Indian Cinema has been an inseparable part of our culture ever since its inception in 1913. It is even older than the Independence of our country, and has continually become ingrained in our DNA. Ever since we were children, we’ve heard fascinating stories told by our people about how going to the cinema hall was considered a privilege, how the entire family would happily look forward to every Sunday evening to watch a movie, and how Chhaya Geet was the only source of cinema music.
The cinematic industry has come a long way since then, yet it sticks to the stereotypes it had set about women back then. There are changes that are up and coming but it seems like a long road that has been taken up.
The most out-and-out and influential way in which Indian Cinema propagates this is through movies. But there is a subtle, more ingenious way of portraying misogyny that often goes unnoticed – the quirky songs that accompany every film by default. The tradition is an old one, and we’ve been chanting them all along!
Female characters are usually used for the glorification of the male protagonist, if not that they are portrayed as the weaknesses. In reality, women are the pillars that make a male character what it is and none of it was acknowledged on the big screen, until recently.
Beginning from the ‘Abla Naari’ concept it has evolved and come to the ‘Modern Woman’, where the woman is glorified (not in way we would want her to be) if she’s working, driving a car or smoking a cigarette.
The fact remains, we address to a nation with a population of more than 1 billion. A nation where Bollywood is fanatically followed, and often worshipped. Here, the cinema going audience number is bigger than the population of most countries.
Although no doubt, the cinema is trying to pave its way to a brighter future with movies such as ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ where a woman’s needs are respected and reality is thrown into our faces with how some have been mistreated for the same. It still stands the truth that none of such movies appeal to the audience and hence gain no popularity that they are supposed to.
Although we face a bunch of issues in the industry, the films have now seem to come up with beautiful ways of portraying womanhood. Recent films like ‘Ocean’s 8’ or ‘Ladybird’ make a point to show that every kind of a woman is a badass when they want to be, and with their passion they can take over the world.
Movies like ‘Queen’ and ‘Kahaani’ depend entirely on the shoulders of the female protagonists, and they do nothing but justice to their characters and to the film in entirety.
The industry moving forward with the inclusion of women and their forms of art. We stand for equality as much as the next person does and we believe that art is extremely liberal and inclusive, hence the beauty of Womanhood in cinema these days catches our eye and makes us proud!