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She is soft and yet very strong inside. Her endurance is beyond imagination. She can handle trouble and carry heavy burden with equal ease. She displays many emotions from joy to jealousy, from fear to fondness and from sadness to surprise. What's more she is truly someone who wears many hats each day as a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter and a professional and yet excels in all her roles. She is none other than the Woman.
Even in reel-life, no Bollywood potboiler is complete without a woman's presence. Her presence simply lights up the screens thereby creating an unmatchable aura within the dark confines of the cinema hall. Hence we take a trip down memory lane and brings you some of the top women oriented films to have hit the silver screen.
In a land where women are worshipped in the name of Laxmi and Durga, they are also tortured, abused, humiliated and sometimes killed. Lajja showcases the journey of one such woman (Manisha Koirala) who is on the run, hiding from her husband. Whilst on this expedition to seek safety, she comes across three strong-minded women (Mahima Chaudhary, Madhuri Dixit and Rekha) who are bearing the punishment of being independent women. Drawing relevance to real life situations, the film makes one aware that though our society has progressed, somewhere these malpractices still continue against women. Lajja is the poignant story of those women who become prey to man's malevolence but still continue to fight.
Life has varied stages for women, but worst is if in the due course she loses her life partner forever. Dor is one such movie wherein Ayesha Takia married at a young age is forced to renounce happiness and live a life of repentance when her husband dies. When a family member dies, it sure is a moaning period but for how long will a woman moan. Doesn't she have the right to be happy ever again? Somehow, a woman is expected to moan all her life. Ayesha Takia's character in Dor suffers everyday. Gul Panag, who becomes Ayesha's friend, then makes her release that her life is not over and that she deserves to live happily like any other human being. Ayesha takes her first step towards her new life and moves on.
Chak De India
Very often sports are considered as a male dominant activity. Chak De India discards this pre-conceived notion. The film throws light on the forgotten game (which is also our national game), Hockey, and displays how the 'chakla belan chalane wali ladkiyan' can also make their nation proud. Chak De India emphasizes that women may not be physically stronger than men, but can put up a strong fight with undying energy and can match them even in the toughest of sport. Not just emphasizing on the physical fitness, but the film through the characters of Vidya Sharma and Preeti Sabarwal, also shows that women are very much capable of creating space for themselves in a so called 'male dominated' society.
Is the identity of a woman always marked with that of her husband's? Does a woman have a separate identity within a marriage? Astitva is the story of a woman (Tabu), who forgets herself and her desires to fulfill her duty as a devoted loyal wife. Where a man, (Sachin Khedekar) can break the laws of marriage and gets forgiven, a woman is condemned for the same. Living in the 21st century, when the so called 'broad-minded' son refuses to accept her, she decides that it is never too late to rediscover her lost identity. The film very clearly indicates that women can stand with or without men. Just because she has immense patience and endurance, one must not take her for granted. Her silence does not signify her ignorance.
When we talk of women oriented films, it is impossible to not include Mother India. The film was a complete package of social relevance. It narrates the story of a village woman (Nargis) who supports her husband in his work and also manages home. After an accident when Rajkumar loses his hands, Nargis takes over as the earning member of the family. Even when her husband runs away looking at his helplessness to get the family out of debt, she stands determined to fight the survival match. A disaster strikes when the entire village is swept away by floods. She also loses her youngest child in it. But the woman remains strong fending for her two sons for whom she is both the mother and the father. She fought for what she believed in and stood up against injustice, even if that meant to sacrifice her own son, because she believed what he was doing was wrong. Such is the trait of a woman. She can be humble and forgiving, but at the same time, if needed, she can also be merciless.