There was a time when our cinema used to display nervous, shy and a delicate looking actress on screen. Waiting in a park or roaming around a tree while waiting for her beloved draped in a “saree”. Now, the times have changed. Bollywood now portrays actresses in more of free-spirited and vibrant avatars.
Indian cinema has shown several shades of a woman in its 100 years of existence. The new avatar of the Bollywood females is the one represented by Kangana Ranaut of “Queen” and the Alia Bhatt of “Highway.” They lead their life on their terms, much like young modern women of today.
The attitude — enthusiastic, outgoing, opinionated, free-willed, and self-governing is so easy to embrace and fall in love with. Countless women dominated by social conformity, family, men, society, have found a part of themselves hidden in these characters. These characters are motivating the female folks of the country to shed all their fears and recognize their path, create it, follow it and emerge with excellence.
Kangana as Rani of “Queen” leads a simple, protected life like many middle-class girls in Delhi’s Rajouri Garden. She dates a man who does not allow her to dance her heart out even if she loves to, and is not comfortable with the idea of having a working woman as his wife. Rani adjusts like most of us Indian women. However, a time comes when her fiancé calls off the wedding, Rani instead of grieving, embarks on her honeymoon trip to Paris all alone. There she realizes that there is much more in life to enjoy, than to settle with a man who cares the least about your dreams and ambitions.
Same is the case with “Highway.” However, there is a contrast in Rani and Veera’s (Highway) family background. Unlike Rani, Veera is rich and well travelled. Yet, she feels something missing in her life and a ride on a highway brings joy to her life.
Katrina Kaif in “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, Deepika Padukone in “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” and “Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela”, Sonam Kapoor in “Raanjhanaa”, Parineeti Chopra in “Shuddh Desi Romance” and “Hasee Toh Phasee”, Sridevi in “English Vinglish” and the girls in “Chak De! India” — they all mirror the new age women who know precisely what they want from life.
It is a delight watching such pleasant and honest portrayals of women on screen. These characters show that if let loose, women can do wonders.