10 Female-Centric Movies Of Bollywood 2021 You Must Watch

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Times are gone by where people used to heavily depend on male starrer movies. Now people demand more authentic, raw and real stories. The “masala” movies may financially make a good run a the box office, but in the last few years, there has been a growth in female-led movies too. In one of the survey reports by Interactive TV in 2017, it was found that 53% of the people visiting movie theatres are women. With the female audience in such a large number, it is important to cater for their demand and show more relatable movies.

In this context, it is necessary to understand the relevance that female-centric movie brings to the viewers. As a year-end round-up, we look at 10 female-centric films which made a mark.

10 Female-Centric Movies Of Bollywood 2021


Pagglait is a modern-day social drama directed by Umesh Bist. The movie throws light on the condition of a young widow who wants to live her dream and earn her living but is stopped by the family by pressurising her into re-marriage. The scenes of in-laws getting threatened on seeing the insurance paper of deceased son shows how society reacts to a woman being given authority to handle her own house.

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A still from the teaser of Pagglait.

Sanya’s role as Sandhya shows a character that is not so emotional on the death of her husband as she did not feel loved and important in relationship, but continues her role as daughter-in-law the way society expects her to, until the time she understands how necessary it is for her to live life on her own terms.


Tribhanga features Tanvi Azmi, Kajol and Mithila Palkar as the three main leads. The mother-daughter and granddaughter trio are trying to live life on their own terms, irrespective of what society dictates them to. Tanvi as Nayantara is a liberal woman and poetess who raises her two children on her own after she leaves her husband’s home. Anuradha (Kajol) hates her mother who she thinks is too liberal and should have let them remain a “normal kid”.

Tribhanga trailer review

Anuradha’s daughter Masha is married into an orthodox family whose family accepts her unconventional mother and grandmother, but at the same time asks her to give birth to a boy. The unconventional, dark and not so usual drama directed by actor Renuka Shahane should be on your list among the movies to watch.

3. Saina

The movie about Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal has been applauded for a simple yet not so dramatic portrayal of the player’s life. Saina is full of ups and downs that Saina undergoes in her career. The inspiration her mother Usha Rani Nehwal (Meghna Mallik) and her father puts forward, is to encourage many parents in the country.

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Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot

The movie shows how the sacrifice and hard work of parents are equally important in the life of a successful child. Saina’s hard work and perseverance that she puts into the sports to become world champion in badminton and proudly carry India to the limelight in sports, have been well portrayed too.


The story is inspired by the life of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. Kangana Ranaut essays the role of “Amma”. The movie Thalaivii takes us through all the troughs and crests in the life of the late leader. Many remember Thalaivii as the leader of the masses or a great woman leader, but her early career in the movies, theatres and dance is shown through the movie in a detailed manner.

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Thalaivi trailer launch

Her relation with MG Ramachandran and her growth as a political leader from being an actress to serving the needy and the masses is all portrayed with great detail.

5. Mimi

Starring Kriti Sanon and Pankaj Tripathi Mimi is a drama with a social message. It talks about surrogacy. And revolves around the life of an abandoned surrogate. Mimi aspires to be a huge Bollywood actress, but she does not have the money to fulfil her dreams. She feels she can make some money by being a surrogate to a foreign couple, who later abandons the child in her womb owing to some disability pointed by the doctor.

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Kriti Sanon in Mimi

Henceforth, the story is all about Mimi’s struggle to become a strong, independent mother who sacrifices her dream to see the child happy.

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6. Sherni

Sherni is the story of a female forest officer posted in the dense jungles of Madhya Pradesh. The role of Vidya Vincent played by Vidya Balan, is a poised one, who is struggling to fit between the duty as a government servant, an environment lover and a wife. Like all her other characters, Vidya does this character with ease and makes us feel the struggles of officers working for the government and trying to manage their personal affairs.

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Vidya Balan in a still from Sherni.

Sherni translates to a tigress in Hindi, and the drama revolves around the human-wildlife conflict, tussle for gaining power and focuses on how the animals are constantly being thrown out of their natural habitats. We are not prone to seeing such strong woman characters on screen, but Sherni is surely among those that you cannot miss.

7. Ajeeb Daastaans

The entire movie is divided into four parts – all with a whole together different story and character juggling to find a way to a “perfect” life. The director shows the struggle of Lepakshi (Fatima Sana Shaikh) who cannot be physically satisfied by her husband and keeps looking for other men, ending up in betrayal. The second part revolves around Meenal (Nushrratt Bharuccha), the housemaid, who tries to dig in money through her opportunist behaviour, but gets tangled in a complex relationship with her own sister and employer.

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Picture Credit: Netflix screengrab

The third part, by the name Geeli Puchi is about Bharti Mandal (Konkona Sen Sharma) and Priya Sharma (Aditi Rao Hydari) who are bisexual but succumb to societal pressure and try behaving “normal”. The story also portrays the discrimination of lower castes in India. The final part featuring Shefali Sinha and Manav Kaul is more about “silent love” and how the family duties of a mother get in between the search for love and a perfect partner.

8. Rashmi Rocket

Rashmi Rocket  is the story of Rashmi who belongs to a small village in Gujarat. She aces in running and that raises to the glory of being shown as “desh ki beti” when she wins a gold medal for the country in an international event. Rashmi is an independent, fierce character in the movie who grows up with a question mark on her running like “chhori hai ke chhora hai?”

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The movie is among the first in Bollywood that focus on gender testing in sports. The movie takes up the sensitive topic and how society treats a person if there is a discrepancy of any sort with regards to gender. It is inspired by many local athletes whose careers were damaged after this test. Rashmi is seen fighting for her cause in the movie.

9. Madam Chief Minister

With Richa Chadha in the main role, the story revolves around a poor Dalit girl, Tara Roopram from Uttar Pradesh who works as a librarian in college. However, the discrimination she faces always bothers her and she decides to join a political career with her ‘guru’ who has been working for the upliftment of Dalits.

Madam Chief Minister Trailer

She admires his way of not being entangled in power struggle rather working for the right cause. With her hard work and determination, she reaches a position wherein she is made the Chief Minister of the state. However, the political tussle endangers the life of Tara, her guru and many confidantes of the party. Manav Kaul is seen playing her husband.

10. The Girl on The Train

With Parineeti Chopra, Aditi Rao Hydari and Kirti Kulhari in the lead roles, this female-centric thriller is one of its kind. The storyline has been accentuated with intense performances. While Parineeti’s role is more grappled in thoughts of her life before the divorce and thoughts of feeling the happiness of a girl she sees from her daily train.

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Actor Parineeti Chopra in Indian adaptation of “The Girl on the Train”.

Parineeti champions the role of an alcoholic girl who is in a self-destructive mode after her recent divorce and her part are worth watching in the movie. Kirti plays the role of an honest cop posted in London, and the climax of the story brings more to her character.

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