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Women’s Day Special: Female-Centric Films In The Past Decade That You Must Watch

There has long been the belief in Hindi cinema that male actors are the true stars in every film with women just put in there to preen and pout. There have been women-centric films in Bollywood across the ages but they are few and far in between. 2014 was especially good for women in films with Mary Kom, Mardaani, Highway and Queen releasing and actually doing well critically and commercially. So it’s heartening to see filmmakers and script writers actually writing intelligent female centric films.

On Women’s Day, we’ve got a list of female-centric films released in the past decade that you just have to watch.


Highway beautifully manages to take the viewer on a journey of finding oneself. Alia Bhatt excels as the protected rich girl who gets kidnapped and is forced to experience the rough life on the road. Instead of breaking down and feeling sorry, Veera (Alia Bhatt) falls in love with the journey and experiences a freedom she’s been forever longing for. The acting, music and script is excellent but what truly stands out is the portrayal of the beauty of India as they travel across the country.

Mary Kom

Mary Kom tells the story of the five-time World Amateur Boxing champion pugilist Mary Kom. Shedding light on the true grit, sacrifice and strength it takes to achieve success, the film also takes us into her private life that of a daughter, wife and mother. Priyanka Chopra embodies Mary Kom and you can majorly see that in the physical transformation; take a look at her strenuous training


By far the best film of 2014, Queen had Kangana Ranaut transform from a naive small town girl to being able to stand on her own two feet. You feel one with her – you’re the Queen left at the altar, you’re the Queen who finds solace in a hippy girl, you’re the Queen who finds friendship in three men from different parts of the world and finally you’re the Queen who realises that turning your back on something that broke you is the best thing you could ever do.


Madhur Bhandarkar wowed us with Fashion, the story about a girl who comes from a small town to become a supermodel and gets stuck in a web of glamour, heartbreak and drugs. Fashion gave us a glimpse into the true world of the fickle modelling industry that can make or break you in a matter of minutes. Definitely a reality check for anyone who is mesmerised by only the glamour in the modelling industry.

The Dirty Picture

The Dirty Picture is a story that revolves around the rise and fall of Silk Smitha, a South Indian actresses who was known for her erotic roles. Vidya was hailed for her performance and she and the film managed to bag a ton of awards including a National award that year. Bold, unapologetic and full on masala, this is one film that is full on entertainment…entertainment…entertainment.


What would you do if your husband was incriminated in court for pushing his roommate and the only way he can be pardoned is if his roommate’s wife gives the consent for freedom? Zeenat (Gul Panag) sets of in search of Meera (Ayesha Takia) to ask her to sign a form that will pardon her husband’s impending death sentence. They form a strong friendship over the absence of their husbands and their sad circumstances. Rural Rajasthan plays an important role as we get to see how women are treated in ‘real’ India.

English Vinglish

Sridevi’s comeback film, this one was a commercial and critical success. The story revolves around Shashi (Sridevi) who isn’t well versed in English. Her husband and daughter always point this out as her shortcoming and Shashi feels isolated and ignored. When she heads to the US to attend her sister’s daughter’s wedding, Shashi takes an English course and meets people who like her struggle with the language. In the end, Shashi realises her worth doesn’t lie in a language and her husband and daughter learn to appreciate her.

No One Killed Jessica

This film revolves around Meera (Rani Mukherjee) a news anchor and journalist and Sabrina (Jessica Lal’s) sister who set out to find justice for Jessica Lal who was murdered in a nightclub. This true life incident managed to get a lot of public support and the case was reopened by public demand. This is a great way how a Bollywood film affected change.


Kahaani is a story of a pregnant woman who comes down to Kolkatta in search of her missing husband. We see her struggle and never lose hope even when all the odds seem stacked in her favour. The climax is a brilliant twist to this fast-paced thriller.


Mardaani explores the sensitive topic of child sex trafficking in India, exposing the gritty underbelly of Mumbai. Rani plays the tough as nails cop who manages to unearth this operation and catch the ones involved. Usually played by men, rarely do we see a woman as a tough cop. We need more films with women as cops.

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