Recently released Bollywood flicks that broke gender stereotypes

  • Vidhya Narayanan, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 08, 2016 09:36 IST

Gone are the days when Bollywood portrayed women as damsels in distress, whose only job in the movie was to play the pretty romantic interest of the hero. This Women’s Day, we look at seven Bollywood movies that changed the rules of the game and made women central to the plot, portraying them as bold and independent individuals.


Deepika Padukone in a still from ‘Piku’ (HT Photo)

This Shoojit Sircar movie has Deepika Padukone playing a modern woman, who is ‘financially and sexually’ independent (as described by her father in the movie). In a country which is biased towards the ‘boy child’, hoping that the boy will grow up and take care of his parents, Piku explores the relationship that a 30-something woman shares with her old father. She is not only the caretaker but also a woman who manages her own business.


Kanagana Ranaut as Rani in ‘Queen’ (HT Photo)

This Kanagana Ranaut blockbuster which won the actor numerous accolades is about a girl, Rani, who is ditched at the altar by her fiance. Rather than worrying about the ‘family’s honour’, Rani decides to go on her honeymoon to Paris sans husband. All by herself in a foreign land, she makes new friends and explores the city.

Jai Gangaajal

Priyanka Chopra playing a cop in ‘Jai Gangaajal’ (HT Photo)

In this latest release, Priyanka Chopra plays a female cop, beating the bad guys and pulling off stunts that are mostly reserved for men (read the Akshay Kumars) of Bollywood. More power to women in gutsy roles.

Dum Laga Ke Haisha

A still from the movie ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ (HT Photo)

In a country obsessed with ‘slim, fair and lovely’ brides and ‘well-earning grooms’, this movie questions the prejudices of the arranged marriage market in the country.


Sonam Kapoor as Neerja (HT Photo)

Based on the real life story of Neerja Bhanot, the Pan Am airhostess who laid down her own life to protect passengers during an airplane hijack, the movie not just shows the grit and bravery of this young woman, but also the story of her grieving family. In a country, where the ‘girl child’ is often unwanted, this movie is about a family that celebrates its daughter, both in life and death.

Margarita with a Straw

A still from ‘Margarita with a Straw’ (HT Photo)

This independent movie is the story of sprightly, young girl (played by Kalki Koechlin) suffering from cerebral palsy. The movie explores bold themes revolving around women’s sexuality, something often viewed as taboo in Bollywood and the society.

Ki and Ka

Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor in ‘Ki and Ka’ (HT Photo)

This Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor starrer that is slated for an August release this year, is all set to question stereotypical gender roles in society. Kareena Kapoor plays a corporate honcho, while Arjun Kapoor is a happy stay-at-home husband content with taking care of the household.

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