From Neerja’s bravery to Kia’s role reversal, Bollywood finally embraced feminism in 2016 | Bollywood Bubble

From Neerja’s bravery to Kia’s role reversal, Bollywood finally embraced feminism in 2016

From Neerja’s bravery to Kia’s role reversal, Bollywood finally embraced feminism in 2016

Bollywood feminist movies

Another year is about to end, and it’s time to analyse the best and worst performances, applauding the ones deserving and honour the ones that overwhelmed us. Bollywood is bidding 2016 a goodbye, and what a diverse year it has been in terms of cinema. Agreed, we were subjected to remakes that need not be made and recreated versions of classics that had us cringing, but this year, Bollywood finally came around and attempted at showcasing feminism in actual light. It was an unsteady step, but a step nevertheless, and a positive one.

If you were wondering that ‘Piku’ and ‘NH10’ in the year 2015 took all the cake for featuring female protagonists that are fierce and gutsy, here was 2016, to offer that, and much more.

The first breath of fresh air came in the form of ‘Neerja’, a biopic on the brave purser Neerja Bhanot, who died a martyr’s death while saving passengers from a hijacked flight. The movie gave us an insight into the character like never before; we laughed, we cried, and we mourned for the loss of a strong 23-year-old, who fought an abusive relationship, made a name for herself, and showed bravery of an iron woman at an age when no one could have imagined so, and an era when women were not thought so capable. Sonam Kapoor, despite being criticised, carried the movie on her shoulders and made us salute the brave heart with her heart rendering portrayal.


Moving on, we were introduced to IPS Abha Mathur, aka Priyanka Chopra in ‘Jai GangaaJal’, who fights corruption in the lesser-known district, despite facing jibes for her gender. But, the biggest game changer came in the form of R. Balki’s ‘Ki & Ka’, which was one movie which took a big risk by showing a house husband (Arjun Kapoor), and an ambitious corporate woman wife (Kareena Kapoor). Though the movie was well intentioned, a not so well execution led to its failure. But one certainly cannot negate the fact that this was a very bold step in Indian cinema, reversing the roles. Small things like Kabir (Arjun Kapoor) telling Kia’s (Kareena Kapoor) mother that she would not have asked a girl the question of whether she would eat out of her son’s earnings had her daughter been a guy, made this movie special in its own way.

In the middle of the year, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan won praises for portraying the sensitive character of Dalbir Kaur, sister of Late Sarbjit Singh. The fight of a woman, a sister, who was a mere village belle, the plight, the emotions, was all beautifully conveyed by Aishwarya.

Then came Anushka Sharma as Aarfa Hussain in ‘Sultan’, the blockbuster sports drama movie. The change was visible as for the first time the lady took the cake away with her phenomenal performance, in a Salman Khan movie. Aarfa’s character faced flak for choosing pregnancy over her flourishing sports career, but one reply from Anushka shut all. Freedom of choice, with imposition from none, is what Aarfa’s character stood for. Only a woman has the right to decide what she wants to choose, and should not be judged for the same.

‘PINK’ taught us how slut shaming confines and terrorises even the most confident urban women, but they have to stay strong, and emerge victorious. ‘Parched’ told us that no shackles of age-old traditions and superstitious beliefs should come at the cost of a woman’s freedom and life, and that patriarchy’s ugly head is still thriving in rural areas. Both the movies portrayed the lives of woman, in two completely different scenarios, and made a strong mark. Bollywood’s idea of female hero was coming around.

The year ended on another thumping note with Aamir Khan’s ‘Dangal’, which is the real life story of Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari, who were trained against all odds by their father Mahavir Singh Phogat, to excel in the man’s sport, wrestling. Zaira Wasim, Suhani Bhatnagar, Fatima Sana Shaikh, and Sanya Malhotra breathed their life and soul in the characters. The movie broke and shattered norms of patriarchy in every aspect, with a father fighting the world for his daughters, in an area where girls are a liability, only to be passed on as soon as possible, by means of marriage.

These movies are not perfect. But they are an attempt. There are many intellectuals who have criticised different aspects, but, it’s the thought process that matters. This is a first step, with many more to come. Bollywood has finally grown up and embraced the fact that it does not always need a ‘hero’ to save a damsel in distress, and that the concept of feminism is real.

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STOP judging the misery of Bollywood stars. They're as humane as we are

Imagine a situation when you wake up one fine morning, have your cuppa of coffee and then grab up a newspaper in your hand, only to see a BREAKING scandal on the first page which is all about YOU. What would be your reaction? You’ll be shocked and paranoid, right?

The same goes for our Bollywood celebrities too.

They are famous, and we think that they are over-privileged, and so, we rob them of all the humanity we pride ourselves upon. We forget that Bollywood celebrities might also get the same feeling of helplessness when they are pulled into a puddle without any reason; for those just for the sake news. The point we want to prove here is that, we literally rely on the lives of our Bollywood celebrities; what they eat? where are they vacationing/partying? she was so fake during that interview?, and we so love it.

Image Source - Yogen Shah

But on a franker note, do we really know when to not cross the line? Let’s talk about a recent example, that of megastar Amitabh Bachchan. When many media houses reported (not us) that Senior Bachchan had been admitted to Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai; but the truth was something else. The star had actually visited the hospital for a routine check-up as he was complaining about a pain in his lumbar. Later, Big B penned down a poem in Hindi which explained that while he totally understands the photographers’ need for his pictures to continue their work and it is just part of their profession, those camera flashes may act hazardous at times, especially to the eyes, which is why he hid his face with a hat. PERIOD! Have a look at his heartfelt poem below:

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That’s just one of the example, when a problem of a star was not at all sympathised, but was churned into a BREAKING news.

Image Source - Times Now

Even actress Preity Zinta recently became the catch for many media portals when the dimpled beauty was snapped exiting a hang-out spot in Mumbai wearing a ill-fitted dress. And then what, there were speculations that Is Preity Zinta pregnant and is that a Baby bump she is flashing? Like really peeps, now a actress can’t even wear a loose clothing piece, does everything needs to be oh-so gossip tuned?

Image Source - Pinterest

When Deepika Padukone talked about her depression story, without a doubt there were fans who sympathised the lady. But over time, there were also many who pointed out the credibility of her confession. Questions were raised and statements were thrown at her which in a gist meant that being a lady who enjoyed so much fame and money, how could she claim of suffering from depression. Clearly, such people just proved their ignorance of the fact that Depression is not just a verb, but actually a mental illness which can claim anyone, irrespective of status, wealth, talent and beauty.

How fickle and heartless we are as audience. We claim to be head over heels in love with our stars and yet when it comes to such times and things, we leave no chance to take a jibe at them.

Few months back Aishwarya Rai Bachchan paid the price of being a celebrity, when paparazzi zoomed and clicked some tacky snaps of the star when she had visited Manish Malhotra‘s residence for dinner, along with her hubby. But instead of being supportive and taking Aish’s side, social media took pleasure out of those GROSS photos. We wouldn’t have reacted the same way if it would have happened with someone close to us, right?

Image Source - Instagram (@aslisona)

Yesterday, a media portal bashed Sonakshi Sinha with her choice of ensembles which she wore during her film’s promotion. While we do get that everything cannot be sugar-coated, but we do need to be subtle in the way that even celebs as humans get what we are trying to say.

Forget sympathy, where is the empathy?

Are we affirming the fact that celebrities are rich and so their misery is not at all real? Why can’t we gulp the fact that the problems of our stars are also genuine? Their misery, no matter how public, are real, even in the cut-throat ugly world of glamour. Agreed that they are rich, move in their swanky cars and do what not; but at last they are HUMANS just like you and me.

Lastly, not all celebrities are publicity obsessed. And we should surely learn where to draw a line. TIME OUT!

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Dear Priyanka, it’s high time you starred in a Bollywood Film…

Dear Priyanka,

January 25, 2018, I went to a theatre to watch Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’. It was a first day, first show. I was keen to see what the director had to offer, after ‘Bajirao Mastani’.

Well, I was quite impressed with ‘Padmaavat’ thanks to the spectacular vision of SLB. Even the actors left a mark. While Ranveer Singh’s Khilji act was outstanding, Deepika Padukone looked stunning as Rani Padmavati and Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh impressed us. However, I felt there was something missing in the film, an ‘X – Factor’ that was there in ‘Bajirao Mastani’, but not in ‘Padmaavat’. I couldn’t put things together as what was that one thing missing in ‘Padmaavat’.

Image Source - Instagram @deepikapadukone

Finally, after wracking my brains and heart for a few days, a box office comparison article on ‘Padmaavat’ VS ‘Bajirao Mastani’ finally gave me the answer I was looking for. It was you, Priyanka Chopra. The ‘X-factor’ in ‘Bajirao Mastani’ was missing from the magnum opus and now a Rs 250 crore plus profitable film ‘Padmaavat’. The subtle yet a powerful performance that you gave in ‘Bajirao Mastani’.

Image Source - Pinterest

I then literally went and checked out other dialogue promos of ‘Bajirao Mastani’ that featured you, and understood that not just ‘Padmaavat’, an ‘X – Factor’ from Bollywood has been missing. Bollywood is missing Priyanka Chopra, who is not just a pretty face, but a performer who can make us sit back and notice her.

Your last Bollywood movie was a 2016 release ‘Jai Gangaajal’. Though you were excellent in the film, your ‘Bajirao Mastani’ performance overpowers every other last release of yours.

Image Source - Instagram @priyankachopra

There’s no doubt that Priyanka, you are making India proud internationally with the ‘Quantico’ series and three Hollywood films in your kitty, but Bollywood needs you too. Its been more than two years, that your fans are waiting for you to announce your next Bollywood film. We have heard a lot about the films you might take up, SLB’s ‘Gustakhiyan’, Kalpana Chawla biopic, Rakesh Sharma biopic and ‘Fanney Khan’. However, till date, none have been announced as your next Bollywood project.

Image Source - Pinterest

Priyanka, it’s definitely high time that you come back to Bollywood, not just for your fans but for Bollywood. I am not saying that Bollywood can’t work without Priyanka and movies won’t be made. But, then the silver screen is missing a performer like you.

After all, as your songs goes, “Dekhi lakh lakh pardesi girl, Ain’t nobody like my DESI GIRL.”

A guy who misses you on big screen

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