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Though women empowerment in Bollywood has a long way to go, here are some feminist movie dialogues that are gaining much-deserved attention.
Almost all of us have grown up watching Bollywood movies. We’ve gone from watching those iconic Shahrukh Khan movies to feminist masterpieces like Pink and Thappad. Not only this, the feminist Bollywood movie dialogues are becoming popular. You can see them trending all over social media.
I would like to believe that Bollywood movies are going beyond those utterly sexist dialogues on women’s bodies and sexual objectification.
Albeit these types of movies haven’t ceased to exist, a few movies are experimenting with a new genre of powerful women. These women talk back, get what they want and aren’t afraid to speak for themselves!
Naturally, these movies have superbly crafted dialogues that are sometimes powerful yet truthful- that it’s sadly beautiful. These people are inspiring, and so are these feminist Bollywood movie dialogues, that hit right to the heart.
Thappad, a 2020 movie, was about a woman seeking divorce after her husband slaps her. This movie is a part of my favourite feminist movies. The utter audacity of this movie to highlight something that is often neglected is praiseworthy.
This six-word dialogue holds the weight for those women who think slapping is normal in a relationship. It says so much without saying so much, which is why this is my favourite dialogue of this movie.
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, a 2008 film, was a romantic comedy about how a man tries to impress his wife through an arranged marriage. This movie portrays Taani, a shy girl, forced to marry a man of her father’s choice while he is on his death bed.
The movie is beautiful in its ways- especially when Taani says how women are fed the idea of marriage and a life of taking care of their spouse. But the moment a woman dares to dream, her world changes as society interferes.
English Vinglish, the 2012 film, is one of the best feminist movies of all time. Sridevi’s character, Shashi, is a housewife and is often ridiculed for her lack of English speaking skills. This movie makes you understand how ridiculing someone and deeming them as dumb can affect the person greatly.
While this movie had several dialogues, this particular dialogue stuck with me. It wonderfully tells how cooking might be art for men- women are taught that it’s a responsibility from an early age.
Veere Di Wedding, a 2018 movie, was a revolutionary movie amid the stereotypical movies Bollywood made. It targets the lives of four independent women and a holiday wherein they rediscover themselves.
The movie is rebellious. It talks about taboos and things that should be normalised. However, this dialogue hits home. This dialogue successfully explains how a woman’s life may never seem complete despite her numerous achievements if she doesn’t get married and settles down.
Pink, the 2016 movie, is a legendary movie that talks about sexual assault and prominent political interference. This movie is a feminist masterpiece in every way possible.
The dialogues of this movie are phenomenal, gut-wrenching and liberating. This particular dialogue talks about how saving our boys- from the wrong company- will eventually save our girls from falling into this trap.
Baadshaho, the 2017 movie, can’t be considered a feminist movie, but it does have some instances wherein the dialogues have wooed us with their feminist references.
One such dialogue is this by Queen Gitanjali- she simply tells how we see famous men who wrote the history- it’s always them. But, history is not always made by men. Some women come along silently- to make history.
We have Thappad again on this list because honestly, I can’t get enough of it. The movie is a slap- metaphorically on the faces of people that believe abuse is normal in a relationship.
In this dialogue, Amrita- the female protagonist, realises how she overlooked so many things under the facade of love. Moreover, after that one slap, she finally realised what was happening around her.
The last on our list is possibly the greatest dialogue in a Bollywood movie. This dialogue holds so much weight over a simple word- NO. A no means no, and this dialogue makes it clear.
People, especially in Bollywood, have failed to portray consent under the facade of love. We have seen movies that promoted stalking and eve-teasing a woman while objectifying her, and most of us have been okay with this filthy portrayal.
Bollywood is gradually changing, yes. But there are still some movies that have the recurring theme of this kind of love. But, these movies have time and again proved to us how consent is important and how one should stand up for themselves in this male-dominated cruel world.
Kudos to these movies and actors for portraying these fabulous and important characters with sincerity and benevolence!
Image source: Still from films mentioned.
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I am a journalism student with a penchant for writing about women and social issues. I am an intersectional feminist and an aspiring journalist. I identify as she/her. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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