Movie characters impact almost three-fourth of the population in India. Conveying a message to the public through a movie with a strong protagonist is much easier compared to any other social campaigns. Many women are getting inspired with the feminist roles being projected where women can do anything and they are equal to men.
Feminism has been rising in India from the recent past where many women have broken the stereotype: “woman has to be at home”. They have proved everyone wrong by depicting the fact that they are capable of handling both home chores and profession.
Here are the 12 feminist movie characters from the Indian movies where the protagonist has reflected the women power.
Vijayalakshmi (Lisa Haydon) – Queen
We all have watched the renowned movie, Queen and the heartthrob character of Vijayalakshmi won much attention of women who desires to live free-spirited without any past experiences haunting them till now. There are many lessons to be learnt from Vijayalakshmi; she is a single mother who dares to do any job to keep her child happy. She knows how to deal with the troubles and is up to any adventures in the row. As a single mother, she is strong, independent and is capable of standing for herself in a place like Paris.
Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) – English Vinglish
The story of English Vinglish is about a woman, Shashi Godbole, who is a typical traditional Indian mother, who sacrifices all her interests and passion for her husband and children. But, Shashi makes laddoos and sells it to closed circles among friends and families. Though she doesn’t have a proper structure for her business, she is an “entrepreneur” who knows to make laddoos and sell it in order to save money for the future. Her financial skills are high. She is taunted in her family for being illiterate and for not knowing English. She goes to the US for her sister’s daughter’s wedding and learns English during her pass time. She proves to her family by speaking in English that she is capable of doing anything at the thanksgiving ceremony. She realises later in life that how travelling alone helps to build confidence in oneself.
Laila (Kalki Koechlin) – Margarita, With A Straw
The character Laila in the movie suffers from cerebral palsy and is a normal person with an interest which every teenager would want to experience. Laila discovers and experiences a lot of things in her life. She experiences one-sided love on a person. Then she goes abroad for her further career. She has her own band in the college. She meets a person named Sayani and she helps Laila to discover her sexual orientation as bisexual. Laila’s mother had always been on her side and has supported her in every walks of her life. Laila never wanted her life to be taken on a note of sympathy, she also wanted to live a normal life where every person undergoes difficulties and happiness. She proves that her disability is not a hindrance for her achievements.
Gita (Gayatri Joshi) – Swades
The movie makes us feel the patriotism involved in the characters like Gita who runs a school in Charanpur Village to improve the living conditions of the Villagers through education as her village is divided into caste and religion. She wants to break it and strives hard to bring people together and send their kids for education. She is very patriotic and would do anything to improve India. She strongly believes in women empowerment and gender equality. She is one of such characters who inspires every woman in the country.
Archana (Jyothika) – Mozhi
Archana is a deaf and dumb lady in the movie. She meets a musician in her life where she realises that there are a lot of things in the world to experience rather than being egoistic or not accepting things which she cannot do. She accepts the fact that every person has their own experiences and no one is less than the other. She doesn’t show herself as needy in the movie; she is an independent lady who earns and takes care of her family.
Sowmya (Tabu) – Kandukondain Kandukondain
The movie is women centric where one of the protagonists is the character Soumya where she starts her career as a typewriter and moves up in the ladder to coding level. She receives many marriage proposals but she gets rejected as she is not good to have in life astrologically. But still, she stays strong and earns money to support her family. She is a typical example of being an independent woman who faces a lot of difficulties in the society. Later in life, she finds her true love and gets married to him.
Chanda Sahay (Swara Bhaskar) – Nil Battey Sannata
Chanda Sahay is a single mother struggling to bring her daughter up to make sure she is settled in a better job with proper education. Her daughter finds it difficult to learn maths and Chanda get into school as a student and makes her daughter understand that maths is easy to crack. Chanda totally depicts in the movie that nothing is difficult and hard work pays off. She also makes the audience realise that the life begins at the end of the comfort zone.
Meera Gaity (Rani Mukerji) – No one killed Jessica
No one killed Jessica is based on the real-life murder story. Meera Gaity is the character who is considered to be more of an activist than being a journalist. She takes up the case out of curiosity to uncover the secrets behind the murder. She puts all effort and made sure the victim gets the justice. Being a woman, the character broke the stereotype and ended up being heroic for fighting for the justice.
Vidya (Vidya Malvade) – Chak De India
The movie depicts women hockey team where they put in hard work and wins the world championship. Among the team, there is a character Vidya, who is married and is a goalkeeper of the hockey team. Her husband and her father in law do not like her leaving the house and play hockey for India. She fights for her passion and takes an effort to play for the country. Finally when the team won the finals with the major part of her role; her family accepts her passion and praises her for being brave to achieve her dreams.
Kavitha (Sujatha) – Aval Oru Thodarkathai
The character Kavitha in the movie Aval oru thodarkathai depicts women empowerment. She sacrifices all her social desires to work hard and earn money to support her family and help her siblings educate. This is an old movie where the director broke the social taboos by casting this character by showing the importance of the role of women in the society.
Lajjo (Radhika Apte) – Parched
Lajjo is a childless woman with an abusive husband who uses her for all of his inadequacies. She makes sure her zest does not vanish no matter what comes in life. She finally decides to run away to experience the outside world with her three friends. Taking a decision to move away from an abusive relationship need guts to explore much better circumstances in life.
Meera (Shweta Menon) – Kalimannu
The protagonist, Meera aspires to become an actress and gets used by a director and gets cheated on by not releasing it. She decides to take her life, in that moment she meets a wonderful person and falls in love with him. She marries him and her career blooms up again. Her husband in a car accident becomes brain dead. Her struggle starts here, she decides to have a child with him and requests doctor to get her pregnant through artificial insemination. This spreads among media where she fights for her parenting rights. Her role explains the struggle of a woman in the society.