Parallel cinema has often seen women-oriented films, but a female lead in commercial cinema is a new trend. Be it Priyanka Chopra's Saat Khoon Maaf, Konkona Sen-Raima Sen's Mirch, Kareena Kapoor-Kajol's We Are Family or Rani Mukerji-Vidya Balan- starrer No One Killed Jessica, Bollywood is seeing a sudden focus on women-centric films.
After Mother India, Guide and Mrityudand, Bollywood is again experimenting with women centric films. Vishal Bhardwaj's latest film Saat Khoon Maaf, portrays Priyanka Chopra as more than just a glam doll.
Unlike the usual uni-dimsnial projection of women in cinema, Priyanka's character shows the pain of a woman thwarted in love and marriage, a woman who doesn't hesitate to take revenge. Neither a vamp nor a sati-savitri, she is a 'real' woman facing the harsh realities of life.
Says director Vishal Bhardwaj, "I'm a feminist by heart. Women are the stronger sex, it's men who cry on their shoulders. It's important to portray women in the right way."
A self-declared champion for women, Bhardwaj has explored womanhood from diverse angles in his movies. From Taboo in Maqbool, Kareena in Omkara to Vidya Balan in Ishqiya, the women protagonist in his films are not the typical Bollywood dancing divas.These are women of substance who're forced by the situations in life to stand up and fight for a place in the patriarchal world. His heroines break the stereotypes associated with women in Indian society. "The character of the protagonist Susanna in Saat Khoon Maaf is shocking. People still can't think of girls in Bollywood movies dumping their boyfriends," adds the director.
After gyrating in skimpy clothes or weeping over their misfortunes for years, B-town's ballsy women brigade is ready to breathe fire.