In Bollywood, not many filmmakers dare to make women-centric films. Every year, a few women-centric films release, but not all taste success. However, the year 2014 has proven to be an exception. We have an umpteen number of women-centric films this year; few have already released and proven to be successful at the box-office, and few are yet to hit the silver screens.
The year started with Madhuri Dixit’s comeback into Bollywood after seven years. She had two releases in the first quarter – ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ and ‘Gulaab Gang’. However, unfortunately none of the films proved to be successful at the box-office. But, one cannot deny that Madhuri’s performance in both these flicks was impressive as always. Understandably, she is a huge star, but to make a woman-centric film with an actress who hasn’t been on the silver screen since seven long years was indeed a huge risk, which unfortunately didn’t pay off!
Kangana Ranaut has surely been one of the most talented actresses of Bollywood, but with women-centric films like ‘Queen’ and ‘Revolver Rani’, the actress proved that she can handle any kind of role given to her. Vikas Bahl’s ‘Queen’ showcased a totally different story and was liked by the audiences and critics alike. The movie beat the collection of Vidya Balan starrer ‘Kahaani’, and proved to be the highest grossing woman-centric film till date. But, when it comes to ‘Revolver Rani’, Sai Kabir’s unique style of storytelling didn’t go down well with the audiences and the film failed at the box-office.
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Nagesh Kukunoor has always told us some great stories onscreen, and this year too he gave everyone ‘Lakshmi’, a film which tackled the issue of child sex trafficking. The movie showcased the reality, but due to its grim issue, lesser known faces, and lack of effective promotions, the film didn’t do well at the box-office. But, the movie as well as the lead actress Monali Thakur was appreciated.
Vidya Balan is said to be the queen of women-centric films. Her movies ‘The Dirty Picture’ and ‘Kahaani’ are surely one of the best women-centric films made in Bollywood. And this year too, after two years, Vidya Balan came up with a film that rested totally on her shoulders – ‘Bobby Jasoos’. It was expected that the film will impress the critics, if not the audience, and sadly this is exactly what happened – the movie failed at the box-office, though it got rave reviews.
After the success of women-centric films like ‘Ragini MMS’ and ‘Hate Story’, the makers opted to come up with the sequel of the films. ‘Ragini MMS 2’ and ‘Hate Story 2’ were sleeper hits of the year. Made with an average budget, the movies starring Sunny Leone and Surveen Chawla managed to impress all.
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After her marriage, Rani Mukerji was all set to be back on screen with the film ‘Mardaani’. The movie showcased the issue of human sex trafficking in India. The hard-hitting concept of the film and Rani Mukerji’s power-packed performance made the film a hit at the box-office. The film also got applause from the critics, and Rani is being honoured by many states for her performance in the film.
Last year, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra gave us the biopic of Milkha Singh, and this year Sanjay Leela Bhansali brought forth the biopic of a sportswoman, Mary Kom, on screen. The film showcased the life of the champion boxer, and above all it was Priyanka Chopra’s fantabulous performance that made the movie a hit at the box-office. The movie was declared tax-free in many states before it released, and despite the tickets being available at a lesser price, the movie collected around Rs. 50cr at the box-office in the first week itself.
Bipasha Basu has proved her mettle in past, but this time when she teamed up with Vikram Bhatt for a woman-centric film ‘Creature 3D’, her magic failed to bring the audiences to the theatres. The film failed at the box-office miserably as it was a not a typical Bollywood film and Vikram had tried something different this time by making a creature flick.
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Next, Sonam Kapoor is all set to entertain us in her upcoming woman-centric film ‘Khoobsurat’. The film is the remake of 1980 release ‘Khubsoorat’ starring Rekha, and is directed by Shashanka Ghosh. The songs of the film are quite catchy, and even the dialogue promos seem fun. In addition to this, the fact that Sonam and Fawad are going all out to promote their film is only giving the film more buzz. So, one can expect the film to do a good business, especially in urban parts of the country. However, it all depends on word of mouth, we feel.
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Looking at the success rate of women-centric films, we hope more filmmakers opt to make films with a female protagonist, and we get strong characters like Rani (Kangana In ‘Queen’), Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani In ‘Mardaani’), Mary (Priyanka in ‘Mary Kom’), Lakshmi (Monali in ‘Lakshmi’), etc. to inspire Indian women.