degree in western medicine from US. This is her story and this Marathi movie should definitely be on our watchlist to revisit not only her but also her husband for empowering her and breaking the baseless traditions.
There are a few more anticipated movies like the biopics of Saina Nehwal – the young badminton achiever and Gunjan Saxena – India’s first female Combat Aviator, and also the saviour of many soldiers in the Kargil War.
That’s all folks, here’s a list of Hindi Movies in 2019 that we know of as yet. We sure have a lot to look forward to this year and how!
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