15 Films Directed By Indian Women That You Should Have Watched Like, Yesterday
They are essential viewing!
While female directors are responsible for some of the best movies to have come out of the industry, they are still astonishingly outnumbered in Bollywood. Here's celebrating just some of the MANY fantastic films that are directed by Indian women:
Directed By: Meghna Gulzar
A Rashomon-style retelling of the horrific 2008 Noida double murder case,
Talvar is gripping and heartbreaking in equal parts. Solid performances from Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi, and of course, the late Irrfan Khan have turned this movie into a cult classic.
Directed By: Deepa Mehta
The first ever mainstream Bollywood movie to depict a lesbian relationship,
Fire was truly groundbreaking. It is about Sita (Nandita Das) and Radha (Shabana Azmi), who, having been trapped in loveless marriages, decide to pursue a relationship with one another despite the parochial society that they are a part of.
Gully Boy (2019)
Directed By: Zoya Akhtar
At the outset,
Gully Boy presents itself as a simple underdog story as it follows Murad (Ranveer Singh), an aspiring rapper who feels strongly about social issues and whose life changes when he meets Shrikant "MC Sher" (Siddhant Chaturvedi). However, the movie is a lot more than that — it is one of the most splendidly-crafted and truly hard-hitting commentaries on class disparities in India. Alia Bhatt's performance is the icing on the cake.
Dhobi Ghat (2010)
UTV Motion Pictures
Directed By: Kiran Rao
Four people who come from different walks of life, have their fates and paths intertwined in the dazzling metropolis that is Mumbai.
Dhobi Ghat is Kiran Rao's heartfelt tribute to the city.
Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017)
Directed By: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Bitti (Kriti Sanon), a feisty girl from Bareilly, reads a book that changes her life and therefore ends up falling in love with the author, Pritam Vidrohi (Rajkummar Rao). She makes it her mission to look for him and does so with the help of Chirag (Ayushmann Khurrana), the local printing press-owner. The film boasts of stellar performances from the entire star cast, especially
Pankaj Tripathi and Seema Pahwa.
Directed By: Tanuja Chandra
A psychological thriller that masterfully addresses delicate topics such as childhood trauma and religious fanaticism,
Sangharsh is an exceptionally underrated movie. Ashutosh Rana's character continues to give people nightmares.
A Death In The Gunj (2016)
Directed By: Konkona Sen Sharma
A truly mesmerising piece of cinema,
A Death In The Gunj feels like a Ruskin Bond novel with its setting in the colonial town of McCluskieganj and a tiny blue Ambassador as a character of its own. However, it actually is a rather dark and stirring commentary on the importance of mental health awareness. Watch it for Vikrant Massey.
Margarita With A Straw (2014)
Viacom18 Motion Pictures
Directed By: Shonali Bose
A moving, slice-of-life film,
Margarita With A Straw is about Laila (Kalki Koechlin), a young woman who lives with cerebral palsy. But that is not her only identifier — she is also a rebel who writes and composes music and eventually attains a scholarship to study in New York, where she finds love.
English Vinglish (2012)
Directed By: Gauri Shinde
A shining example of the "feel-good" genre,
English Vinglish is about Shashi (Sridevi), who, having been continually mocked by her family for not being able to converse in English, decides to take up lessons to prove her worth as a wife and a mother. In the process, she ends up finding herself. This movie will make you tear up and miss the acting powerhouse that was Sridevi.
The Namesake (2006)
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Directed By: Mira Nair
While it is very much an English-language film,
The Namesake (based on a novel of the same name by Jhumpa Lahiri) makes it to this list because of how beautifully poignant it is and how remarkably Nair depicts the Indian immigrant experience. Tabu, Kal Penn, and the late Irrfan Khan were perfectly cast.
Mr. And Mrs. Iyer (2002)
Directed By: Aparna Sen
While it comes across as a love story set against the backdrop of communal riots,
Mr. and Mrs. Iyer is so much more than that. For starters, the movie was way ahead of its time in capturing the current socio-political atmosphere of the country. Furthermore, it is easily the most satisfying depiction of human vulnerabilities.
Peepli Live (2010)
UTV Motion Pictures
Directed By: Anusha Rizvi
Perhaps one of the most wonderful satires to have come out of Bollywood,
Peepli Live deals with the issue of farmer suicides in India's hinterland and in doing so, it brilliantly throws light upon TRP-hungry news channels and unprincipled politicians. You'll be thinking about this movie for days on end.
Directed By: Reema Kagti
Talaash is a great psychological thriller that revolves around the lives of Inspector Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) and his wife Roshni (Rani Mukherji) as they cope with the death of their son. While struggling to deal with his personal loss, Surjan is tasked with investigating the mysterious death of a movie star.
Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016)
Balaji Motion Pictures
Directed By: Alankrita Shrivastava
There are very few films that celebrate the fact that women have desires and
Lipstick Under My Burkha is one of them. It follows the struggles of four ordinary women — Usha (Ratna Pathak Shah), Rehana (Plabita Borthakur), Leela (Aahana Kumra), and Shirin (Konkona Sensharma) — in their quest for freedom in a deeply patriarchal society.
Om Shanti Om (2007)
Red Chillies Entertainment
Directed By: Farah Khan
It's been more than a decade and this out-and-out
masala blockbuster continues to be a guilty pleasure for many. The story was gripping, the songs were (and still are) catchy, Shah Rukh Khan was in his element, and the world was introduced to a gem known as Deepika Padukone. What more could one ask for? TV and Movies
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