Can't hold them down

Can't hold them down
It was not long ago when movie theatres across the city echoed with hoots and howls when Sonakshi Sinha threw a strong punch at her male counterpart in the movie ‘Akira’. The movie, focussed on a woman’s unbreakable strength and will power, received appreciation from the audience across all age groups.

‘Akira’ is just one among the many movies that Bollywood has seen in the recent past, breaking the stereotype of a conventional female character in Hindi cinema; a character that is mostly portrayed as an object of entertainment and suitable only to dance to provocative songs. With the recent releases like ‘Dangal’, ‘Pink’, and ‘Kahaani 2’, it is being seen that filmmakers today are concentrating more on concepts like ‘gender no bar’ and ‘equality to women’. From the toughest action sequences (without body-doubles) to speaking up for themselves and questioning age-old notions of patriarchy, these movies send out a strong message from the reel to the real world.

Many youngsters in the city are of the opinion that women-centric movies like Neerja (that showcased the exemplary courage of a woman, first to speak up about an abusive relationship and then to stand up against evil) and ‘Dangal’ (which highlights the fact that women are on par with men in terms of physical strength too) can change the mindset of people in the long run.

Vijay Krishnan, an aspiring cinematographer, says, “Most of the movies still are male-centric and women have no big role to play in them, but with recent movies like ‘Pink’, a sense of power was attached to the female characters. We saw female actors taking the lead in this film, while Amitabh Bachchan was seen playing the role of a supporting actor. I see these movies as influential, both for the society and for other filmmakers.”

He adds that since women-centric movies have not been explored much, there is great scope to come up with engaging and inspiring scripts. “I, as a male audience, really appreciate movies where the character of the female actor is fiercely strong and is on par with her male counterpart,” he says. 

Abhilash K L, a professional at Phase One events, however, is of the opinion that filmmakers should keep in mind not to make a movie extremely feminist which can take away the real essence of the script. “For a long time, objectifying a woman was the main selling point of a movie, but this thought is slowly changing. I believe that there should be more women-centric movies as the audience is changing and so is their perception. It adds more value to a movie,” says Abhilash.

Many directors see a risk in making a women-centric movie as they think it won’t be commercially viable, highlights Shruthi Raghunanda, an actor. “When two non-actors in the movie ‘Dangal’ could create a stir in the society, it is clear that people are accepting movies where the protagonist is a woman. No one cares about a movie like ‘Befikre’ or movies which talk about a zero size actress and where men fall for her makeup and looks. The audience today has become more sensible and expects to watch a movie that brings about a change in the mindset of people and society at large,” says Shruthi.

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