'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'

Updated: Apr 15, 2017, 08:29 IST
  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    'Begum Jaan': This film is the Hindi adaptation of National Award-winner Srijit Mukherji's Bengali film 'Rajkahini'. Vidya Balan had initially rejected the film when Srijit narrated her the idea two years ago. Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous events of the 1947 partition, Vidya plays the madam of a brothel whose house falls on the border of India and Pakistan
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    'Queen': The film created enough buzz with a drab looking Kangna Ranaut going places dressed as her character in the film. She plays a 24-year-old Punjabi girl, Rani, from a conservative family who decides to move on as she learns about the death of her fiance and goes for her honeymoon alone. The film focuses on Rani growing up as an individual, and her journey of rediscovering her own identity while on her honeymoon alone
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Mary Kom: This biopic stars Priyanka Chopra playing the celebrated boxer MC Mary Kom. With the film tracing Mary's rise, Priyanka had to go the extra mile to prepare for the role, be it going through rigorous workout regime to get toned physically, learning Manipuri or learning about Mary's lifestyle
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    English Vinglish: The film garnered a lot of attention as it was a comeback of Sridevi after more than a decade. It was inspired by director Gauri Shinde's relationship with her mother who was a Marathi-speaking woman and ran her own pickle business at her house in Pune. Her mother did not speak good English, which embarrassed Shinde as a child. She said in an interview, "I made this film to say sorry to my mother." Sridevi's portrayal of Shashi was outstanding and English Vinglish became an instant hit in India and abroad alike
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Heroine: The movie narrated the journey of Mahi (played by Kareena Kapoor) towards stardom and the ups and downs that come with it. It indicated where the glitz and glamour of the film world can take an individual
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Kahaani: Directed by Sujoy Ghosh, Kahaani featured Vidya Balan in the role of Vidya Bagchi, a pregnant woman in search of her missing husband in the city of Kolkata. At the 58th Filmfare Awards, Kahaani won five awards, including Best Director for Ghosh, and Best Actress for Balan
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    'Gulaab Gang': Starring Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla in key roles, the film is centred on the struggle of women in the country. Based on a documentary based on activist Sampat Pal's life called 'Gulabi Gang', the film shows a gang of women dressed in pink sarees fighting against social injustice. Both Madhuri and Juhi's characters portray strong characters antagonistic to each other
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    No One Killed Jessica: Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan gave power packed performances in Rajkumar Gupta's directorial venture No One Killed Jessica. The film was based on real life murder case of Jessica Lal in Delhi. Vidya Balan played the character of Jessica's elder sister, Sabrina Lal, while Rani played the role of a news reporter. Upon release, the film met with positive critical and box office
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    'Saala Khadoos': The film attempts to expose the politics that goes behind the selection of women athletes. Real life boxer turned actress Ritika Singh is exceptionally easy in front of the camera and is a delight to watch. In an exclusive interview with mid-day, Ritika confesses that the acting bug has bitten her and that she would prefer facing the camera to packing a punch in the boxing arena. Pic/Satej Shinde
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    The Dirty Picture: Directed by Milan Luthria, the film was full of 'entertainment, entertainment, entertainment' and was loosely based on south siren Silk Smitha. Vidya Balan's uninhibited performance and bold dialogues were the highlight of the film that won her first National Award for best actress
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Fashion: Priyanka Chopra impressed the audience with her role of Meghna Mathur, a small town girl with big dreams who discovers that success comes at a great cost. She succeeds in her career as a model but her family disapproves of it, her lover breaks her heart and she loses her public standing. But she still has her inner strength and with the help of Shonali played by Kangna Ranaut, she finds herself and succeeds again. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Parineeta: Debutant director Pradeep Sarkar received critical acclaim with this film featuring Vidya Balan, Sanjay Dutt and Saif Ali Khan in the lead roles. The plot revolves around the journey of Lolita played by Vidya Balan and her relationship with her family and lover. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Chandni Bar: This film won wide appreciation for Tabu for her portrayal of Mumtaz. Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar and set against the backdrop of a dingy Mumbai bar, the movie was acclaimed for its realistic performances. Tabu also won a National Award for it
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Page 3: Page 3 is the story of a rookie journalist, Madhavi Sharma essayed by Konkona Sen who comes to Mumbai hoping to make it big in the media glitz blitz. Also starring in film are Sandhya Mridul as Pearl, and a starry-eyed struggler, Gayatri played by Tara Sharma. Through a series of parties thrown by rich socialites and celebrities, the film introduces a bunch of dysfunctional and debauched characters. Taboos like homosexuality and bisexuality come out in the open. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Chameli: In this film Kareena Kapoor portrays Chameli, a young girl whose uncle sells her off to a pimp. She grows up to become a street smart prostitute when she meets Aman one rainy night. During the night, she helps an eunuch and her lover run away, evades the goons of the man who hires her and gets a boy she knows to help out Aman. Her attitude towards life pulls Aman out of depression and he returns home a changed man
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Dor: The film narrates what happens when two very diverse worlds collide. Ayesha Takia plays Meera, an innocent, affectionate, spirited but abiding young woman who lives with her husband in a traditional joint family set-up in Jodhpur. On the other side there's Zeenat essayed by Gul Panag, an independent and practical, but slightly cold woman from Himachal Pradesh. The film had multiple messages that transcended religion, community, strata and gender. Pic/ Santa Banta
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Lajja: In this film, Manisha Koirala portrayed Vaidehi who flees to India from New York to escape an abusive husband who is planning to kill her once she delivers his child. In her journey across the country, she meets Maithili, a bride who is being forced to pay dowry by her rich groom; Janki who is pregnant and is dumped by her boyfriend and Ramdulaari; a midwife who is gangraped when her adult son breaks social norms. All the women have their own battles to fight and Vaidehi joins them
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Aastha: This film starring Rekha, Om Puri and Navin Nischol in the lead roles received critical as well as commercial success. It was one of the most controversial roles of Rekha's career where she played a role of a married woman who turns into a prostitute. The film became very famous for its explicit love making scenes which lead to Rekha earning a nomination for Best Actress Award in 1997
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    Damini: The film was based on how a woman fights against society for justice. Starring Meenakshi Sheshadri, Rishi Kapoor and Sunny Deol, Damini was directed by Rajkumar Santoshi. Apart from Meenakshi Sheshadri's performances, the film became the sixth highest grosser of the year and was declared a 'hit' at the Indian box office
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Aandhi: It is said Aandhi was based on a real life persona of Indira Gandhi. Directed by lyricist Gulzar, the film featured Suchitra Sen and Sanjeev Kumar in lead roles. The movie was not allowed a full release when Mrs Gandhi was in power and was banned in 1975's emergency. After her loss in the 1977 elections, the ruling party cleared it and had it premiered on national television
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    Mother India: The movie narrated the story of an impoverished Radha played by Nargis, and the trying circumstances she had to face. By far the film remains one of Hindi cinema's most admired films. It was also the first Indian movie to be nominated for the best foreign language film at the Oscars.
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  • 'Begum Jaan', 'Chandni Bar', 'Chameli': When women became 'heroes'
    'Mardaani': This Rani Mukerji starrer portrays her in the role of a rough police officer. She also met Mumbai Police Crime Branch chief as part of research for her role
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About The Gallery

Gone are the days when the central characters of Bollywood films were heroes. As Vidya Balan's 'Begum Jaan' hits the screens, we look at films where women took the centrestage

 

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