Women’s Day Special: 10 Bollywood Movies That Celebrate Womanhood

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Men in Bollywood have always stood out as the most favoured species. From movie plots to pay cheques - everything shouts out their supremacy. But time and again, the female actors have proved their mettle and outshone their male counterparts. Bollywood can boast of some fine movies where women have played the 'hero' and got all the fan adulation. No wonder so many writers are now penning stories with female leads on their mind and women are literally having a ball! O Womaniya!

This Women's Day, let us take a look at some of the finest Bollywood movies that raise a toast to womanhood.

1. Mother India
Think of woman-centric movies and Mother India will be the first in the list. Directed by Mehboob Khan, it has the legendary actress Nargis in the lead role. This epic melodrama of 1957 brings forth a unique depiction of motherhood and is highly praised for its striking dramatic appeal.

2. Aandhi
Starring Suchitra Sen and Sanjeev Kumar, Aandhi is considered one of the best Bollywood films dedicated to a woman and the choices she has to make in her life. The film is supposedly based on the life and times of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. And it is intriguing to watch how the director has captured the changes that circumstances bring about in a woman's personality. Aandhi was banned during 1975 Emergency but was later aired on national television.

3. Arth
Starring the aces of parallel cinema including Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Raj Kiran, Arth is the story of a woman who bounces back to an independent life after being betrayed by her husband. While Shabana plays the loving wife, Smita is the other woman, who gets involved with hubby Kulbhushan Kharbanda. This gem of a movie about man-woman relationship has been directed by Mahesh Bhatt.

4. Mirch Masala
Yet another classic tribute to women's courage. The film stars Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Deepti Naval and Om Puri, but it was the character portrayed by Smita that grows on you. No one can forget the climax where the rebellious women throw red chilli powder on the subedar, played by Naseeruddin.

5. Khoon Bhari Maang
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And Khoon Bhari Maang starring Rekha has featured this quite effectively. An innocent woman is deceived and nearly killed by a man in the name of love. Following this, starts her journey from a Plain Jane to a femme fatal, out to take revenge on the man who has torn her life apart.

6. Damini
What happens when a demure daughter-in-law drags her wealthy family to court to get justice for her maid, who is raped by her brother-in-law? Chaos and mayhem, especially in a society where a bahu is always expected to obey her in-laws. While Meenakshi Sheshadri gives a stellar performance as the female lead, the movie also stars Rishi Kapoor and Sunny Deol.

7. Page 3
This film gives you a peek into the adventurous and challenging life of a Page 3 journalist. The film stars Konkona Sen Sharma, who has delved deep into the character and conveyed a realistic view of the hazards associated with the seemingly glam job.

8. Dor
This is an entirely different take on the relationship between two women - one who has lost her husband while the other's spouse is in jail for murdering the first one's hubby. The film stars Ayesha Takia & Gul Panag, and both act remarkably well.

9. The Dirty Picture
Being unashamed about your sexuality takes guts and at times, it borders on arrogance. Vidya Balan, who has played South's sexy siren Silk Smitha in this flick, is a revelation as she portrays the character of an over-the-top seductress with elan. It's all the more commendable in a country where being open about your sexual urges is still considered a taboo. The film delivers 'entertainment, entertainment, entertainment' and reveals a different face of a woman.

10. Kahaani
With her stellar performance in Kahaani , Vidya proves that you don't need a hero to deliver a hit! In the film, she has played a seven-month pregnant woman who is in search of her husband, and a breath-taking thriller unfolds. Kudos to Vidya, who ironically displays more 'male ornaments' than most heroes.

Image credit: Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images
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