Actress and Social activist Shabana Azmi is known for portraying unconventional and strong roles. From playing a Madame of a small brothel in ‘Mandi’ to a homosexual housewife in India, in ‘Fire’; Azmi has stepped in territories that where no Indian actress had gone before. However, there are many actreses like her, mainly because roles like these are rarely written. But this is slowly changing now and Azmi believes this is a great time for women in Indian cinema.


According to a report by ZeeNews, at the Kolkata Literary Meet, she said, “I am very hopeful. I feel the roles are becoming substantial in films that are women-centric, but even within the films themselves.” “Today even in gangster movies, women are working…I think there is a greater understanding within the women artists themselves where they are demanding more meat if not necessarily in terms of the length, but definitely in terms of what the character is,” she added.


The actress also said that the industry now has substantial roles for women in different age groups, as opposed to the time when women in their thirties had no place in Bollywood. “Earlier 30 was the end of a women’s career. But today the roles are opening up and they are available, so I do think that happy times are here,” she said.


Shabana Azmi in Deepa Mehta's Fire Picture By: NDTV
Shabana Azmi in Deepa Mehta’s Fire
Picture By: NDTV

She believes this great change is the advent of multiplexes. “Why did we have a certain kind of film in the 1970s and 1980s? Because the intent of the producer was to cater to the lowest common denominator because you wanted to get the maximum number of people in the audience.

“Today it is possible to cater to a certain section of the audience and still make your money through your multiplexes, through urban centres. There are films which don’t only depend on the lowest common denominator and that is opening up the way for lots of different things that are also being made,” ZeeNews reported her saying.



[Feature Picture Courtesy: Indi Leak]