Here is the list of powerful women characters in Indian Cinema that show what women can truly achieve;
Mother India (1957)
A mother’s character has always been depicted as sacrificing, loving and all-forgiving – the one who would go extra mile to do the best for her children. Mother India is the story of a poverty-stricken village woman named Radha (Nargis), who in the absence of her husband, struggles to raise her sons and survive against a cunning money-lender amidst many troubles. Despite her hardships, she sets a perfect example showcasing a woman’s strength, willpower and sense of righteousness. She even killed her own son when he became an outlaw. The film was the most expensive Bollywood production and earned the highest revenue for any Hindi film at that time.
Black is one of the most powerful portrayals of a physically handicapped person in Indian cinema. It revolves around a visually and hearing impaired girl, and her relationship with her teacher who himself later develops Alzheimer’s disease. The relationship of Michelle with her aging teacher and how she helps him to rediscover life is very liberating, inspiring and shows the true strength of a woman. Black made an all-time record at the Filmfare Awards by winning eleven awards.
If there is one character which touched everyone’s heart, it was that of Rani played by Kangna Ranaut in Queen. Rani, an under-confident girl from New Delhi embarks on her honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam by herself after her fiancé calls off their wedding. The story of queen inspires many girls to come out of the shadows and feel confident about themselves.
English Vinglish (2012)
The story of English Vinglish was inspired by writer-director Gauri Shinde’s mother, a Marathi-speaking woman who ran a pickle business at her house, was not fluent in English, which embarrassed Shinde as a child. In an interview, Shinde said, “I made this film to say sorry to my mother. ‘English Vinglish’ captures the essence of that timid housewife who explores a new foreign country all by herself, and enrols in an English-speaking course to stop her husband and daughter mocking her lack of English skills and gains self-respect in the process.
Kahaani is a 2012 Indian Hindi-language mystery thriller film co-written, co-produced and directed by Sujoy Ghosh. It is a story of a pregnant woman searching for her missing husband in Kolkata during the festival of Durga Puja. This film explores themes of feminism and motherhood in male-dominated Indian society. Kahaani is about a woman, who work while carrying a child, who work while bleeding for 5 days continuously. The film won three National Film Awards and five Filmfare Awards.
Dor is a 2006 Indian drama film written and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, which advocates out of box emotions of a woman. The film is an official adaptation of the Malayalam film, Perumazhakkalam (2004).The unusual story throws light upon the understanding shared between two complete strange women. One who is trapped by the tradition of living a life of a widow and trying to break the norms of living a widowed life, and the other one who is trying to save herself from turning in to a widow as she has to save the life of her husband, who is on trial for murder. With several twists and unending emotions, this movie will show the two sides of Indian woman beautifully. Especially, on how one of them displays the strength of forgiving the other woman’s husband, who is apparently responsible for her widowhood.
Bandit Queen (1994)
Bandit Queen is a Bollywood film based on the book India’s Bandit Queen: The True Story of Phoolan Devi by the Indian author Mala Sen. The film is a biography of Phoolan Devi, who was a woman who turned the world of gangsters upside down, who changed the face of Indian politics, who was so powerful that even after her assassination she is remembered as one of the deadliest women who ever lived.It was directed by Shekhar Kapur and starred Seema Biswas as the title character of Phoolan Devi. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie and Best Direction for the year 1994.
The film is considered to be one of the best woman-centric films ever made in Bollywood. ‘Damini’, is about a woman who fought against her family, influential people and the entire society who supported the rape culprits. The strong portrayal of Damini is a representation of what is called the new-age woman who does not give up on the situation and the male chauvinist society, but stands for the truth and makes sure that justice is served to the rape victim.