Mother India is a 1957 Hindi film epic, written and directed by Mehboob Khan and starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar and Raaj Kumar. The film, a melodrama, is a remake of Mehboob Khan’s earlier film, Aurat (1940). It is the story of a poverty-stricken village woman named Radha who, amid many other trials and tribulations, struggles to raise her sons and survive against an evil money-lender. Despite her hardship, she sets a goddess-like moral example of what it means to be an Indian woman, yet kills her own criminal son at the end for the greater moral good. She represents India as a nation in the aftermath of
independence.The film ranks among the all-time Indian box office hits and has been described as “an all-time Indian blockbuster” and “perhaps India’s most revered film”. The film won the National Film Award for Third Best Feature Film in 1958.
2)- Bandit Queen
Bandit Queen is a 1994 Indian film based upon the life of Phoolan Devi. It was directed by Shekhar Kapur and starred Seema Biswas as the title character.Bandit Queen, based on the true story of legendary female warrior Phoolan Devi, is a confrontational epic that paints a far different picture of India from other
arthouse productions. Devi (Seema Biswas) is married at age 11, abandoned by her husband when she resists his advances, and turned into a social outcast who, at one point, is gang-raped by the upper-caste men of one village. She later gets her revenge by organizing a massacre that leaves 20 villagers dead. Devi ultimately leads a band of latter-day Robin Hoods on bold raids against landowners in Central India during the late ’70s and early ’80s, often taking their spoils and redistributing them to poor tenant farmers. By the time she is arrested in 1983, Devi has become a folk hero, especially to the women who live in rural India’s
brutally patriarchal society.
Rudaali is a 1993 Hindi film directed by the feminist Indian director Kalpana Lajmi, based on the short story written by famous Bengali litterateur Mahasweta Devi.It tells the story of a woman named Shanichari, who was abandoned by her mother shortly after her father’s death. Bad fortune follows as she marries an alcoholic,who leaves her with little hope of a brighter future for herself and her mentally challenged son. Throughout Shanichari’s lifetime of misfortune she has never cried. This creates great difficulty once she is called to become a rudaali until Bhinkni, an experienced mourner, enters her life.
Astitva is a 2000 bi-lingual film made in Hindi and Marathi, written and directed by Mahesh Manjrekar.
The critically acclaimed film revolved around the protagonist Aditi (Tabu) in her search for identity.
Dor is a 2006 Indian drama film written and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor and features Ayesha Takia, Gul Panag and Shreyas Talpade as the lead actors.The film is about two women who come from different backgrounds and how fate brings them together. Meera (Ayesha Takia), a young woman who becomes a widow shortly after marriage, is trapped by tradition. Zeenat (Gul Panag), on the other hand, faces the daunting task of saving the life of her husband, who is on trial for murder. A bahuroopiya (Shreyas Talpade) helps her reach Meera, who holds the “string” to Zeenat’s hope. The companionship that develops between Meera and Zeenat results in redemption for both.
Lajja is a 2001 Hindi film directed by Rajkumar Santoshi. In a land where women are worshipped in the name of Laxmi and Durga, they are also tortured, abused, humiliated and sometimes killed. Lajja showcases the journey of one such woman (Manisha Koirala) who is on the run, hiding from her husband. Whilst on this
expedition to seek safety, she comes across three strong-minded women (Mahima Chaudhary, Madhuri Dixit and Rekha) who are bearing the punishment of being independent women. Drawing relevance to real life situations, the film makes one aware that though our society has progressed, somewhere these malpractices still continue against women. Lajja is the poignant story of those women who become prey to man’s malevolence but still continue to fight.
Fashion is a 2008 Indian film co-produced, co-written, and directed by Madhur Bhandarkar.Based on the dark side of the world of fashion, the movie depicts it through the protagonist’s eye. Kangna plays a former supermodel who faces downfall and comes to the streets; though the story resembles the biography of
Geetanjali Nagpal, the director has denied that it is based on her life story. Priyanka Chopra and Kangna Ranaut won awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, at the 2009 National Film Awards for their roles.
8)- No One Killed Jessica
No One Killed Jessica is a 2011 Indian political crime thriller film starring Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan, produced by UTV Spotboy and directed by Rajkumar Gupta.The film, No One Killed Jessica is based on the true story of Jessica Lall, a Delhi-based model, who was shot in 1999 at a New Delhi restaurant by
Siddharth Vashisht, alias Manu Sharma, the son of a wealthy powerful influential and intimidating Haryana politician, Vinod Sharma, a close aide of the Chief Minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda.Jessica, along with actor and model Vikram Jai Singh, were closing a restaurant’s bar for the evening when approached by Manu and two friends. Infuriated by Jessica’s refusal to serve them drinks after the bar closed, Manu fatally shoots Jessica. The powerful family’s political, financial, justice and police connections of the accused intimidated, coerced, threatened and bribed nearly all the witnesses to the shocking, wanton and horrific crime. It then became an uneven battle between Jessica’s family, especially her sister Sabrina and the politically-backed and influential family of the accused. In February 2006, the court acquitted Manu and other accused due to lack of sufficient evidence setting off a public outcry and widespread protests. The
backlash from the initial acquittal forced the re-opening of the investigation. In December 2006, Manu was found guilty and sentenced to life.
ubeidaa is a 2001 Indian film directed by Shyam Benegal and written by Khalid Mohammed.The film is based on the life of the ill-fated actress Zubeida Begum.
10)- The Dirty Picture
The Dirty Picture is a 2011 Indian biographical drama film inspired by
the life of Silk Smitha, a South Indian actress noted for her erotic roles.