Since time immemorial, Bollywood has usually portrayed it’s heroines as eye-candies and majority of the directors have been reluctant to give full-fledged roles to the female protagonists. But in the present time, overcoming their inhibitions, Bollywood directors have come forward in large numbers to make women-centric movies where the leading ladies are giving a tough competition to their male counterparts.
In the last decade, Bollywood has given us some solid content-based women-oriented movies where the female protagonists have shown us some marvelous performances breaking all the notions of the past. This trend has not only given a great boost to our leading ladies but has also encouraged our filmmakers to make more such subject-driven movies primarily revolving around women. Here we have collected a list of the top 15 female-oriented movies from the past decade.
Queen is about 24-year-old simple girl, Rani who decides to go on her honeymoon alone after her fiance cancels their wedding. While on her trip, she makes new friends and learns to tackle various situations on her own through many day to day life experiences. She not only finds joy in spending time with herself but also emerges as a better and independent person. The beautiful subject, amazing direction and Kangana’s effortless performance in the movie won everyone’s hearts and the film got both commercial as well as critical acclaim.
2. Mary Kom
When beauty queen Priyanka Chopra decides to do something, she simply does it. The former miss world has always been brave enough to choose different roles and has played it with perfection. In this movie, Priyanka is seen playing the role of the five times boxing champion, MC Mary Kom. The film is about the struggle and success of the renowned boxer who chases her dream of becoming a world champion in boxing, overcoming all barriers in her life.
Mardaani deals with the sensitive issue of women and child trafficking in a very matured way. Rani plays the role of a brave cop in the crime branch who exposes an entire chain of child trafficking and rescues several innocent girls who are trapped in the case. After keeping herself away from the silver screen for sometime, Rani made a wonderful comeback with a powerful performance in this flick.
Highway revolves around the story of Veera, a young bride-to-be and a daughter of a rich man, who finds freedom in her captivity when she is kidnapped for ransom. Instead of being terrified of her abductor, she begins to like him and finds peace and happiness in her new adventurous life which she never found in the sophistication of the closed doors of her lavish mansion. The film is shot in the beautiful locations of the northern India which is a treat to the eyes. Alia’s acting in this flick is counted as one of her most matured performances till now.
6. Gulab Gang
Dhak Dhak girl Madhuri Dixit made her comeback into Bollywood with this film which deals with the story of a fearless woman who fights against social injustice and motivates other suppressed women to battle against injustice and abuse towards them. The film is based on the group of pink saree clad women in areas of UP and MP who raise their voice against social issues such as domestic violence, rape, dowry system, etc. Madhuri who is known for her beautiful smile and outstanding dancing skills, gave a powerful performance in the movie and won huge applauds from the critics. Juhi Chawla also played a major role in the film.
7. Dedh Ishqiya
Dedh Ishqiya is another film starring Madhuri Dixit which shows her brilliant acting skills. The movie also shows an excellent chemistry between Madhuri Dixit and her co-star Huma Qureshi who have played the role of friends in the film. It also carried forward the drama in the lives of Khalujaan and Babban (characters from the movie’s prequel – Ishqiya). It is one of those unique flicks which has touched the sensitive topic of the LGBT community in Bollywood.
After getting not-so-good remarks from both the audiences as well as critics, Sonam Kapoor has finally showed her good acting skills in the movie Khoobsurat, where she plays the role of a quirky physiotherapist who is appointed to work for a royal family. With her lively and cool attitude in the movie, she did impress both critics and the audience this time.
Kahaani is one such movie which will keep you glued to your seats till the very end. It shows what a woman can do with her inner strength and power when she is determined to achieve something. The film revolves around the story of Vidya Bagchi, a software engineer who travels all the way from London to Kolkata to find her missing husband Arnab. With her intriguing and powerful acting skills in this movie, Vidya has set a benchmark for all the female protagonists in Bollywood. She was highly acclaimed for her mind-blowing performance not only from the audience but also from critics and her co-workers in the film industry.
This one by National award winning director Nagesh Kukunoor is a masterpiece. The story shows a beautiful bond of friendship between two women when their paths crossed with some purpose. The way the character of Gul Panag adds some happiness to the colorless life of widowed Ayesha Takia in the film is heart-touching. Both the ladies gave beautiful performances and were totally convincing in their respective roles.
11. No One killed Jessica
The film is based on the Jessica Lal murder case where a model was shot dead by the son of a powerful politician. Rani Mukherjee plays the role of a fearless journalist who is also an activist at heart and always fights for justice. She teams up with the sister of the victim played by Vidya Balan and exposes the corrupt system thereby seeking justice for the deceased victim. Both Rani and Vidya has given power-packed performances in this flick.
12. English Vinglish
English Vinglish is about an Indian housewife who is looked down upon by her husband and daughter due to her inability to speak and understand English properly. But she doesn’t give up and goes out to learn English. In the process of doing so, she she regains her self-confidence and dignity and also makes her family realize her importance in their lives. Sridevi, who played the lead role, gave a power-packed performance in the film and won everyone’s heart including the critics and the audiences.
13. The Dirty Picture
The Dirty Picture is a biographical film based on the life of South Siren ‘Silk Smitha’, who was famous for her erotic roles in movies. The film depicts her journey as an extra in the movies who eventually became a successful actress in the male-dominated Southern film industry in the 80’s. Vidya Balan, who played the role of Silk Smitha in the film took all the major awards that year and she also received huge critical acclaim for her sensational role in the movie.
14. Revolver Rani
This film is a satirical and unconventional love story which is set against the backdrop of politics. Kangana Ranaut plays the role of Alka Singh, a powerful female politician who falls in love with a rising star of Bollywood and uses her power in every way to keep him safe from her enemies. Even though the film didn’t do well at the box-office, Kangana got critical appreciation for her offbeat role in this flick.
15. 7 Khoon Maaf
7Khoon Maaf is based on one of Ruskin Bond’s short stories, ‘Susanna’s Seven Husbands’. The film is about femme fatale Susanna Anna-Marie Johannes, an Anglo-Indian woman who murders her seven husbands in her never-ending quest for love. As she losses her mother at a very young age, Susanna becomes hungry for love and can go to any extent to find true love. In this course of action, she ends up marrying a number of times and all her husbands go missing under mysterious circumstances. Priyanka Chopra, who played the role of Susanna, won a number of awards for her wonderful performance in the film. She played each of her roles in the movie with utmost perfection.
As they say, “There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise”, these Bollywood divas have totally validated this quote and have rightly proved that they are more than just eye-candies and can stand at par with the leading men by their great acting abilities in this male-dominated film industry.
Hoping to see more such powerful women-oriented movies in Bollywood in the near future. So, which one among the above Bollywood female-centric movies is your personal favorite? Feel free to share with us in the comments section below.
Kudos to you ladies!