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GirlfriendWomen's Day special: A tribute to Bollywood divas
08th Mar 2005  19.10 IST
By N K Deoshi  


Not only are women becoming more assertive in life but in Bollywood films as well. She is no longer a mere embellisher, no longer just a hero's woman. She has rightfully wrested her well-deserved place in tinsel town.

What goes on in life, trickles down into our movies too, no matter how fantasy-based they may be. There was a time when Hindi films reflected an image of woman as a creature relegated to the sidelines while the male mostly stepped into the shoes of a protagonist. Times have changed and with it has the place of women in our society and our films.




The most noticeable change in Bollywood is the newfound assertion of female characters in our films. She is no longer confined to domestic chores. She is a more liberated, self-dependent individual, a visionary, a vamp, a seducer, an adulterer and what not. Films are being made on lesbian relationship ( Girlfriend ), on wives cheating their husbands ( Murder , Tum ), on wives swapping their husbands ( Fun: Can Be Dangerous ). And this is just the beginning.

Behind the camera also, women have taken the leap and made their mark on the director's seat. The biggest Bollywood hit of last year ( Main Hoon Na ) was directed by a woman. And the first Hindi movie on the issue of AIDS ( Phir Milenge ) also came from a woman director. Farah Khan and Revathy , the harbingers of women directors in Bollywood, have blazed the trail being followed by the likes of Leena Yadav ( Shabd ) and Vanita Nanda (White Noise).

Women directors of Indian origin have also carved a niche in global cinema. Filmmakers like Mira Nair (Vanity Fair), Gurinder Chadha ('Bend It Like Beckham' and Bride and Prejudice ), Pamela Rooks (Dance Like A Man) and Deepa Mehta (Fire, Bollywood Hollywood) have got acclaim worldwide for their talent.

And recently the US also got introduced to Bollywood, thanks to the beautiful Aishwarya Rai who appeared on some late night shows on the American TV.

To sum it all, women are taking the front seat and proving to be no less than men. They are making forays into territories hitherto forbidden - getting bolder on screen ( Payal Rohatgi , Nigar Khan ) and also showing their acting talents ( Rani Mukherjee , Preity Zinta ) apart from the other things they flaunt ( Mallika Sherawat , Neha Dhupia ).

Today's women are succeeding at what they strive. And they are also behind men's success, as the saying goes.





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