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STRONG WOMEN Coming To A Theatre Near You

By SUKANYA VERMA
March 08, 2022 10:43 IST
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2022 began on a promising note for Bollywood's leading ladies.

It's not even the end of the first quarter and already Deepika Padukone in Gehraiyaan and Alia Bhatt in Gangubai Kathiawadi have all guns blazing as women at the centre of a spectacle.

If the rest of the roster is any indication, women will rule the scene at Hindi movies this year.

What better occasion than International Women's Day to take a look? Sukanya Verma points them out.

 

Jalsa, Vidya Balan

IMAGE: Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah in Jalsa.

Vidya plays a journalist caught between ethical challenges as well as emotional ones when she sets out to cover the story of a teenager's hit and run case in Suresh Triveni's Jalsa.

Given Vidya's success at playing women of substance in films as varied as Milan Luthria's The Dirty Picture, Triveni's Tumhari Sulu and Amit Masurkar's Sherni, it's only fair to assume she'll do complete justice to yet another powerful avatar.

 

Bhakshak, Bhumi Pednekar

IMAGE: Bhumi Pednekar with Sanjay Mishra and Director Pulkit. Photograph: Kind courtesy Bhumi Pednekar/Instagram

Bhumi, too, plays a fearless journalist in Bhakshak, which revolves around crimes against women.

How her resolve to share the story of a woman's injustice is met with intimidatory tactics by people in power forms the crux of its feminist tale.

 

Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway, Rani Mukerji

IMAGE: Rani Mukerji with Producers Nikkhil Advani and Madhu Bhojwani. Photograph: Kind courtesy Emmay Entertainment/Instagram

Ever so hungry for meaty, author-backed roles, Rani is ready to sink her teeth into Ashima Chibber's upcoming drama.

Based on true events, the actress plays a misunderstood mother forced to fight for the guardianship of her own children in face of a Scandinavian country's stringent child care laws.

 

Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan, Shabaash Mithu, Taapsee Pannu

IMAGE: Taapsee Pannu with Pratik Gandhi in Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan. Photograph: Kind courtesy Taapsee Pannu/Instagram

PINK, Naam Shabana, Manmarziyaan, Badla, Game Over, Saand Ki Aankh, Mulk, Thappad, Haseen Dilruba, Rashmi Rocket, Looop Lapeta... Taapsee's career is brimming with strong, central, characters.

It will be fun to see her in the role of a cop searching for a missing girl in the light-hearted caper co-starring Pratik Gandhi.

We are equally eager to see her as the captain of the Indian women's cricket team leading it to 2017's World Cup final as Mithali Raj in Shabaash Mithu.

 

Chakda 'Xpress, Anushka Sharma

Photograph: Kind courtesy Anushka Sharma/Instagram

Anushka's bond with cricket is well documented.

In Chakda 'Xpress, she celebrates its glory too, as well as former Indian captain Jhulan Goswami's in a biopic about the pacer's professional prowess and personal strength.

 

Dhaakad, Tejas, Kangana Ranaut

IMAGE: Kangana Ranaut in Dhaakad. Photograph: Kind courtesy Kangana Ranaut/Instagram

Kangana's films are a showcase for her talent in the strictest sense.

Where spy thriller Dhaakad guarantees to flaunt her action star might to the hilt, Ranaut goes all out daredevil to portray an Indian Air Force pilot in and as Tejas.

 

Salaam Venky, Kajol

IMAGE: Revathy and Kajol on the sets of Salaam Venky. Photograph: Kind courtesy Kajol/Instagram

Actress-turned-film-maker Revathy ropes in Kajol to play an extraordinary mom in trying circumstances in Salaam Venky.

Kajol has played quite a few mums -- My Name is Khan, We Are Family, Helicopter Eela, Tribhanga -- in recent years and hardly ever got it wrong.

 

Double XL, Huma Qureshi, Sonakshi Sinha

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sonakshi Sinha/Instagram

Often a target of fat shaming themselves, Sonakshi and Huma address a subject they feel strongly about in Double XL.

In an industry where appearances mean everything, this is an important movie, which does not star Ayushmann Khurrana.

 

Darlings, Alia Bhatt, Shefali Shah

IMAGE: Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah on the sets of Darlings. Photograph: Kind courtesy Shefali Shah/Instagram

Not much is known about the project except it pits two of our best talents as a middle-class mother-daughter pair in a quirky slice-of-life about learning a thing or two about love and life.

Darlings marks Alia Bhatt's first as producer.

 

Jee Le Zara, Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt

Photograph: Kind courtesy Katrina Kaif/Instagram

Why should boys have all the fun?

Farhan Akhtar's gender-reversed Dil Chahta Hai ropes in a gorgeous girl gang of A-listers to play besties on a road trip in the aptly titled Jee Le Zara.

Besides the scenic tourism, it'll be exciting to witness all the unique inner, intimate reflections on life and friendships Jee Le Zara has packed on in its itinerary.

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SUKANYA VERMA / Rediff.com