Simran of DDLJ to the New Age Simran: 20 Years of Changing the Female Perspective in Films

Simran of DDLJ to the New Age Simran: 20 Years of Changing the Female Perspective in Films

By Admin

Sep 23, 2017  Updated On : Apr 30, 2018

Hansal Mehta’s ‘Simran’ created a lot of stir before and after it released in the theatres (We know, right?) But didn’t the title of the movie make you a bit conspicuous of the ‘Simran’ we always knew? The fuzzy haired, dreamer, but trapped in what we call these days ‘orthodox’ rituals of the society. But Kangana’s Simran or Praful Patel is what people are calling the new age ‘Simran’ – rebellious, free-thinking and owning up to her mistakes. How did Bollywood end up in creating widely accepted polar characters with such an ease in mere 20 years? Today, we at Fresh Box Office look back to this glorious journey of such filmy Indian Women!

Long gone are those days where heroines were only meant to be the beautiful, mute characters jumping around the lakes or hugging trees in love. Though, there are movies these days where the actresses are only meant to be out-of-the-context eye-candies in a movie or in a song. Anyways, this isn’t about them but about those characters which changed our perception or rather, our change of perception resulted in the change of these roles and their portrayals.

Remember Smita Patil & Shabana Azmi in Arth (1985)? A super-sensitive theme along with an effortless acting framed some of the very first foundations of coming out in the open about taboos considered then. In 1996, Shabana Azmi got the ball rolling again with Nandita Das in Fire (1996) that explored then entirely new concept of Lesbianism in India. Tabu as well has given us some very definitive roles that then forced us to look beyond the dazzling lights of the bars and the marriage processions in Astitva (2000) and Chandni Bar (2001) which deals with the rights of sex workers and with Marital rapes, while the former is already a part of our constitution now (after almost 17 years of the movie release) the latter still remains to be unaccredited as a law. But laws or not, the characters of Sita & Radha of Fire, Mumtaz of Chandni Bar has really set standards for not only of the acting or the movies alone but for the characters itself!

Then came the big leap of Priyanka Chopra as Mrs. Soniya Roy, the sensuous and the wicked wife of an industrialist who for the very first time introduced us to the concept of sexual harassment of a male by a female in Aitraaz (2004). Every time we see a movie that has a Soniya Roy in it, somewhere in the backs of our minds, involuntarily we form an outline of this stubborn damsel, right?

And how can we miss The Dirty Picture (2011) which is another of a movie that stays hooked into our minds because of Vidya Balan’s Silk? Intriguing at its very best, this character was based on the real life of South Indian actress Silk Smitha a.k.a Vijayalakshmi Vadlapati, which needless to say couldn’t have been played any better on screen. Even the Cadbury commercials of Silk still at times tries to play the same factors on your minds, doesn’t it?

While it’s true that these characters are always clinging to us somewhere in our conscience, it also can’t be denied that they aren’t much different than ourselves and sometimes strangely familiar to be forgotten any time soon! To such timeless characters, we raise our toast! You do you, right?  


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