Bollywood movies have the reputation of being over-the-top and dramatic, so you might be surprised to learn that they also do a pretty good job at portraying the struggles women face in the real world. If you’re looking for some movies that represent real women in society, here are 9 Bollywood films about the real life of women. Some of them have happy endings, while others show how, in real life, nothing is ever certain!
9 Bollywood Films about the Real life of Women
Deepika Padukone portrays Queen Padmavati, a Rajput queen belonging to an Indian family, in her upcoming film Padmaavat. The movie is based on Alauddin Khilji, who was an Islamic Turkic ruler who captured Delhi and also wanted to capture Chittor Fort and ruled from there. In spite of being one of Indian cinema’s most expensive films and dominating social media headlines for months, it opened to less than stellar reviews from critics.
The story of Olympic medalist Mary Kom is based on her own life. The movie follows her early life as a poor and unwanted girl from Manipur, through to her training, marriage, and ultimate success. Set in India’s male-dominated society, Mary’s love for boxing eventually makes her a national champion, despite opposition from those around her.
Many women can relate to how she’s forced to fight against gender norms—and overcome cultural barriers—in order to achieve fame and recognition. If you’re looking for an inspirational true story, then watch the 2014 film Mary Kom.
Dangal tells a story that is not only true but inspirational. It chronicles how Mahavir Singh Phogat’s dream to make his daughters Olympic wrestlers turned into a reality, inspiring millions in doing so. Dangal is not just about one man’s victory, it is also a movie on women’s empowerment and their place in society. The hardships that these women endured on becoming champions in an otherwise male-dominated world make for a story worth telling time and again. In fact, while they might have won gold medals, their biggest achievement could well be changing Indian society forever.
The first of its kind, Pink is a 2016 Indian thriller film directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and produced by Shoojit Sircar and Juhi Chawla. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Dhritiman Chatterjee, and Piyush Mishra in lead roles. It tells the story of how women are treated specially in India when there is a change in their menstrual cycle. Pink focuses on several issues like eve-teasing, sexual harassment at the workplace, and murder. This movie can be seen as a direct reflection of director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury of modern India.
A Death in the Gunj
A Death in The Gunj is a 2016 Indian Hindi drama film directed by Konkona Sen Sharma. Based on a short story written by renowned writer Abu Abraham, A Death in The Gunj stars Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, and Vikrant Massey in lead roles. It tells a tale about a woman and her relationship with her family. She suffers from bipolar disorder and has been admitted to an asylum after attempting suicide, she returns home to spend time with her brother (Ranvir), father (Vikrant), and aunt (Kalki). The family is faced with tragedy when some unforeseen circumstances occur that eventually tear apart their lives.
In 2016, a movie was released in India called Parched that followed four women in rural Gujarat and focused on their personal stories. This film is an emotional roller coaster and is based on real-life events. It tells a story of how these women are dealing with social pressure to stay single, raising children as a single mother, rape, and sexual assault, among other issues. Although it is not as widely known outside of India, it has been praised for its poignant plotline and extremely accurate depiction of rural life for many Indian women. Parched stars Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla, and Lehar Khan portray four women from very different backgrounds.
A poignant story of a young boy forced to live with his grandparents in rural India after being kicked out by his own father, Udaan is also an important feminist film due to its powerful depiction of women as strong, independent individuals. It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with Udaan’s central character, Anu (played by Kalki Koechlin). Although her mother abandoned her when she was a baby and her father disowned her when she was old enough to make decisions for herself, Anu never let these facts diminish her spirit. She supports herself through waitressing and working at a local library and quickly finds that independence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Based on Harinder Sikka’s novel Calling Sehmat, Raazi focuses on a young Kashmiri girl who marries an Indian army officer to spy for Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Directed by Meghna Gulzar, produced by Vineet Jain and Karan Johar, and starring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal, Raazi is one film you don’t want to miss.
The true story behind Neerja, directed by Ram Madhvani, is a historical drama that stars Sonam Kapoor as Neerja Bhanot. The film follows 21-year-old air hostess Bhanot during her brave decision to fight back against hijackers while traveling to Dubai on Pan Am Flight 73 in 1986. In 1992, she was killed in a shootout with terrorists upon landing; she’s now honored as one of India’s bravest national heroes.