From Mardaani To Drishaym: Here Are Hindi Cinema’s Best Women Cops So Far

mardaani 2, Mardaani 3
The Bollywood cop universe is largely dominated by men, with women making a passing appearance. Across the decades, leading men in Hindi films have used the role of police officers to build their tough-guy image. Be it, Amitabh Bachchan, in Zanjeer or Ajay Devgn in the Singham series, Hindi cinema’s male cops are angry, smart and always ready for some action. So where do women in uniform fit in here?

For ages, only the alpha males of the film industry played the roles of honest police officers serving justice to the wronged. But today, we have numerous leading ladies coming up to perform these roles just as well, as they prove that not only men, but women can also be equally sturdy and resilient to play such tough roles.

Here are some Hindi films on female cops that proved that women actors are equally good at portraying demanding roles as male actors:

A Thursday

The recently released crime thriller A Thursday features actors Yami Gautam, Atul Kulkarni, Neha Dhupia and Karanvir Sharma among others in prominent roles. The film follows the story of a playschool teacher (Yami Gautam) who takes her students hostage and demands to meet the Prime Minister. Actor Neha Dhupia plays the role of a tough cop in the film who attempts to foil the kidnapper’s mission. Dhupia was actually 8-months pregnant with her second child while filming A Thursday. But instead of casting another actor, her pregnancy was weaved into her role, making this a pathbreaking film to feature a heavily pregnant cop working full time.

Jai Gangaajal

Hindi films on female cops

Priyanka Chopra as SP Abha Mathur in Jai Gangaajal

Priyanka Chopra-starrer Jai Gangaajal follows the story of Superintendent of Police Abha Mathur who is as strong-willed as a police officer as she is as a woman. As the cop starts with her job, she realises that the system is corrupted all the way up and she must fight against all odds to provide justice to those who had been wronged. Jai Gangaajal came out in 2016 and is a sequel to the 2003 film Gangaajal, which was also directed by Prakash Jha.

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Senior Inspector Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukerji) is an honest and dedicated officer who goes out of her way to bust a Delhi-based child trafficking cartel. Released in 2014, Mardaani is directed by Pradeep Sarkar and featured Rani Mukerji in the lead role, along with Tahir Raj Bhasin, Jisshu Sengupta and Avneet Kaur. The box office success of the film earned it a sequel in which Roy is seen chasing a misogynist serial killer.


Hindi Films on female cops

A still from Drishyam

A remake of a hit 2013 Malayalam-language film by the same name, Drishyam was released in 2015 and featured Ajay Devgn, Shriya Saran, Ishita Dutta and Tabu in the lead roles. The film follows the disappearance of IG Meera Deshmukh’s (Tabu)son, who goes missing after an encounter with his campmate Anju (Ishita Dutta), the daughter of a common man Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn). The film was well-received by the audience for its engaging plot and commendable performances by its cast.

While women cops might not be in abundance on the silver screen, over the last few years, the OTT space has featured numerous actors as formidable women police officers. Be it Aranyak starring Raveena Tandon as police officer Kasturi Dogra, Shefali Shah investigating the Nirbhaya Rape Case in Delhi Crime and more recently, Rajshri Deshpande investigating the case of a missing actor in The Fame Game. With such strong and convincing portrayals, we hope to see more women actors taking up the roles of cops in the upcoming time across various mediums.


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