From Bollywood to Hollywood: Movies That Celebrate Women

Women’s Day is around the corner, and I have my day planned out. Popcorn, coke (yes! before it goes off the market) and binge-watching a bunch of beautiful movies that celebrate women.

As metaphorical as it might seem, I feel Women’s Day is a perfect occasion to revisit the movies that have women occupying the centre-stage. The absolute movie buff that I am, I have always found myself getting inspired by the lives of fiery women on the celluloid. After all, it still remains a male-dominated world and seeing women take control of their lives is a happy retreat from the mundane reality of our times.

Be it the celebration of female friendships in Sex and the City or Michelle’s journey defying all odds in Black, I feel, these movies have a way of bringing us closer to our real strength. Here are a few movies I have taken refuge in when bowed down by life:

Sex and the City

A still from the movie Sex and the City 2.(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Sex and the City)

Love and labels aside, Sex and the City will always remain iconic for the portrayal of female bonding. When Carrie says, “they say nothing lasts forever…dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style”, you know it’s true.

The bond that Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte share reaffirms our faith of investing in good friends and holding on to them at a time when distance, jealousy and differences get the better of friendships. An absolute favourite, Sex and the City can never go out of style for me!

Angry Indian Goddesses

Apart from the female bonding shared by the women in the film, what has stayed with me is their portrayal as real flesh-and-blood characters, and not as goddesses (yes, don’t judge a book by its cover).

Each of the women has a story to tell and comes with her struggles, like most of us. What makes them even more relatable is the anger within them that is shared by women across the board – patriarchy, sexual harassment and the likes. And yes, it’s alright to let it all out and not feel apologetic about it.

Coco Before Chanel

A still from the movie Coco Before Chanel. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Coco Before Chanel)

Struggle comes in various shapes and forms, and there is nothing demeaning about starting small. This is exactly what Coco Chanel’s journey tells us. Everyone has seen her success, but who knows where she started? That is the thing about success – the work that goes behind is often forgotten. But don’t you think it deserves its share of credit?

Coco Chanel’s journey from a singer at a provincial bar to a business magnate is a delight to watch.

Parched

Women can choose what they want and they can act upon their desires – this is what Parched tells its viewers. The movie articulates the question of a women’s agency and brings out the nuances without over-dramatising the narrative.

The powerful statement it makes about women being able to confront violence and finally finding liberation is what makes it tick for me. In some way, it was also a harsh reminder of the relative privilege that women in urban societies have over their rural counterparts.

The Devil Wears Prada

Anne Hathway (left) and Meryl Streep (right) in a still from The Devil Wears Prada. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@aandreaocampo)

Miranda Priestly as the ‘ruthless’ female boss certainly paved the way for a better welcome reception of an ambitious woman, in a society that largely tries to suppress a woman’s professional endeavours. Was she the ‘devil’? I am yet to find an answer to that!

Besides, the trials and tribulations of Andy (played by Anne Hathaway), and how she finally discovers what she really wants in life is something that has stayed with me till date.

Pink

Pink said everything that I, as a single woman living away from home, wanted to say. The message that it gave about women’s right to ‘NO’ was long due. Not just that, the questions it raises about a women’s choices and their right to direct their lives and the manner in which it puts it out there, is definitely applause worthy – a tight-slap on the face of misogyny and patriarchy!

The Color Purple

The Color Purple is based on a novel by Alice Walker. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Colour Purple)

Steven Spielberg touches on a number of issues through the life journey of Celie Harris. The incredible journey of Celie, who fights racism, abuse, and patriarchy, is enduring to say the least. Her constant struggle and how she finds solace in the company of Shug and Sofia, once again showed the power of female bonding!