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5 Empowering Movies Every Woman Should Watch

Posted: September 25, 2020

Block your weekend to binge watch these five empowering movies that any woman would love!

Living in a patriarchal society, we tend to normalise certain toxic behaviours. When we sit back to think about the problems faced by our country, the first thing that strikes our mind is the discrimination and injustice experienced by women.

Movies often act as a tool to portray the reality of our society. They also inspire us to take action against the atrocities prevalent around us.

Here’s a list of five movies every woman should watch to realise that the moment she stands up for herself, she can fight against the system and bring about a change.

Bol

Directed by Shoaib Mansoor, Bol is a social drama based in Lahore. It presents before us the story of a young woman, Zainub (Humaima Malick) and her family. Zainub’s father, referred to as Hakim Sahab (Manzar Sehbai) is the embodiment of the patriarchal set-up. His resentment for his daughters and transgender child Saifi (Amr Kashmiri) shows the toxic masculinity that he harbours.

Zainub emerges as a strong and bold character who raises her voice against all the injustices her father had imposed on her and the family. This is why she is seen as a strong and opinionated woman who acts as an inspiration for the women who often fail to speak up for themselves.

The movie also shows how important the role of men in the empowerment of women is. This is done through the character of Mustafa played by Atif Aslam. He acts as a foil to Hakim. Hakim believes in male dominance and repression of women, but Mustafa believes in liberation and equality.

As the movie approaches its end, it is revealed that Zainub was compelled to murder her father because of unavoidable circumstances and is hanged for the offence. Her family members start a café named ‘Zainub’s café’ in her memory and support themselves which earlier had not been possible in the presence of the Hakim.

The movie therefore showcases the emancipation of a group of females who finally break free from the restricted lives they had been leading. Thus, it comes as an inspiration for every woman who desires to live a free and unbounded life.

Akaash Vani

Directed by Luv Ranjan, Akaash Vaani tells the story of two young lovers, Akaash (Karthik Aryan) and Vani (Nushrat Bharucha).  As Vani fails to inform her parents about her relationship with Akaash, they decide to get her married to the man of their choice, Ravi.

After her marriage, she becomes a victim of mental and physical torture at the hands of her husband. This shows the deep rooted patriarchy in our society.

Though Vani assumes a submissive role in the beginning, towards the end, she speaks her heart out to her parents stating why she cannot live with her husband. Vani’s speech gives voice to not only her own condition but also the condition of several other women who fail to speak up against the dominance they face by the male members of their family, specially the husband.

Vani’s character brings out the fact that not every marriage ends on a happy note, not every time the partner parents choose for children is the correct one and not every time starting a family with someone you don’t love is a solution to your problems. She also highlights the fact that though parents do have the right to choose a life partner for their children, they should also look after their happiness. One is not bound to honour the decision taken by one’s parents if it costs one’s happiness.

Ultimately, Vani gets a divorce from her husband, resumes her studies and marries Akaash, the man she had always been in love with and the man whose love and support played an important role in enabling her to fight against the wrong. Thus, the movie conveys a very strong message that every individual has the right to live the life of their choice and that the opinions of the society should not really matter in this regard.

Ki and Ka

Ki and Ka is directed by R. Balki and focuses on the fact that it is not always necessary to expect a woman to manage both her home and work. It also shows that if one respects the choice of a woman to be a housewife, one should also respect the choice of a man to become a homemaker.

The movie conveys the message that it is as respectable for a man to live in his wife’s house as it is for a woman to live in the house of her husband. This is where equality lies.

Moreover, another point where the movie diverts from conventional societal norms is in presenting Kabir (Arjun Kapoor) as few years younger to his wife Kia (Kareena Kapoor). It is usually seen that in a marriage, it is the woman who is and is supposed to assume a meek and submissive role.

However, this convention is brought to an end in the movie and both the partners enjoy equal rights and responsibilities. An individual should choose his or her area of work depending upon their abilities rather than blindly following the social norms and conventions.

Queen

Queen, directed by Vikas Bhal presents the story of Rani (Kangana Ranaut). The word ‘Queen’ in itself symbolizes independence, self-confidence, self-esteem and the power to take decisions. All these elements have been brought out well in the movie through the character of the protagonist.

Travelling around Europe, Rani slowly comes out of the shell where she had kept herself locked up throughout her life. She gradually realizes that her ex-fiancé Vijay (Rajkumar Rao) had been controlling her and forbidding her from enjoying the simple pleasures of life. When away from him, in unknown places, she tried all that he had once prevented her from experiencing.

She eventually makes new friends, visits different places and enjoys her life without a male counterpart. Rani finally understands that a man cannot define her worth. The first person who will always be with her, by her side is she herself. The moment she starts finding joy in living by herself is the moment she starts enjoying her life.

Lakshmi

Lakshmi presents before us a grotesque picture of the Indian society. Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, the movie shows the journey of a fourteen- year-old girl, Lakshmi (Monali Thakur). She is kidnapped from her village by Chinna (Nagesh Kukunoor) who runs a brothel and wants her to work there as a prostitute.

It shows the various ways in which sex workers are ill treated. Chinna beats them, exploits them sexually and punishes them. Apart from this, he also brutally assaults Jyothi (Shefali Shah), the woman who manages the brothel, when he gets to know that she helped Lakshmi escape from the place. Jyothi ultimately castrates Chinna after which she slits her own wrist. This results in both of them bleeding to death.

We can see that both Lakshmi and Jyothi emerge as strong female characters. One, a young girl of fourteen who stands against all odds to make sure that justice is delivered to her and her companions and the other, a grown up woman who brings an end to the male dominance and exploitation.

Whereas Lakshmi’s trials to run away from her situation brought about no change, the moment she decided to face her troubles and fight against injustice, success came to her. With the help of her lawyer (Ram Kapoor), she succeeds in bringing justice to not only herself but also to the other girls facing the same situation. Hence, she emerges as a female figure everyone should look up to. This proves running away from a situation is never the solution to any problem. The solution lies in fighting against the wrong doings and demanding justice.

Thus, we see the important role played by movies in bringing about social change and justice. The importance of movies in enabling individuals to give voice to their emotions cannot be ruled out.

Hope that you enjoyed reading this article and will make an attempt to watch the movies mentioned.

Picture Credits: Still from the movie Lakshmi

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