A list of films with Strong Women Characters that influenced us. Since the coronavirus lockdown took over our lives, watching movies have taken a new meaning. We can now watch them directly releasing on OTT, from the comfort of our homes with pause, note, digest and replay.
Moreover, in the past year, several movies with strong women characters have taken over our screens. So, here is a list of few films with strong women characters that inspired me.
Kiara Advan’s character Dimple Cheema in Shershaah brought forth a woman who is educated and strong-willed. She stands by her choice to marry Vikram Batra despite the opposition from her father. She also vows to never marry any person other than Batra and remains firm to it. Cheema’s strength is also reflected in the way she keeps herself calm and composed when Batra goes to the borders for combat. There are multiple levels to Cheema’s character which makes her more relatable for a woman in real life.
This is my all-time favourite movie considering because I love horror. The character of Bulbul etches the oppression that women undergo in a patriarchal society, ranging from child marriage, restrictions at the marital house to sexual harassment. But rather than giving in to the oppression, Bulbul rose and fought against it. Bulbul’s transformation from a beautiful bride to a daunting witch is the story of every woman in our society. Even if we want to live our lives like a princess, we cannot do so in the patriarchal world until we have the vigour of a witch to oppose every injustice.
3. Shakuntala Devi
Shakuntala Devi is a biopic of mathematician Shakuntala Devi starring Vidya Balan. But this biopic breaks the normative form and addresses the relationship of mother and daughter that impacts the lives of every woman. Through Devi’s character, the movie portrays a mother who wants to give the best upbringing to her daughter. Who wants to make her daughter independent and strong. The film portrays that mothers are not always the idols of sacrifice. They have flaws too and that is what makes them human. Moreover, as a woman herself, Devi defies many stereotypes to earn name and fame in a male-dominated field of mathematics.
Watch our conversation With Vidya Balan Here:
4. Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl
Gunjan Saxena is inspired by the life of Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena a helicopter pilot and one of the two women IAF officers during the Kargil War. The movie, fictionalises situations, however, it talks about the lack of women’s representation in the forces and shows how Saxena makes a space in it for herself. Pankaj Tripathi’s role as a supportive feminist father is phenomenal. It will not be wrong to say that with a father’s support, daughters can overcome every challenge in a male-dominated society.
Pagglait is a story of a widow who refuses to grieve her husband’s death. Through the lead character, the movie defies the norms that confine widows within a white saree and tears of loneliness. Pagglait depicted how women who are wise enough to stand for themselves are often labelled as ‘pagglait’. But Sandhya’s character left us with a lesson that even if society calls you mad, never give up the will to stand on your own feet.
Tribhanga is a story revolving around three generations of mothers and daughters. What first caught my attention was the fact that each woman in the movie is strong enough to live as per her choice. Tanvi Azmi’s character depicted the life of a woman writer in an age when it was not normal for women to earn. Her struggles resonate with many women even today because not every woman are allowed to work post-marriage in the 21st century also. And Kajol’s character reveals the ‘secret’ that women can live without men. As an empowered single mother, Kajol gave us goals to live life on our own terms. Lastly, Sanya Malhotra’s character depicts that a woman who makes conventional choices is as much a feminist as those who don’t.
The way the movies addresses the issues of sexual harassment, male child preference and conflicts between mother and daughter is unique. Rather than glorifying motherhood, the film showed how every human and relationship has flaws. What matters is to identify them and resolve them until it is too late.
7. Is Love Enough? Sir
Sir is an empowering story of a village widow who defies the constricting boundaries of her village life and comes to a city to earn her ambition. Through Ratna’s character, the film gives us a woman who is determined to achieve something in life. She also wants to empower women around her when she pays for the education of her sister. Although an unexpected episode slightly shifts the narrative of the movie, it gains its ground again and ends with Ratna looking forward to fulfilling her dreams. What is unique about this movie is its realism. Even though Ratna loves her “Sir”, she prioritises and remains focused on her ambitions. Unlike many other romantic movies, Ratna’s character is not lost and retains its individualism.