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‘O Womaniya’ slays web space

The year 2018 saw many female actors give stellar performances in the web space. Strong female characters and fresh faces emerged on Over the top (OTT) platforms.

bollywood Updated: Dec 31, 2018 16:28 IST
Anurag Singh Bohra
Anurag Singh Bohra
Hindustan Times
Web series,OTT Platforms,Aahana Kumra
Actors such as Kubbra Sait, Aahana Kumra and Rasika Dugal appeared in various web series.(Photos: Instagram)

The year 2018 saw many female actors give stellar performances in the web space. Web series such as Sacred Games, Mirzapur, and Rangbaaz, among others, showcased strong female characters, and names such as Rasika Dugal, Kubbra Sait, Nidhi Singh and Shriya Pilgaonkar emerged as the fresh faces on OTT platforms.

Women characters need to be fleshed out

Web platform has given recognition to underrated actors, especially women. Actor Aahana Kumra says, “The business module of the Hindi film industry is based on a male-driven industry. Very few films have female protagonists. The distributors only see business, and therefore, female characters have not been fleshed out yet.”

However, with OTT platforms gaining popularity, writers are attempting experimental genres now and Aahana agrees, “Nowadays, women prefer watching female actors portraying characters integral to their lives.”

Focus on niche content

Women not getting enough representation in TV and film industry has been a talking point, and women writers and directors are attempting to do away with this trend. Rangbaaz director, Bhav Dhulia, says, “You need to focus on niche content to have more powerful female characters.”

Objectification of women

The ’80s and ’90s was a phase in Hindi cinema where stalking was normalised as wooing. Actor Kubbra feels that females have been objectified in the past. “Female characters are no longer an arm candy for the male protagonist. The access to long-form content allows us to explore not just the psyche of a female character but also her sexuality, ambitions, failures and world views,” says Kubbra, who played the role of a transgender (Kuku) in Sacred Games.

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Dope throwback with @denzilmachado 🖤

A post shared by Kubbra Sait (@kubbrasait) on

“With online platforms becoming popular, portrayal of different kinds of characters is getting better. It’s a great space to be in with such incredible storytelling,” she adds.

Pay attention to women’s desires

Rasika, who played the role of a mafia don’s wife in Mirzapur, feels that today there are more “interesting and challenging” roles for females than before. She elaborates, “It’s quite refreshing to see how women in web series are being recognised as sexual beings. Otherwise, our entertainment industry would always talk about male desires. I still feel that we need more shows where women are not just supporting the male cast but are holding their ground and driving the story in a way where they celebrate their femininity without trying to resemble men.”

Interact with Anurag Singh Bohra at Twitter/KashiNomad.

First Published: Dec 31, 2018 16:28 IST