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Women’s Day 2021: Thappad, Stree, 5 Movies that slammed patriarchy and misogyny

It’s that time of the year where women around the world celebrate their individuality and continue to hope for a freer and equal world. The process is ongoing and there is still a long Road ahead but the good news is, we are not giving up. We fall, we rise and everything in between together. As our society is slowly and gradually opening its eyes to embrace women in every form, starting with an increase in representation of women across boundaries, the Hindi film industry is also trying to keep up with the pace. In the last few years especially, we have definitely seen a change when it comes to the representation of women in our films.

One of the common arguments one gets is ‘There were women orientated movies earlier as well’ which is usually followed by names like Arth, Damini, Mother India among others. Yes, there was representation but it was rare and few. Today, however, we can safely say that more and more filmmakers are paying attention to the female narrative, female gaze within the ambit of the screenplay. No longer are women used as a mere prop or beautiful a scene, they are there because the scene would be incomplete without that. I am not saying all films have adapted this normalcy but hey, there is hope.

Today as we celebrate Women’s Day, I am going to list down 5 movies that I think brought out a change within the industry.

Lipstick Under My Burkha

The fact that Lipstick Under My Burkha did a business of over 100 crores at the box office in itself was a huge win. The film starring Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra, Konkana Sen Sharma, and Plabita Borthakur was one of the first in the genre where the aspirations and desires of women were brought to foray. The film focused on highlighting the wants, aspirations, the desires of women across boundaries, ages, and social standing. The trailer for the film had received flak but upon release, women around the country, of course, men too, couldn’t stop heaping praises at the performances. The film is a must-watch if you haven’t as yet.


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Let me just say that Taapsee Pannu has been one of the flag bearers of this change within the industry. Thappad starring Taapsee was a true treasure. Anubhav Sinha touched upon an untouched subject with Thappad. It was refreshing to see a film being written from the prism of a woman without losing the plot. The film focused on the need to take a stand for oneself and never let patriarchy fool you. How can one ‘thappad’ expose the hypocrisy of society? Well, watch Taapsee deliver one of her finest performances in the movie.


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Saandh Ki Aankh

Anurag Kashyap directed biopic starred Bhumi Pednekar and Taapsee Pannu in yet another career-defined role. The movie did not so great numbers at the box office but paved ways for many filmmakers to make such movies. In the film, we see two women defying age to take up shooting. It is a riveting tale of courage and is a must-watch.


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English Vinglish and Shakuntala Devi

While the former starred late actress Sridevi, the latter had Vidya Balan. Both stories inspire in their own ways. While English Vinglish focuses on respecting homemakers and the need to step up and focus on individuality, Shakuntala Devi is about owning yourself and changing the way mothers are portrayed. It is okay to be aspirations, there is no right or wrong way to be a mother, just like there is no right or wrong way to be a father. You are what you are and work on keep doing your best always. That’s what both the movies teach us, to step up, learn and redefine ourselves without losing our identity.


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Now you would wonder how does Stree starring Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi among others quality in this? Well, this is the first film in the horror-comedy space which has a subliminal feminist voice to it. When Pankaj Tripathi says, “woh stree hai, purush nahi, jo aise hi utha le jayegi, woh pehle permission leti hai.”, it surely left us cracking but also subtly was a slap on the misogynist and patriarchal society we live in. We definitely need more movies like this.

Just like this, there are many movies like Rani Mukherji’s Hichki, Mardaani 2, Vidya Balan’s Tumhari Sulu, and others that have been headlined by women and done amazingly well at the box office. While this is a piece of good news, the fact doesn’t change that a lot of needs to change at the conditioning level as well. But every step ahead in this is welcomed.


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Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Women’s Day!

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