The first glimpse of Shraddha Kapoor‘s upcoming film, Haseena – The Queen of Mumbai, in which she plays Haseena Parkar, the late sister of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, will give you the chills. This is the first time that Shraddha has come out of her bubbly-image and stunned us with her absolutely bold facade.

Shraddha Kapoor

Shraddha will be seen as Haseena and the movie will focus on her life from the age of 17 to 40. Shraddha never met Haseena, who passed away in 2014, which was really necessary for this film and character. “I am excited, but I am more nervous as I play her from the age of 17 to 43, so the whole character graph is there. The character is going to be difficult. I hope I’m convincing,” said Shraddha, Indian Express reports.

We women never fear to fight the battle, sometimes we win, sometimes we don’t. But we never give up. Those tales remain unheard, unrecognized! But what could be a better way possible to showcase those struggles, those wins or losses, and survival (sometimes not!) other than via films. And if the movies are inspired by real life incidents, they always hold a special place in our hearts.

Here are some women-centric Bollywood movies that are inspired by real events:

Also Read: 8 Actresses Who Took On Sexism In 2016

Aandhi (1957)

Based on the life of the first female Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, this all-time classic has a special place in the ‘real-life films’ genre. Suchitra Sen portrayed Gandhi’s character on screen not just as a strong politician, but also as a woman who stands unbeaten. Her personality and the way she survives and adapts to the changes surrounding her, the film showed it all.

Aandhi movie
Source: Wikipedia

Sadly, the film was banned by the ruling government at that time, but later premiered on television. As India wasn’t very much used to watch women-centric movies in that period of time, so audience enjoyed the whole package and is considered one of the best films Bollywood has ever made about a woman’s choices in a men-dominated society.

READ: The gender pay gap in Bollywood is huge: Says Vidya Balan

Bandit Queen (1994)

The movie portrays the real life story of dacoit Phoolan Devi, who was imprisoned in 1983 and freed in 1994. Phoolan Devi was a courageous woman who was tormented again and again by men. She finally gave back this male-driven society a taste of revenge.

Bandit Queen movie
Source: The Indian Express

At a time when she was prosecuted by the police and turned into a rebel, people used to call her the modern Robin Hood. The movie depicts her journey and struggle. Later, Phoolan Devi entered the politics and was assassinated in 2001.

READ: I Love My Body, Says Vidya Balan

No One Killed Jessica (2011)

This movie depicts the brutal murder of a Delhi-based model Jessica Lal who was killed by one of three guys whom Jessica had refused to serve drinks after closing hours. The guy who shot her was the son of a big politician. The most talked murder case of its time, the struggle that Jessica’s family had to go through to bring the influential murderer to justice is finely depicted in this film which stars talented actors like Vidya Balan. While Balan played Sabrina Lal, the sister of Jessica Lal, Rani Mukherji played a journalist. The film was directed by Raj Kumar Gupta.

No One Killed Jessica movie
Source: OnlyMovie.Net

Sadly, all eyewitnesses backed off under political influence and the murderer was acquitted due to shortage of evidence. The title was inspired by the 2006 headline of a news story when the main accused was acquitted by the trial court. After intensive media coverage triggered protest all over the country, the main accused, Manu Sharma, was awarded a life sentence.

The Dirty Picture (2011)

The Milan Luthra biopic is allegedly based on southern siren Silk Smitha, depicting her rise to fame and stardom and subsequent fall that led to her suicide. Who could have player this character better than Vidya Balan?

The Dirty Picture movie
Source: Daily Fun Online

Blatant about her sexuality, which almost borders on arrogance, the film has everything. In a country of repressed sexuality, Vidya’s role was a breath of fresh air and her swag and bold lines were an instant hit.

Vidya bagged her first National Award with this film and ‘The Dirty Picture’ till now remains as the boldest movie in Bollywood history. It gives us the journey of an ordinary woman, who from being an extra on the film sets, becomes a top heroine in the 80’s male-dominated South industry. Although Silk Smitha eventually dies, she was a superhit on screen in her time.

Also read: 5 ‘First Women’ in India: Pioneers who broke gender barriers in their fields

Mary Kom (2014)

The biopic on India’s boxing legend MC Mary Kom, played by Priyanka Chopra on screen, received rave reviews. The movie covers every inch of the five-time world champion boxer’s life story.

Darshan Kumar and Sunil Thapa are in supporting roles as her husband and mentor, respectively. The film depicts Manipuri girl Kom’s journey of becoming a boxer to her victory at the 2008 World Boxing Championships in Ningbo.

Mary Kom movie
Source: Sami Naik

Overall, this film shows us not just how tough it is for a woman to go mainstream sport, but also how she had managed to make it through after having kids. This gritty sports biopic is indeed a must watch if you want to know how to survive as a boxer, regardless of gender, gets bruised and bloody in the ring.

Also Read: Not ready to hang up her gloves: Remembering Mary Kom’s finest Sporting Moments

Gulaab Gang (2014)

The film portrayed the Gulabi Gang of Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh, which was led by Sampat Pal Devi. Starring Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla, this 2014 crime drama was centred on the struggle of women in the country. Directed by Soumik Sen, the pink saree-clad gang has activists and vigilantes members in Bundelkhand who started in response to widespread domestic abuse and violence against women. The story was then picked up by several groups, has been made in a documentary as well by Nishtha Jain. Because of their protest against issues like domestic violence, the dowry system, rape, electricity matters, and education has waves certain rages.

Gulaab Gang movie
Source: YouTube

You May Also Like: 3 Impactful documentaries on women in India

Neerja (2016)

Air hostess Neerja Bhanot died two days before her 24th birthday. Played on screen by Sonam Kapoor, the film is set on September 5, 1986, when the ill-fated Pan Am Flight 73 takes off from Bombay. Neerja, as chief purser for the first time, is taking care of the morning flight while four terrorists affiliated to Palestine’s Abu Nidal Organisation are offering their last prayer in Lyari, Karachi.

Neerja Movie
Source: FilmCafe

The terrorists manage to take the flight hostage. But the real trouble arises at the boarding zone where 360 passengers are left at the mercy of trigger.

READ: ‘She died so others might live’: 6 things to know about Neerja Bhanot

The writer has portrayed Neerja’s role in such a way that most of her personality traits become visible. The film depicted how she made history by saving the passengers’ lives. Also, it shows us how a woman in that critical situation, keeps calm and tries to solve a problem, eventually losing her life.

Neerja who was posthumously recognized with bravery awards by India, Pakistan, USA, and other countries.

Haseena – The Queen of Mumbai releases on July 14, 2017.

Also Read: Is Bollywood scared of feminism?

Feature Image Credit: Instagram

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