Showbiz / Top 10 Women-Centric Roles

Top 10 Women-Centric Roles

Showbiz Mar 08, 2014


In celebration of International Women’s Day, here’s a look at the films featuring strong female protagonists that have empowered us, entertained us and changed the face of cinema. 

Best Actress academy award Cate Blanchett chided during her acceptance speech, "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. Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people." Even Shah Rukh Khan himself paid respect to women by having Deepika Padukone's name reflect prior to his own in the credits of Chennai Express.
Of the many films featuring strong leads that have come and gone, few have been etched onto our collective memory. Here's a list of some of my fav women-centric roles that broke new grounds and were exceptional as they defied all trends and norms in the movie industry. 

Gulaab Gang ?

The film tells the story of a gang of Indian women fighting against social injustice in India. Rajjo, played by Madhuri Dixit leads an ashram where women armed with axes and sickles and dressed in pink saris fight for their rights while making hand-ground spices, hand-woven baskets and sarees.? 

Video Courtesy of Sahara Movie Studios

Queen ?

It is not a typical Bollywood film with melodrama and unnecessary howling. Queen has made its own identity among other women centric movies. Kangana Ranaut is unapologetic in the movie and delivers a very strong message to every woman out there – no matter how uncomfortable life may be, a woman has the power to overcome it.??

Video Courtesy of Viacom18 Motion Pictures

Highway ?

Veera Tripathi (Alia Bhatt), the daughter of a rich business tycoon, is kidnapped on her wedding day. The lady in distress develops a bond with the tormentor as the Stockholm syndrome kicks in. Alia Bhatt is a revelation. She responds to the demands of the role with all the skill at her disposal, nailing both the vulnerability and the tenacity of a harried but spirited ingénue. Bhatt makes Veera’s internal journey her own and makes us believe we’re watching more than just a performance??.

Video courtesy of UTV Motion Pictures

The Dirty Picture?

Vidya Balan's blatant delineation of her sexuality almost borders into arrogance. In a country of repressed sexuality, Vidya's role was a breath of fresh air and her cheeky lines were an instant hit.

Video Courtesy of The Dirty Picture Film

English Vinglish

The movie, directed by Gauri Shinde, was "Chandni" star Sridevi's comeback film, focussing on a housewife and her struggle with the English language in the US.

Video Courtesy of Eros Now


Sandra Bullock stars in the year's most technically advanced film, a nail-biter about an astronaut afloat in space without any means to contact mission control. A genre usually portrayed by a male character, Bullock performs a power-packed act, keeping viewers gripped.  

Video courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Blue Jasmine

A modern update of A Streetcar Named Desire, Woody Allen's latest and possibly best drama follows the slow mental breakdown of a woman of status, Jasmine (Cate Blanchett).  
With a dynamic mix of vulnerability and snobbery, the complexities of this character scrabbling to find a new life for herself showcases the will of a woman beat, trying to survive against all odds. 

Video courtesy of JoBlo Movie Trailers

12 Years a Slave

Lupita Nyong’o’s performance as Patsey, a young slave who’s become the object of obsession for sadistic cotton plantation Master Edwin Epps, played by Michael Fassbender, is easily one of the most arresting acting debuts of late.

Video Courtesy of FoxSearchlight

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Jennifer Lawrence gave another full-blooded performance as tough single minded heroine, Katniss. She is the first leading female character to land the top Box Office spot in a whopping four whole decades, with the previous leading lady movie being The Exorcist in 1973.

Video Courtesy of MOVIECLIPS Trailers

Blue is the Warmest Color

Adele Excharpoulous and Lea Seydoux give stunning performances that help create a love story that's both archetypal, individual and exquisitely sensitive to teenage cruelty, class differences, and emotional catastrophes. 

Video Courtesy of MOVIECLIPS Trailers

Tweet us what makes your fav female-centric role of late.   

Featured Image:

Swati Bhatt Vyas

Swati Bhatt Vyas


With a master’s in Journalism from Mumbai University, Swati published her first book as one of the youngest female self-help authors in India. Later in 2011, she penned her second book. Since then she has worked extensively in print, web & broadcast media in India & Canada.  She c...


Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter for all of the latest news, articles, and videos delivered directly to your inbox each day!

openchest LogoANOKHI UNCENSORED-->

September 24th, 2019

openchest Logo

Weekly Celebrity Talk Show Airing