From Priyanka, Sonam to Aishwarya: Ladies ‘march’ to success

As women centric films such as Jai Gangaajal and Neerja continue to have a strong hold at the box office, HT looks at what filmmakers and actors think about this trend.

bollywood Updated: Mar 08, 2016 07:02 IST
Yashika Mathur
Yashika Mathur
Hindustan Times
Priyanka Chopra Jai Gangajal,Sonam Neerja,Aishwarya Rai Sarbjit
Priyanka Chopra plays a tough cop in Prakash Jha’s Jai Gangaajal.

If the last couple of months in Bollywood are anything to go by, women centric films are here to stay. With the recent Sonam Kapoor starrer Neerja getting rave reviews and more such films hitting the theatres this year, on Women’s Day, we explore how filmmakers have become more confident about casting women playing solo lead roles in their films.

Filmmaker Omung Kumar, whose biopic on Indian boxer Mary Kom, starring actor Priyanka Chopra, was critically appreciated, is now ready with his next directorial, which will see actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan play a pivotal role. Talking about female actors ­carrying a film entirely on their own, Kumar says, “People’s minds have opened up and they have started accepting new things. In the last two years, such films have started working. Why should a male actor be the only one pulling off a film on his own? Even a female actor can do it.”

Read: Aishwarya’s Sarabjit poster launched by Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari

Jai Gangaajal review: Priyanka Chopra shines in this predictable drama

Aishwarya Rai in a still from Omung Kumar’s upcoming biopic Sarbjit.

Actor Divya Dutta, who is known for her versatile roles in content driven films like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Badlapur, thinks that letting women take charge of the film is a risk that filmmakers are willing to take these days. “Choosing female centric roles is a very bold choice. But I would also like to give credit to directors for thinking out of the box and the audience for lauding the efforts.”

Quantico to Jai Gangaajal: What it takes to be Priyanka Chopra

However, filmmaker Prakash Jha’s recently released film, Jai GangaaJal, which has Priyanka playing a tough cop, says that a lot depends on the story of the film. “I did not write the story of my film thinking that I want a female centric plot. My story demanded that I should cast an actress. These days, the stories liked by the a­udience are driven by female actors,” says Jha.

Neerja review: Sonam Kapoor is the star of this searing biopic

Actor Raveena Tandon feels that the recent change in filmmaking has only done good for the film industry. “The landscape of Bollywood has changed. Filmmakers are focusing on women oriented movies. No leading actress would have done what Priyanka did in Mary Kom. These changes are good. The makers, actors and the audience... the film industry has changed for good,” says the actor.

First Published: Mar 07, 2016 19:36 IST