Aged female protagonists: The Indian film industry might be obsessed with ‘young, glamorous and beautiful’ female actors to cast in their movies.
Though the practice of using women solely as props, as evident in the Radhe trailer hasn’t completely wiped out, women are now receiving more recognition and agency on-screen.
In the past few years, we have seen strong female characters who are ready to fight back and refuse to conform to stereotypes. Many women crossed the age barrier and by showcasing their talent they proved that age is just a number.
Here are 4 such movies with such Female Protagonists
1. Photo Prem
The Marathi movie Photo Prem is the story of an aged introverted housewife Sunanda (Neena Kulkarni) who doesn’t like being photographed. The mere presence of a camera is enough to stiffen her. Though it shouldn’t be a big deal, she is worried about leaving her family with no decent picture of hers.
She develops an obsession with obituary notices and commemorative pictures and fears how she will be remembered, especially when she has persistently been absent from the family photographs. Her self-consciousness, however, prevents her from going to the studio and getting a photograph clicked. Does she overcome her fear of cameras and being photographed by the end of the movie? You will know only when you watch it.
2. Tribhanga: Tedhi Medhi Crazy
Directed by Renuka Shahane, the story revolves around a dysfunctional family that consists of women from three generations and talks of their unconventional life choices. Nayantara Apte (Tanvi Azmi), an acclaimed writer is the protagonist of the movie. When a brain stroke puts her in a coma, the family reunites and deals with their differences.
On SheThePeople Screen Fest, Shahane said that she wanted her protagonists to be of all ages. “For me, Nayantara Apte is my protagonist and she is over sixty and it doesn’t matter. That’s the whole point of introducing beautiful, talented women in your own work which is going to make a change gradually because people have loved the fact that three different women from three different generations have been shown as the heroes of my film,” she said.
3. Kaali Khuhi
The Netflix original film Kaali Khuhi explores the theme of female infanticide. A horror-thriller, the movie presents Satya Maasi (Shabana Azmi) as the keeper of a cruel secret. Her character has a unibrow and portrays someone who is “living with a guilt”. She has a deep history of sorrow and doesn’t have access to many outlets for expression. Azmi said to Scroll.in, “She lives with this guilt. I wanted it to reflect in her personality, a heaviness to exist in her walk”. Just like all her movies, Azmi wins hearts in this movie too with her stellar performance.
Finally, in the list of movies with aged female protagonists comes the 2017 movie Ajji. To summarise the plot, when Ajji’s granddaughter is raped, she realises that the police are unsuccessful in arresting the culprit. This is so because he is the son of a politician. It is then that she decides to take matters into her own hands. What happens ultimately? Watch it yourself to find out.
Watch the trailer of Photo Prem here: