Bollywood’s Top Ten Strongest Women Characters

nargis16-mother-indiaMumbai: (IANS) Be it Meena Kumari in `Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam` or Tabu in `Astitva` – the Hindi film industry has witnessed a range of actresses essaying women-oriented roles powerfully. Here`s a look at the top 10 such portrayals, on the occasion of International Women`s Day Saturday.

* Nargis’ Radha in Mehboob Khan’s “Mother India” (1957): Nargis played Radha, the deserted wife who brings up her two sons on her own and kills one of them when he turns into an outlaw. For the first time in a Hindi film, the female protagonist was portrayed as strong and resilient, conscientious and doughty without losing her femininity.

* Meena Kumari’s Choti Bahu in Guru Dutt’s “Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam” (1962): In the feudal household where women were content wearing expensive sarees and jewellery and never mind what their husbands did with other women, this wife dared to raise her voice. If her husband liked to drink, no problem. Choti Bahu hit the bottle to have him stay at home. The portrait of a woman as the rebellious seductress opened up new doors in the way the woman was portrayed in our cinema.

* Mala Sinha’s Meena in Yash Chopra’s “Dhool Ka Phool” (1959): The `unwed mother` was an unsung entity until this film came along to shatter every myth about ideal motherhood. Mala Sinha, who was scared of what the film would do to her career, became a counsellor and guide to hundreds of girl students who wanted to know more about pre-marital sex.

* Nutan’s Kalyani in Bimal Roy’s “Bandini” (1963): She can do anything for love. Even kill her beloved’s nagging wife and go to jail. And when a chance to rebuild her life offers itself to Kalyani, she shuns it and runs back to the same man who unintentionally ruined her life. Love has never been blinder and the on-screen heroine never more resolute and passionate.

* Waheeda Rehman’s Rosy in Vijay Anand’s “Guide” (1965): Rosy is so seductive in her whimsicality, such a non-conformist that she dumps her husband for the love of dancing and then dumps her lover when he turns out less than what she had hoped. This film gave the Indian heroine the right to defy stereotypical gender rules.

* Durga Khote’s Parvati in L.V. Prasad’s “Bidaai” (1974): One after the other she sees her sons migrating to the city leaving her alone and defenceless to die in the village. The portrait of the matriarch as an undefeated figure of strength and sustenance was indomitably inspiring. At 65, Durga Khote was cast as the central character.

* Shabana Azmi’s Pooja in Mahesh Bhatt’s “Arth” (1982): Another turning point for the heroine…Mahesh Bhatt’s “Arth” gave us a deserted wife who rebuilds her life piece by piece. Finally at the end she says no to the man who wants to support her. This was the heroine’s first chance to say no to love when it knocked on her door.

* Tabu’s Aditi in Mahesh Manjrekar’s “Astitva”(2000): She dared to tell her husband that she had an affair in his absence and was willing to suffer the consequences. Tabu’s performance as the repressed Maharashtrian housewife who finds her identity after being ostracized by her son and family, was a dazzling display of femininity.

* Smita Patil’s Sonbai in Ketan Mehta’s “Mirch Masala” (1987): The `woman as prey` when under attack had no choice but to pray – until Smita Patil in this film, who refuses to give in to the powerful subedar’s lurid leering advances. The metaphor of the chilli factory as the fortress for female protection showcased Patil’s powerful performance.

Top Ten Bollywood Films Of The Year 2012

6gnl7ct8voop6lx8.D.0.Ek-Tha-Tiger-PosterNew Delhi: (IANS) Action, drama, comedy or romance – you name it and Bollywood had it this year. Be it small-budget content-driven films or typical potboilers, the industry saw a great mix of movies throughout 2012.

Here’s the best of the lot that rocked the box office:

Ek Tha Tiger’: The very fact that former real-life couple Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan were the lead pair for this film was enough to draw audiences to the theatres. Its songs, picturisation and power-packed action kept the cash registers ringing, and helping this film garner approximately Rs.190 crore. Salman played an Indian spy named Tiger, who falls head over heels in love with a female spy from Pakistan, essayed by Katrina. Their chemistry, of course, worked.

Rowdy Rathore’: The return of `khiladi` Akshay Kumar – that`s what this film was awaited for. Akshay`s action, mixed with Prabhudheva`s distinct taste of dance and exaggerated jumps, gave Hindi movie buffs a perfect masala affair. The Bollywood remake of Telugu movie ‘Vikramarkudu’, it also stared Sonakshi Sinha. The movie earned Rs.140 crore.

‘Agneepath’: A remake yet again. The success ratio of remakes of past hits has been low, but ‘Agneepath’ was a dream debut for Karan Malhotra. He added a contemporary touch to the eponymous 1990 movie. With Hrithik Roshan reprising the role of Vijay Dinanath Chauhan and Sanjay Dutt playing the villain Kaancha Cheena, ‘Agneepath’ turned out to be 2012`s first blockbuster and managed to mint around Rs.120 crore.

‘Housefull 2’: One would hardly think of enjoying a movie with 12 known actors playing key roles. But this one managed to entertain viewers. A sequel to hit 2010 movie ‘Housefull’, this Sajid Khan film, with its classic comic sequences, but slightly crowded cast, made over Rs.110 crore at the box office.

‘Barfi!’: The simple story line, sensitive treatment and excellent performances helped Anurag Basu`s ‘Barfi!’ establish an emotional connect with the audience. The love story of a deaf and mute boy, played deftly by Ranbir Kapoor, with an autistic girl, essayed by National award-winning actress Priyanka Chopra, left many teary eyed. India`s official entry for the foreign film category Oscar this year, the movie, which is now out of the Oscar race, made collections of Rs. 110 crore.

‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’: Love was redefined in typical Yash Chopra way with ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’. The late filmmaker, who bid adieu to the world just a few days before the movie`s release, gave his final work with the king of romance Shah Rukh Khan in the lead. The movie, also featuring Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, captured the scenic beauty of London and Kashmir very well – garnering collections of over Rs.120 crore.

‘Bol Bachchan’: It was hard to think of a modern day version of the 1979 comedy ‘Gol Maal’. But Rohit Shetty made it happen – and how! This Abhishek Bachchan and Ajay Devgn-starrer turned out to be truly `paisa vasool`. Ajay`s one-liner English dialogues and Abhishek`s double dhamaal paved the way for crossing the Rs.100-crore mark for this film.

‘Son Of Sardaar’: Remember Ajay Devgn and his ‘Phool Aur Kaante’ stunt on two bikes? He took it to the next level by riding together on two horses in ‘Son of Sardaar’. A turban-clad Ajay managed to tickle the viewers` funny bone, along with Sanjay Dutt and Sonakshi Sinha, and helped this movie make around Rs.105 crore.

Talaash’: Aamir Khan`s Midas touch rarely fails. ‘Talaash’ was just another case in point. This suspense thriller by Reema Kagti narrated the story of a Mumbai cop trying to put a puzzle in place and it kept the audience on the edges of their seats. The film, also starring Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukerji, made around Rs.90 crore at the Indian box office.

‘OMG: Oh My God!’: Comedy, sadness, anger and greed. Paresh Rawal carried out all emotions in one character flawlessly. Akshay Kumar played god in the Umesh Shukla-directorial, which questioned the existence of god. Complete with humour and a message, the movie minted over Rs.70 crore at the box office.