Beyond The Mainstream: 6 Feminist Bollywood Films To Put On Watchlist

Riding the wave of women-centric films, filmmakers have churned out cinematic projects that lacked when it comes to delving into the core of the issues.

Priya Hazra
Jun 08, 2021 05:08 IST
Feminist Bollywood films
Feminist Bollywood Films: There are many shades of feminism but what's common is them is the goal- the fight against patriarchy. When it comes to portrayal of feminism on the screen, films are often questioned on the message sent out.

However, one should also considered the fact that a message is perceived in many ways by the viewers. The feminist Bollywood films have at times come under fire for using the ideology as a tag rather that providing a concrete social message.

Riding the wave of women-centric films, filmmakers have churned out cinematic projects that lacked when it comes to delving into the core of the issues. On the other hand, a few stories were overlooked as they weren't categorised under the mainstream Bollywood films. However, these films have the potential to strike a chord.

Here are some feminist Bollywood films you shouldn't miss:


Angry Indian Goddesses

A group of young women from different backgrounds come under one roof for the wedding of a common friend. Although being a close knitted group, each one of them keeps some secrets of their lives hidden from their friends. Their suffering is unveiled gradually as they spend more time around each other. The narrative of the film makes you understand the challenges even the privileged women face.


Margarita With a Straw

The 2014 release starring Kalki Koechlin tells the story a young woman with cerebral palsy who leaves her home to study in New York. Unlike most films concentrated on specially abled people which demands sympathy for the character, this film makes the audience an spectator of the protagonist's journey of self-discovery.


Totta Pataka Item Maal

The film directed by Aditya Kriplani streaming on Netflix revolves around the lives of four women who decide to take charge of their own safety and turn the table on the predators. After being tired of dealing with the daily fear of being sexually assaulted and harassed. Through the eyes of these women we are shown the misogynistic aspects of society.



Do we ever think about the security of the people who protect us? In the film Soni, a hard-hitting reality is brought up as a young policewoman in Delhi relentlessly works to curb the growing crisis of violent crimes against women in the city. However, she herself becomes a victim of the patriarchal structures.


The Last Color

The Last Color based on the book penned by Indian chef Vikas Khanna of the same name. In this film, directed by Khanna himself, Neena Gupta plays the character of a widow who lives a life of total abstinence. The film revolves around the friendship of a young girl and a widow, Chhoti and Noor. Chhoti promises to bring back color to Noor’s life by splashing colors on her on Holi. The film questions an age old taboo which restricts widowed women from being part of social events.

The Last Colour was screened across various international film festivals, bagging the award for Best Feature film at the Dallas International Film Festival.


Tikli and Laxmi Bomb

The film brings our focus to the safety of women in sex trade who are often missed out when we talk about protecting women in the society. In the film directed by Aditya Kripalani, the personal and professional aspects of the business that these women are involved is brought to light through a series of incidents. To overcome the perils, a few women stand for the who community set on a mission to provide a safer work environment.

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