India is home to some of the most dramatic, action-packed, and incredibly far-fetched movies we’ve ever seen, but not many people know that it has also produced a number of highly dramatic, witty, and daring female-oriented movies one simply can’t miss. Sexism, chauvinism, gender inequality, misogyny – these words mean the same thing no matter what country you go to. Indian women are struggling to find their own voice, tell their stories, and be heard by the whole world just as much as the rest of ladies all across the world. Cinematography is one of those mediums that allows them to do just that. Ranging from heart-warming and funny to dramatic and thrilling, we present you 10 amazing women centric Bollywood movies you’ll want to watch right now.
Angry Indian Goddesses
We’ve seen quite a number of movies about male bachelor parties and their consequences, but not many movies focus on female friendship and what girls go through when one of their own decides to settle down. As Freida, a professional photographer, invites a bunch of her besties into a house in Goa to announce and celebrate her future marriage, things become more heated than she expected. This emotional dramedy with a witty plot explores all the hidden nooks of the female friendship with all its breakups, passion, hesitation, love, innocence, and a bunch of heart breaks to top it all. Definitely a must-see!
The good kind-hearted Shashi is a housewife that lives with her husband and kids and has found her happiness in serving them. She seems to be doing just fine, apart from one major detail – her English is quite poor, which became a source of puns and laughs for the whole family. One day her sister invites Shashi to New York to help prepare for the wedding, but for that she’ll need to live for alone for some time. All that with her poor English! Being an open-minded and capable woman, Shashi decided she would certainly go to the US and enrol into an English learning class. Thus, her adventure began! It’s a pleasurable and light-hearted movie filled with wise remarks and quite a few philosophical moments.
Queen is a story about Rani, a timid girl from a typical Indian family that faces a heart-breaking drama when her fiancé ditches her one day before the wedding. Desperate to get away from this experience, she decides to go on their planned honeymoon all by herself! As she visits different countries, meets new people, and finally learns to live her life to the fullest, Rani understands that there’s more to life than just being a housewife and finds her once lost self-worth. A fun and light-hearted movie to brighten up your day!
Highway is a road movie like no other. Surrounded by quite a few controversies, its plot revolves around a young woman Veera, who’s been kidnapped right before her wedding, and her relationship with a bunch of captors. Being a daughter of a powerful and rich man, she has lived her life hiding her true self from everyone, forgetting what it is like to be truly free in your actions and expressions. While the movie may seem like a ‘typical’ film about the Stockholm Syndrome, you will find it to be much deeper than that. We can’t but mention that the visual part of the movie is truly breathtaking as well!
Lipstick Under My Burkha
Lipstick Under My Burkha is called the most controversial film of year 2016 for a reason. Almost banned in India for its explicit scenes and tabooed topics, it was widely recognized all around the world and even became eligible for the Golden Globe Award. The movie revolves around the lives of four women who are feeling trapped inside their own skin as well as in the narrow-minded society of the city they live in. Both dramatic and funny moments arise as each of them embarks on a journey to re-discover what it is to be a woman and what their true desires are. A wannabe pop-singer, an oppressed mother of three, a beautician, and an elderly widow struggle to find a new path in their lives that will allow them to be themselves.
Piku is a heart-warming comedy about an eccentric father and daughter, who struggle to live with each other, yet are bonded by love and devotion nonetheless. The two embark on a road trip from Delhi to Kolkata with a hired driver Rana who often gets in the crossfire between the two. The movie is packed with hilarious scenes and beautifully shot landscapes, as well as cityscapes of Kolkata. A truly enjoyable experience!
A spine-chilling thriller follows the steps of pregnant Vidya Bagchi who is on a hunt to find her missing husband. Having travelled from London to Kolkata, she is shocked to hear that no such man existed. Wherever she goes, to his workplace or the hotel that he stayed in, no one seems to remember him. As the story unfolds, Vidya gets sucked deeper into the city’s dark secrets filled with treachery, conspiracy, and murder.
Margarita with a Straw
Laila was born with cerebral palsy, but it has never stopped her from living her life to the fullest. Studying at the Delhi University, she composes music for a local indie band and taps into creative writing. She discovers love and what it is to be rejected, and later moves on to study at New York University with her mother’s help to find more about life and herself. She meets Khanum, a fiercely independent blind girl, whom she develops a beautiful friendship with, which later grows into something more. It’s a beautiful and heart-wrenching story about coming of age that will surprise you with its twists and turns.
There’s a village in Rajasthan that still lives by centuries-old brutal rules that allow men to rule over women, treating them in the most inhumane ways possible. Four women are trapped in their everyday lives, suffocating from the abuse, dishonesty, harassment, and constant violence. There’s a beautiful young girl who doesn’t want to get married against her will, an erotic dancer who is tired of that lifestyle, a wife of an alcoholic, and a widow who is trying to arrange her son’s love life. There comes a point when all of them just can’t take it anymore and embark on a journey that will free them from the horrors of the past.
Three young women –Meenal, Falak, and Andrea – meet a few guys through a fellow friend at a rock concert and decide they can have dinner together. One of the guys tries to force himself on Meenal, and she breaks a bottle on his face as an act of self-defence. They guys turn out to be sons of influential people, and a trial starts, trying to accuse women of attempted murder. A retired lawyer, Deepak, steps in to protect not only these three young girls, but also all those rape victims that often get blamed by the society for what was done to them. The film explores the way Indian society views women and how quickly it is to judge and point fingers, leaving men out of the picture.