More recently, Bollywood has witnessed an upsurge in female-oriented films. The best example of this is Kangana Ranaut's QUEEN and Madhuri Dixit-Juhi Chawla's GULAAB GANG releasing a day prior to the occasion of International Women's Day.
We took the opportunity to ask a few women of B-town to share their opinions on whether Bollywood films influence mass-mentality towards the fairer sex. Further, we also quizzed as to who they look up to as the 'Superwoman of Bollywood'. Presenting their responses…
Sunny Leone: Yes. They do affect the mass-mentality. And according to me, Ekta Kapoor is the superwoman of Bollywood
Evelyn Sharma: I definitely agree with that. Some great examples are FASHION or KAHAANI. And how Cate Blanchet said so perfectly in her Oscar acceptance speech for the movie BLUE JASMINE: 'And perhaps those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films, with women at the center, are 'niche' experiences, They are not! The audiences want to see them, and in fact they earn money!'
Without doubt, Deepika Padukone was the superwoman of Bollywood in 2013. In 2014 the cards are yet to be played.
Shilpa Shukla: Definitely female-oriented films influence mass mentality to a large extent. We often underestimate this strength but the reason why CHAK DE INDIA plays twice every month on TV or the fact that people want to watch it, again and again, is proof to support this.
The influence could be on one individual or a group, as long as it is there, we are on the right track. Or for a BA PASS to celebrate 100 days and for audiences to come up and say oh! Why did she die, means that there is a better understanding of women and their conflicting realities.
She is not judged but accepted as a good influence.
The superwoman of Bollywood for me is Juhi Chawla. I am a huge fan of her accomplishments and admirer of her simplicity. We need more women like her. I love her spirit and heart!
Swara Bhaskar: Well I think it's both things. It is just not Bollywood, but anywhere the films reflect what is happening in society. They influence the general mindset. It is a two way process.
Definitely Bollywood is making different kind of films and showing women in different roles. Not only in urban areas but even in rural places, women are occupying more space – putting up a fight, demanding their rights etc.
But it is important for Bollywood to portray woman in positive light and not in stupid or silly way because its power is huge as Bollywood is seen more than any other medium in our country.
Superwoman in Bollywood: Ekta Kapoor a very distinctive figure. She has occupied a powerful position which is traditionally considered male. In directors, Kiran Rao, Reema Kagti, Anusha Rizvi are powerful. Neha Khanvilkar (Music director), Vidya Balan and Rani Mukerji are also inspiring.
Neeti Mohan: I think it does influence, especially in the rural areas. But this is just an inspiration. What needs to be done is every family needs to respect women and only then can we have a change.
Superwoman for me would definitely be Madhuri Dixit. I have grown up watching her. She is an inspiration as an actor, dancer and then now she is a mother. She took a break and now she is again back in the business.