24 July, 2021

Female Interest

Some of our favourites. Regional radicals make for another story. So no Charulata, Phaniyamma, Aparupa, or Paroma in this list.

Female Interest

Much before Dil Chahta Hai became synonymous with the hip and the cool, there was In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones. Set in the westernised campus of a Delhi architecture college, the movie revolves around Radha, the rebellious student, played by Arundhati Roy, who also wrote the screenplay. It was a role she would remember fondly. Radha was a woman never before seen in Indian films. She lived for herself, was accountable to herself. The Mallika Sherawats and Bipasha Basus pale completely before her carefree sexuality.

Quite a few women of substance have stood out in the midst of the Durgas, the Shaktis, the weepy doormats or cheesy commodities created for the male gaze in Indian cinema. No, we aren’t even talking of Mother India and Pakeezah here. Simply because two of the most memorable female roles in Hindi cinema have also emerged as populist image traps that generations of heroines have found difficult to break out of. Instead, consider the confused but reckless Deepa Sahi in Maya Memsaab. Or Nutan, the rebellious delinquent...

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