In contrast to male-driven films, women-centric films were not given equal representation and honor until more than a decade ago. However, as the years pass, audiences have begun to appreciate and expect to see films that are geared toward women and feature a woman in the lead role. Here is a list of the 20 best Women centric Bollywood movies of all time that one must watch.
The mega superstar Sridevi played the lead role in English Vinglish, which was released in 2012. The storyline follows a simple middle-class woman who tries to learn English to regain her lost confidence but is constantly let down by her family. Sridevi wins all hearts with her innocence and spectacular acting, making the film a must-see for the family audience.
Released in 2014, this is a film for you if you believe in self-love and the idea that you don’t need a companion to travel. The plot revolves around a girl who went from being a naive quiet woman to becoming a self-reliant confident woman. With her sheer beauty and natural acting, Kangana Ranaut single-handedly owned the silver screen in this film.
The dirty picture
Released in 2011, The Dirty Picture was a biopic of the late actress Silk Smitha portrayed by Vidya Balan. The plot revolves around a woman struggling to go a notch higher and shatter all the ceilings and boundaries to make her place in the patriarchal society and male-dominated film industry. Though the film looked unconventional, Silk’s character became really strong and unorthodox, making it a must-watch movie.
Vidya Balan plays the lead in this film, which was released in 2012. The story centers around a bold pregnant woman who is looking for her husband, who has gone missing, and everything she encounters along the way. The film is a must-see because of its fascinating plot and Vidya Balan’s outstanding and convincing acting.
In the year 2014, Mary Kom was a biopic of the greatest boxer ‘Mary Kom’ played by the actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas. Mary Kom’s challenges and all she has been through on her way to becoming a world-famous boxing champion are central to the plot. The film is a spectacular example of female strength and is highly motivating to watch.
Released in the year 2014, the film has Alia Bhatt in the lead role. The storyline revolves around the protagonist, who, towards the end, transforms into a very different person because of the trauma she went through. Overall it is a well-written story, and the characters did all the justice to their roles.
NH10, starring Anushka Sharma, was way ahead of its time. The film, released in 2015, portrays the brutal reality of honor killing murder cases in Haryana. Because of its unapologetic writing and depiction of characters, it received much praise and acclaim from everyone.
Released in 2016, Pink is a female-oriented film that raises awareness of the concepts of equality and consent. The film maintains that what is suggested to the girls must also be implied to the boys. Even though Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, in the film’s backbone, emphasizes women’s empowerment through its female characters. This movie is a must-watch for everyone as it brings a known yet unknown perspective to all the men and women out there.
Lipstick under my burkha
This film, released in 2017, is an accurate depiction of the injustice prevailing in our patriarchal society and how men and women are treated differently. The plot revolves around a group of women trying to balance their lives while dealing with inequality. Even though the film and its characters made many conversations, it is a must-see because it depicts the harsh reality of our male-dominated society.
Mardaani is a crime thriller starring Rani Mukherjee that was released in 2014. The plot revolves around child trafficking in our country and how Rani Mukherjee’s character, a crime-branch officer, deals with the man behind the child trafficking ring. This film stands out as an excellent example of how physically and mentally capable women can be and that even female actors can take on the role of protagonist in an action-crime-based movie.
No one killed Jessica
Released in the year 2011, the film had Vidya Balan and Rani Mukherjee in the lead roles. The film was based on the true story of Jessica Lal’s murder case. The plot revolves around these actors, with Vidya Balan portraying the victim’s sister and Rani Mukherjee portraying the lead journalist fighting the victim’s case. Overall, the film is commendable, and it is a must-see owing to the outstanding acting abilities of the cast.
Tumhari Sulu, released in 2017, starred Vidya Balan. The plot follows a happy-go-lucky middle-class housewife whose life is turned upside down when she gets a new job as a radio jockey. Vidya Balan received a lot of praise for her portrayal of the character due to her excellent acting.
Mom is a crime thriller that starred Sridevi in the lead role and was released in 2017. This was Sridevi’s last female-centric film, and she did a great job portraying Mom. The plot revolves around a mother who goes against all odds for her stepdaughter out of pure love and concern. Sridevi’s magnificent gestures enhanced the beauty of the film more than the dialogues.
Neerja was released in 2016 and is based on the narrative of flight attendant ‘Neerja Bhanot,’ played by actress Sonam Kapoor. The plot revolves around her life and her brave act of laying down her life for so many others. The film is a must-see because it celebrates the significant contributions of our country’s women.
Raazi, based on the true story and starring Alia Bhatt, was released in 2018. The plot revolves around a Kashmiri woman who marries a Pakistani army officer out of love for her homeland and fulfills her duty to it. Alia Bhatt’s outstanding performance and compelling depiction of the character of ‘Sehmat’ make it a must-see.
JHANSI Manikarnika- The Queen of Jhansi
Released in the year 2019, the film is based on the life of Rani Lakshmibai, the queen of Jhansi, who Kangana Ranaut plays. Manikarnika honors Rani Lakshmibai’s courage and heroism, and Kangana Ranaut’s brilliant performance makes it a must-see.
Gunjan Saxena- The Kargil Girl
The film is based on the life of the first Indian female Air Force officer who flew in a battle zone during the 1999 Kargil War and was released in 2020 with Janhvi Kapoor in the lead role. The film is a must-see because it honors the significant contributions made by women in our country.
Thappad is a 2020 film starring Taapsee Pannu in the lead role. The film is so well-written, with a plot that is both familiar and devoid of clichés. It’s a must-see; you’ll see how we appear to overlook certain seemingly insignificant details that are very important. Tapsee Pannu, with her natural acting and demeanor, steals the show.
Chhappak is a film starring Deepika Padukone that was released in the year 2020. Based on the life of Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor, the film is incredibly heartbreaking to watch. Deepika Padukone’s performance as Laxmi is highly promising and makes it a must-watch for the audiences.
Saand ki aankh
The film celebrates and is inspired by the story of two shooter daadi’s, Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar, played by Bhumi Pednekar and Taapsee Pannu, respectively. It defies patriarchal and traditional standards that limit women’s ability to participate in any physical activity that appears to be designed for men.