With the extension of the lockdown, we are all going to be home for longer. So spend this time watching these 6 feminist Hindi movies.
The Indian film industry, much like the Indian society is primarily male-dominated. Most of the Hindi movies are centred around the hero while the heroines are generally shown running to them for protection.
But there are certain movies that show women in the true form- strong, unbreakable and unstoppable. Though recently there have been a number of movies in the Indian cinema that present women power, some of them made a deep impact on me. And I am sure they will touch your heart as well. So here are six movies that you need to add to your watchlist.
The 2016 movie Pink raised a very important and relevant social issue- that of the importance of consent. Pink revolves around the lives of three young confident and self-dependent women- Minal, Falak and Andrea.
These three decide to attend a party at a farm house and that is where their problems begin. They get trapped in an unwanted situation and even have to go to court to prove it was ‘not their fault’ to be at a party, drink and talk to boys. (All of which are considered normal for the boys but unusual for the girls)
They have their character assassinated for no reason at all. Though it was Minal who was attacked by the man, she is presented as the perpetrator of the crime. She defends herself when the man tried to force himself on her. But throughout the court proceedings, it is presented like she was the one at fault for being attacked. Questions like why were she out so late night, what she was wearing, why she was drinking, why was she hanging out with boys are all fired on her.
It is their lawyer who ultimately wins the case by raising a very valid point- importance of consent to have sex with anyone. If a person says, NO you should stop then and there. No means No. It should never be taken lightly. This heart-touching movie is available on Netflix.
English Vinglish (2012) is a movie based on the life of a simple homemaker Shashi. Shashi is an excellent cook and even runs a small home-run business of making and selling Laddoos.
Her husband and daughter, often take her for granted for the simple reason that she isn’t fluent in English. Shashi gets an opportunity to learn the language when she is invited for her niece’s wedding in New York.
And she finally gives a heartwarming speech in English at the wedding to her husband and daughter’s surprise. They understand her pain at being mocked by them.
It gives a strong message that every person should be valued for their qualities. And we don’t have the right to look down on anyone. The movie is available on Zee5, Youtube and Google Play.
Queen (2014) is a movie based on the life of a middle-class young woman Rani. Rani is a simple and homely girl- about to get married as the movie starts.
But her fiancé suddenly changes his mind and breaks the relation as he finds Rani too simple for him. He feels she is not a modern and smart girl who will be a good match for him.
Rani is though heart-broken, decides to go on her honeymoon all alone and explore the world on her own. She not only discovers the world but also finds herself during journey full of a roller-coaster of emotions, fun, and adventures. This movie is available on Voot and Jio Cinema.
Dangal is a 2016 movie based on the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters Geeta and Babita. The best thing about this movie is that it’s based on a real story.
Mahavir Singh always wanted to be a top wrestler and win a gold medal for India. But his dream remains unfulfilled. So, he thinks he’d make his son a wrestler. And destiny had something else in store for him. He is blessed with daughters but no sons. In a state like Haryana, girls are trained to only be housewives. And he starts believing that his dreams will remain just those.
However, his girls prove him wrong and after rigorous training, Geeta and Babita win the medals their father always dreamt of. The twists and turns of the movie will have you laughing and crying with it.
I feel it’s a must-watch and is available on Netflix.
Another heart-winning movie based on a real living legend is Mary Kom (2014) The movie depicts the life and career of the boxing champion Mary Kom witness a big change and face challenges after she gets married and gets pregnant.
You feel the helplessness and pain of a woman on being pregnant in the middle of a shining career. She can neither sacrifice her pregnancy nor she wants to give up on a hard-earned career. When she bears twin boys and has a long journey before her to get on track again.
Fortunately, she is backed by a loving and supportive husband who happily takes care of the kids while pushing her to restart her career. She overcomes all challenges and becomes the world’s number one female boxer!
The movie gives you hope and loads of inspiration to overcome adversity. Put it on your watch list. Available on Netflix and Jio Cinema.
Chhapak (2020) is another movie based on Laxmi Agarwal’s life. She is an acid attack survivor who is fighting for the rights of other acid attack survivors.
Laxmi was a 15-year-old young school girl, full of hopes and dreams when she was attacked by a man more than twice her age for refusing his marriage proposal. This attack changed her life forever.
She went through extreme physical, mental and psychological pain. But with the help of the right people, she came out of this trauma and is now an internationally known face in the fight against acid attacks. She is a motivational speaker, a social activist, a model and an advocate for the rights of acid attack survivors. Do watch the superb movie. Available on Hotstar.
A version of this was earlier published here.
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