Indian cinema has come a long way in its portrayal of women on screen. In this listicle, we shine a light on four unconventional strong female character portrayals in Indian cinema that have left an indelible mark on the industry and society.
These characters aren’t just strong in the physical senses. They also possess the strength to challenge norms, fight injustice, and redefine their own identities.
Raveena Tandon’s role as Durga Saikia is a compelling portrayal of a woman who refuses to be crushed by her circumstances. Durga is a young woman trapped in an abusive marriage, and her journey is one of survival, resilience, and eventual empowerment.
Through her portrayal, Tandon showcases the emotional turmoil of Durga, while also highlighting her strength in seeking justice for herself and others like her. The character’s transformation from a victim to a fighter is a testament to the indomitable spirit of women.
Brahma Janen Gopon Kommoti (2020):
Ritabhari Chakraborty‘s portrayal of Shabari in Brahma Janen Gopon Kommoti is a refreshing take on contemporary feminism. Shabari, a modern young woman, questions her society’s age-old customs and rituals that subjugate women.
She challenges the patriarchal norms surrounding menstruation and questions why women are excluded from religious practices during their periods. Through her character, Ritabhari emphasizes the importance of education, self-awareness, and the right to question and challenge tradition
Based on a true story, Aishwarya Rai’s portrayal of Kiranjit Ahluwalia in Provoked was a powerful depiction of a woman who found her strength within the confines of adversity. Kiranjit, an abused wife, is driven to extreme measures and eventually sets her husband on fire. The film delves into her journey from victim to survivor, highlighting the resilience of the human spirit.
Lisa Ray’s portrayal of Kalyani in Water was a poignant portrayal of a widow’s struggle against societal norms in pre-independence India. She embodies the strength to question, challenge, and ultimately redefine her fate. The character’s quiet determination to break free from the shackles of tradition. While forming bonds with other widows showcased the power of unity and the resilience of the human spirit.
These four unconventional portrayals of strong female characters in Indian cinema remind us that strength comes. In various forms and can be found in the most unexpected places.
Each character challenges societal norms, fights against injustice, and pushes the boundaries of being a woman in a complex world.