International Women's Day, a special day dedicated to women, is celebrated on March 8 every year. As part of the celebrations, many events are held across the globe to honour them for their contributions and achievements.
Despite cinema being tagged as a male-dominated industry, many good women-centric movies have been made in South India and on Women's Day 2017, we list out eight movies, two each from Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada, that have strong female characters.
Though there are a number of Malayalam movies that give importance to female characters, Manju Warrier-starrer Daya is a must watch. Written by MT Vasudevan Nair and directed by Venu, the movie narrates the adventures of an intelligent slave girl named Daya, who disguises herself as a man to become the loyal minister to the king. How she intelligently takes revenge on people who betrayed her and reunites with her love Mansoor (Krishna) is the gist of Daya, in which Manju has delivered a remarkable performance.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan's critically acclaimed movie Naalu Pennungal, adapted from separate short stories by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, narrates the stories of women from different strata of the society. While Padmapriya plays a street prostitute named Kunjipennu, Geethu Mohandas is seen as Kumari, who remains a virgin as her husband doesn't engage in any verbal conversation or sexual activity. Manju Pillai as Chinnu Amma is a childless housewife, while Nandita Das is seen as a spinster Kamakshi in the movie.
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Revathy has delivered a notable performance in Mani Ratnam's romantic movie Mouna Ragam and even after 30 years, Divya Chandramouli remains as one of best roles she has ever played. She has portrayed the emotions of a woman, who finds it difficult to forget the demise of her lover and accept another man in her life.
Aval Oru Thodarkathai
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The 1974 movie Aval Oru Thodar Kathai, directed by K Balachander, revolves around the story of a working middle-class woman Kavitha (Sujatha), who makes many sacrifices to support her family that includes her mother, widowed sister, unmarried sister, blind brother, alcoholic brother and his family. Even after she decides to get married, she doesn't lead a peaceful life and continues to support her family. The movie is considered to be the best of the director and the actress, and is said to be the favourite of many filmmakers like Mani Ratnam, K. Bhagyaraj and K. S. Ravikumar.
Anushka Shetty's epic historical fiction drama Rudramadevi, released in 2015, is one of the best Telugu movies that gives importance to women character. The movie, which is based on one of the prominent rulers of the kakatiya dynasty in the Deccan, is the directorial venture of Gunasekhar. Critics have appreciated Anuskha for her remarkable performance in it.
Puri Jagannadh's Jyothi Lakshmi revolves around the life of a small-time heroine, who struggles to be part of the industry. Charmme Kaur plays the lead role in the female-centric movie, for which she received a positive response from the audience.
Benkiyalli Aralida Hoovu
K Balachander's 1983 movie Benkiyalli Aralida Hoovu, starring Suhasini Maniratnam as the protagonist, is a must-watch. She even bagged the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. The movie narrates the story of a woman, who spends her life taking care of her mother, siblings, and alcoholic brother's family, and doesn't have time for herself. Heard of a similar storyline before? Yes, it is the remake of the Tamil movie Aval Oru Thudar Kathai.
Sharapanjara is one of the best Kannada movies till date and revolves around the story of Kaveri (Kalpana), who leads happy married life with Sathish (Gandadhar). However, her past, when she was forced to have pre-marital sex by her cousin, affects her mental stability that leads to issues with her husband. The movie was well received by the audience and even bagged the 20th National Film Award under the category of Best Feature Film in Kannada in 1971.