11 Must Watch 2023 Women Centric Movies On OTT For Your Holiday Viewing!

Looking for women centric movies for holiday binding? Here's a round-up of those we liked on OTT, with memorable women characters.

We still live in a man’s world, inspite of decades of resistance and progress. People say that films mirror society, especially in a country like ours where stars are quite literally worshipped even today.

Though women characters continue to be sidelined while the so called ‘alpha male’ is glorified in certain movies, there is a change in the way most filmmakers have started viewing cinema. Content is key and with a shift in society’s paradigm of an ‘ideal woman’, there are more and more films which are bestowing women with characters that are actually integral to the plot.

Here are a few of them.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

This coming-of-age story highlights the insecurities that plague pre-teens as they try their best to navigate through their ever-changing bodies and surroundings. The film shows both late and early bloomers and portrays how no one has the perfect transition to adulthood. The film subtly delves into body dysmorphia, conflicts that one has with oneself concerning religion and the struggle of trying to fit in.

Streaming on Netflix.

Chhatriwali

In this film, Sanya (Rakul Preet Singh) is an unemployed chemistry graduate whose dire monetary situation forces her to take up a job at a local condom factory. She falls in love with Rishi whose strict elder brother is a biology teacher. Being the conservative man that he is, he skims over the chapters on reproductive health. The nuanced performance of the character playing his wife mirrors the situation of a vast majority of married Indian women.

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Set in Karnal, this movie emphasises the need for open dialogue pertaining to sexual health, especially for the benefit of women through Sanya. It is not often that we see female characters being vocal about their requirements, especially in Indian cinema.

Streaming on ZEE5

Sesham Mike-il Fathima

The Kalyani Priyadarshan starrer revolves around a chirpy woman who aspires to be a football commentator in an environment of misogynists. The profession is gendered throughout the story while the lead continues to stay optimistic, ultimately steamrolling her way to victory.

What starts off as a typical feel-good Malayalam movie ends up representing the struggle that women from conservative backgrounds must endure in order to realise their dreams.

Streaming on Netflix

Jaane Jaan

Jaane Jaan is a thriller streaming on Netflix and is adapted from Keigo Higashino’s book, ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’. A riveting film, with a nail-biting build-up.

A single mother running a small restaurant has made a life for herself and her teen daughter in a small town. Her upstairs neighbour has a crush on her, and as we see later, ready to do anything for her. Her estranged husband turns up one day, a nasty man who was abusive to her. What happens later makes up this thriller starring Kareena Kapoor, Jaideep Ahlawat, and Vijay Varma.

Streaming on Netflix

Neeyat

Directed by Anu Menon, this movie presents us with a female detective for a change. Meera Rao, played by Vidya Balan is quick-witted and plays the role of a CBI officer who must find out who is guilty of the murder of Mr. Kapoor at his birthday getaway. Several supporting characters such as Prajakta Kohli and Shashank, who plays Mr. Kapoor’s son, add life to the story.

Streaming on Prime Video

Barbie

Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, this movie explores the theme of everyday unnoticed inequity in society. The transition from Barbieland to Kendom and how one visit to the real world infects Ken with misogyny and bigotry reflect how rigged society is.

This movie goes beyond glam and glitter. It is about delivering the message of feminism to people who don’t comprehend the concept.

Streaming on Jio Cinema

Tarla

This biopic of the Padma Shri winning Tarla Dalal, beautifully illustrates the journey of Tarla who like most Indian women was restricted by domesticity. Huma Qureshi takes us through Tarla’s life by showing her burning desire to achieve something and depicting her struggles on the way.

This well-deserved biopic pays tribute to a woman who unlike the others of her time, refused to allow the caging of her dreams.

Streaming on ZEE5

Boston Strangler

Based on true events, this movie highlights the journey of reporters, Loretta Mclaughlin and Jean Cole, as they combat sexism while investigating into the Boston Stranglers murders. The film divulges the mistreatment perpetrated against women and minorities while simultaneously showing how two women back in the 1960s cracked the case of a serial killer terrorising the city.

Streaming on Disney+Hotstar

Baipan Bhaari Deva

This Marathi film is a celebration of womanhood as it discusses the lives of six estranged sisters who are forced to come together for a competition. The scenes are very vibrant and comforting since the characters are very diverse and come from different age groups.

This stirring tribute to sisterhood is a sure-fire entertainer.

Streaming on Jio Cinema

Nimona

Set in a somehow medieval as well as a futuristic world, this animated film is about Nimona, a mischievous teen. When a knight is framed for a crime that he did not commit, Nimona is the only person who can save him. This film explores the dichotomy of good and evil. Though shapeshifting, Nimona’s main pronouns are she/her and yet, she is far from docile unlike the typical female protagonist. The beauty of the film lies in the punk-rock, fierce, pro-trans energy it gives off while being a family entertainer.

Streaming on Netflix

Joy Ride

This hilarious Ashley Park starrer is a journey of self-discovery coupled with the exploration of female friendships. It also subtly divulges the racism faced by Asian Americans. Audrey played by Ashley Park goes in search of her birth mother to close a business deal. The journey that she embarks on with her four friends ends up becoming a bonding experience that helps us realise the importance of self-discovery and loving ourselves for who we are.

Streaming on Prime Video

Actresses are acquiring meatier roles by the day, making the audience take their characters more seriously. Normalising a female protagonist who isn’t just another damsel-in-distress will encourage societal changes. However, for every Darshana Rajendran in ‘Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey’ we unfortunately have a Rashmika Mandanna in ‘Animal’. In my opinion though, it is important to acknowledge how far we have come. The movies in the list give us hope for a better tomorrow, both in cinema and in real life alike.

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shreya krishnan

An engineering student with a thing for writing, I hope to become a force to reckon with in the world of media and journalism someday read more...

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