A Movie Where Images Are Drawn Is An Animated Movie The Changing Face of Women In Indian Cinema

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The Changing Face of Women In Indian Cinema

In its amazing journey of nearly a hundred years, the Indian film industry, consisting mainly of ‘star-struck’ Bollywood as well as a host of regional films, has witnessed a major shift in the presentation of female. protagonist. Yes, rarely will a person deny that Bollywood cinema has been essentially male-centric, leaving little room for the female counterparts to evolve and grow as versatile performers. The roles they played were mostly of the ‘sati savitri’ mold, without the variety and depth of the ‘female psyche’. However, filmmakers like Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Mehboob Khan and Raj Kapoor in the 50s and 60s made an exception with their brilliant portrayal of women who excel as wives, mothers and lovers. Some of their films portray the fine craftsmanship of ‘flesh and blood’ women, with all their inner depth and subtle spiritual individuality. Take for example, ‘Mother India’, ‘Pyaasa’, ‘Kaagaz ka phool’ and ‘Madhumati’. A close look at all four of these films will show you how they celebrate the extreme charm and energy of women in the face of personal adversity. These filmmakers have made constant efforts to present the constructive world of emotions of female protagonists with their supreme artistry and depth of human understanding.

Again, the 70s, 80s and 90s witnessed a severe decadence in the portrayal of the ‘heroine’ in mainstream Indian cinema. It was then that the ‘female’ protagonist was transformed into a ‘heroine’, implying the image of mere glamorous dolls, dancing around trees with heroes and performing cabaret numbers. In this way, she was designed as an exhibition or in other words, as a “nice touch” of the film, rather than a flesh and blood human being in her own right. However, even amidst such general decadence, a few films by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee stood out as standout variations on their depiction of the essence of the female soul. However, these films had their common success quotient of romantic songs, tunes and other feel-good factors that Hindi films are known for today. However, the treatment of the female protagonist was quite sensitive, compared to many other formulaic films released at the same time. Take for example, “Abhimaan”, where we see the extremely soulful Jaya Bhaduri giving up her music career at the whim of her jealous husband and later facing her own personal agony through the magical device of music. Again, in “Mili”, we find another bubbly, high-spirited Jaya, suddenly stricken with leukemia and trying to live life with the same animated zeal as her lover. On the other hand, “Chhoti si baat” and “Rajnigandha” reflect on the lives of working women of the 70s and the dilemma they experience regarding the men in their lives, albeit in different contexts.

Bollywood mainstream films aside, Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Hritwik Ghatak’s Bengali films deserve special mention in terms of psychological exploration of the female protagonist. Ray, in “Charulata” in the 60s, introduced us to the majestic “Charu” in all her finesse and quest for a lifetime of creativity. In her relationship with Amal, which begins with Charu exploring her literary and creative pursuits, companionship and much-needed intellectual attention forms the core of this “extra-marital” affair that changes her inner being forever. Again, Ray in “Ghare Bairey” and “Mahanagar”, depicts the female always facing uncertainty and extraterrestrial reality, exploring the emergence of the modern woman in the upper class of colonial India. One cannot help but draw parallels with Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, as these two films, like this play, mark a woman’s search for her identity, an introspection of her soul and a gradual self-realization, challenging all models. defined by a male-dominated society. Mrinal Sen, on the other hand, in “Ekdin Pratidin”, explores the troubled life of a working woman and focuses on her inner turmoil while questioning the so-called “justice” of the outside world. The film depicts the trauma caused in a lower middle class home in Bengal when the little girl fails to return home in time. As the family is gripped by anxiety, many facades crack and unresolved tensions surface, exposing the hypocrisies and pretensions of so-called “respectability.” Again in “Duroto” Sen talks about the ‘distance’ between a married couple and the pain of their alienation. Mamata Shankar here plays the woman devastated by the bitterness of divorce and who later shines with the hope of reconciliation.

Hrithwik Ghatak’s Meghe Dhaka Tara, Komolgandhar and Subarnarekha, on the other hand, portray the conflicting worlds of women struggling for a living in post-Partition Bengal. Partition, with its devastating consequences, forced women from middle- and lower-middle-class families to return as breadwinners. Ghatak’s films, based on these grim fragments of reality, explore the subtle pains of women in such gripping situations.

Today, the portrayal of the female protagonist has been increasingly challenging in the context of her sexual identity. The seed of this search was first planted by the dynamic Aparna Sen in the 80s with “Paroma”, where the woman walked the path of so-called “promiscuity” only to gain psychological maturity in the long run. Today, directors like Deepa Mehta, Mira Nair and Meghna Gulzar are fair enough to depict ‘taboo topics’ like lesbianism, polygamy and even surrogacy, where her wife takes the lead in proposing, making love and even in the decision to “rent”. “Her belly saw the permission of her future husband! While in Fire and Kamasutra, women brave the world to explore their sexual desires, in Mahesh Manjrekar’s Astitva, spiritual Aditi gives birth to a child out of wedlock and shatters the vain world of male vanity when the truth is finally revealed. . The film questions feminist moral concerns through a detailed examination of sexual and family relationships. Again, very recently, in Shunyo-e-buke, a Bengali film by Koushik Ganguly, the protagonist is a flat-chested woman of the 21st century who questions the basis of one’s value judgment. woman “from her cleavage”. . In a vain society where a rounded, curvaceous figure is considered the supreme embodiment of female beauty, where her bustline is more valuable than her brains and emotions, this striking film questions the projection of women as sex objects in Indian society.

So from Hritwik Ghatak’s ‘Subarnarekha’ to Rituparno Ghosh’s ‘Bariwali’, from Raj Kapoor’s ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ to Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Chandni Bar’, we see the changing face of Indian women enmeshed in their world private of internal turmoil and the external world of many challenges. Women in India, defined by a set of relationships and patterns of behavior within the framework of an established society, have over the years learned to live under the twin whips of heritage and modernity; and it is welcome if more and more directors in the coming years project the awakening of the female consciousness, breaking the archetypal patterns with their clarity of perception. On a lighter note, our older generation, previously exposed to the “vampire” Helen, now comes face to face with the more “fatal” Urmila Matondkar. Many are saying that the change is “delicious” for their “filmic” palate!

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