Watched ‘Tanu weds Manu’ the other day and have to admit that despite Kangna’s flawed dialogue delivery, I quite enjoyed the film. Yes, I do admit that having a childhood favourite Madhavan helped make the film even better, but it was the characters that I felt were extremely interesting.
In the last few of months, some extremely interesting films have released and in each of them, the character of the female protagonist has been anything but stereotypical. So, has the portrayal of Indian women on celluloid changed by leaps and bounds?
Take ‘Tanu weds Manu’ for instance, Tanu (Kangna) hails from a small town but has no qualms in hurling abuses at her prospective groom, smoking cigarettes with her best friend in the middle of the night, or riding a bike! Or Priyanka Chopra, the hapless Susan in ‘7 Khoon Maaf’, who tries to be the docile wife, eventually becoming the no nonsense girl, who systematically kills all her husbands as they become unbearable.
//>Gone are the days when girls from small towns were the typical ‘homely’ types, who would obey their fathers and marry someone of their parent’s choice. The stereotypical portrayal of women, which ruled Indian films till a very recent time, has been witnessing a remarkable change.
Be it the blood thirsty Priyanka from ‘7 Khoon Maaf’, or no nonsense journalist Rani in ‘No One Killed Jessica’ or Kangna in ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, each woman has played a strong character who is not willing to accept male domination. They like to live life on their own terms, even if it means to do things which are unconventional.
As Meera, the abuse hurling journalist, Rani played the role of a woman who is more bothered about work then having a man in her life. Remember the scene where she is getting cosy with her guy but leaves in a jiffy when work beacons her? The workaholic Meera is like any of us, who probably gives work more priority than her relationships and is unapologetic about it.
In last year’s surprise hit ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’, Anushka Sharma plays an ambitious wedding planner who has the courage to break out of an established firm to make a mark on her own in the industry. Helped by Bittoo (Ranveer Singh) the duo successfully plan weddings of rich and the richest of the capital. For Shruti (Anushka Sharma), love comes later, as she has everything in her life revolving around her passion, her work. We do hear of similar cases in our day to day life, don’t we? We all know of friends who are trying to make a mark on their own. Or are confused in love or give work more priority than men just like Meera.
The portrayal of women in cinema is slowly becoming real. When you see such characters on screen you can easily identify the characters and feel ‘Hey! This is so like me!’ They look real, they behave real.
I feel it’s a good time for Indian cinema. Gone are the days when characters seemed like card board cut-outs. The stories are no longer fantasies; these are our stories, our times. Let’s just hope that it remains so for the times to come.
(The views expressed by the author are personal)