New Delhi: Director Anubhav Sinha is satisfied with the box office showing of his critically-acclaimed latest release, Thappad. Although the film managed just over Rs 22 crore till its second Saturday, Sinha has declared that is ‘exactly what I thought it’ll do — make money’.
While Thappad is yet to be declared a hit despite starting an important conversation, other women-led movies this year so far – like Deepika Padukone’s much publicised Chhapaak and the Kangana Ranaut-starrer Panga have also not achieved box office success. The grim Chhapaak, has managed a paltry Rs 32.48-crore haul since its January 10 release. It has been declared a losing proposition, according to the trade website ‘koimoi.com’. Panga failed to cash in on Republic Day zest, earning only Rs 25.64 over the past weeks since its January 24 release. The film has also been declared a flop.
The bright side of the show however, is the enthusiasm among the Hindi filmmakers to make women-centric movies. The next few months overflow with interesting projects that cast spotlight firmly on the female protagonist, and celebrate Indian womanhood across societal strata.
Among the most talked-about female-centric projects this year is Shakuntala Devi, a biopic of mathematics wizard Shakuntala Devi that casts Vidya Balan in the title role. “I want bigger openings than them (the male superstars),” the Kahaani actress had said with a laugh earlier this year. “I am greedy. I think it’s very interesting time in Hindi cinema. I really look forward to this decade. As a female actor at the age of 41, I am amazed at the variety of roles and kinds of films I am being offered,” Balan had stated.
The Janhvi Kapoor-starrer Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl will show that sky is the limit for women. It is a biopic of Indian Air Force combat pilot Gunjan Saxena, who entered the war zone during the 1999 Kargil War.
Psychological suspense will be the mood for Parineeti Chopra, when she returns to the screens, with her starring role in The Girl On the Train. The film, also featuring Aditi Rao Hydari and Kirti Kulhari, is a remake of the 2016 Hollywood thriller of the same name, which in turn was adapted from Paula Hawkins’ 2015 novel of the same name.
After featuring in one of the biggest blockbusters of 2019 – Kabir Singh, actress Kiara Advani will lead the cast of Indoo Ki Jawani. It will definitely have more scenes and dialogues than what was given to her in Kabir Singh, which was slammed for its toxic masculinity.
Kangana, who never wanted to be a hero’s sidekick, will be seen as late former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the latter’s biopic Thalaivi. The actress also has Dhaakad which Kangana had defined as a ‘one of a kind female-led action film’.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi will have Alia Bhatt as its protagonist. According to reports, the film revolves around a brothel owner and matriarch.
On International Women’s Day, there is a sure sign that the Hindi film industry is changing. More and more women are being provided with the role of the main protagonists. Saandh Ki Aankh is another example how filmmakers are slowly but surely going the women way.
That should always be the case considering the talent that actresses like Kangana, Deepika, Balan, Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar has demonstrated. They are also ready to experiment with different topics and hence the time has come for them to outshine the men. In the past they have done that also, but now with more and more directors foraying into unknown territories, the time for women has surely arrived for women in Hindi films.
The year 2020 surely looks like belonging to the heroines of the Hindi film industry.