Women who call the shots!
Film-making may be a medium which has been dominated by men through the ages of its growth and evolution, but women have also put in a strong voice in this area. Bollywood as it stands today has become the stage on which many young and contemporary women are coming up and expressing themselves in novel ways. Mira Nair was one such Indian film-maker who had redefined movies on and about India. Indian women, their lives, hopes and aspirations, and controversial topics were dealt by her with such beauty and such élan, that she set the stage for many other women to come up and develop their talent upon this medium.
Reema Kagti had assisted many directors(Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar, Mira Nair, Ashutosh Gowariker and many others) before she made her debut as a director with Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Her work was greatly appreciated because she explored the complexity and the beauty of relationships through slapstick comedy and fun. Her most recent movie, Talaash, has also been very well received, since she managed to pull off a thriller which keeps one hooked to the story till the very end.
Kiran Rao too, has brought forward quite a few changes to the industry as a woman film-maker. Her very style and her approach is a very refreshing one, and she always chooses confident, independent female characters, as opposed to the clichéd damsel in distress which has become so typical of Bollywood. Gauri Shinde too, deserves a special mention here. She made her directorial debut in 2012 with English Vinglish, which also so the grand comeback of Sridevi. Her movie touched a chord like no other. Her treatment of the language barrier, of the woman trying to find meaning in her life, of trying to keep up with her times, was heart-wrenching without being melodramatic. Shinde’s husband, R.Balki, who is also a film-maker, admits to the fact that his wife is a far superior film-maker than her is.
This generation of women are making waves in the movie industry. They’re not dealing with issues extraneous to the country and the society we live in. In fact, it is very deeply embedded within the fulcrum of our everyday existence. They have very strong voices, and they are not afraid to use it. The objectification of women as heroines on-screen is something which these women have moved away from. They’re reinventing the beauty of Bollywood and they are doing so, all by themselves.
Film-making today, is a lucrative profession. One may have to struggle a lot, but it is worth it. Documentaries and independent films are also gaining prominence in the country, and more and more women are veering towards this form of art. If you have a strong voice, if you have an affinity towards the camera, then you must step out, and try your best. This medium is something which gains a lot of audience. Your voice is bound to be heard very clearly if you express yourself clearly. And doing what you love, and managing to combine it with earning potential and a cause is not something which comes along all that often.