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Preity Zinta Is Getting Trained For Action Roles To Break The Gender Bias In Bollywood. Women Are Not Just Damsels In Distress

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If I ask you to tell me one Bollywood movie that showed a woman saving the hero’s ass instead of being portrayed as either a glamorous side kick or a timid, helpless or more aptly, abla nari (a filmy term), you’d really have to think hard and would still come up with only a handful of movies, as opposed to those of men donning such roles. This is because Indian cinema has failed to produce enough action movies with a female in its lead. In the name of women centric action movies, there’s Akira, NH10, or movies that are based on a female cop like Mardaani (so they really don’t have a choice with that one). My point is you’d almost never see a woman fighting goons to save her or her beau’s life in a movie. And that poses the question, why is that?

I’ll tell you. It’s the gender stereotypes that are deep-rooted in our society, which have also largely dominated the Bollywood industry. In movies, a girl is only good enough for flying her dupatta in the air, singing gayatri mantra to impress douches at her college and be abducted by a villainous character to ultimately be saved by the hero, the action god. But seems like things are about to change. B-town actresses have had enough of this gender bias and type casting. Recently, Sushmita Sen starred in a crime drama series Aarya where she served some sweet action moves and now Preity Zinta is on her way to smashing these stereotypes too.

Preity shared a video of herself on Instagram where she is practising tactical shooting and expressed how she dreams of doing action movies in Bollywood. She captioned the post, “A dream does not become reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination, and hard work. So, here I am trying to make my action dream come true. Training hard with the super tough Aaron Cohen so no one can say that women cannot do action in Hindi movies. Hope all the directors are watching.” Finally, someone is taking it upon themselves to shift the sexist norms in Bollywood movies and working towards levelling the playing field.

Also Read: Here Are 5 Thoughts We Had About Sushmita Sen’s Upcoming Show Aarya’s Trailer. Mainly Ki, How Kickass Does This Woman Look?

Preity Zinta was always taken for a feminine, charming actress fit for those girl-next-door roles in rom-coms and that’s the kind of roles we always saw her in in her career. But clearly, looks can be deceptive and a dainty looking woman could also beat you in shooting without blinking. Preity is training to be a pro at action sequences as she aspires to break out of this goody-goody image and pave way for more action packed roles for women in movies by playing one herself.

She has been training under tactical trainer Aaron Cohen who has previously been a trainer to Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves for his action role in the movie John Wick: Chapter 2. She often posts pictures of her training sessions and rigorous workout on her Instagram account and if they prove anything, it is that she is not backing down. Shows how determined she is to make her action dream turn into reality.

Let me remind you that it is only in the Indian cinema that we see a serious dearth of action roles for women. In the west, on the other hand, there are plenty of action movies that has a female character in the lead. Take for instance Charlie’s Angels, Lucy, Mad Max, Salt hell they even have a superhero, Wonder Woman which is more than what can be said for our industry. How long is it going to take Bollywood to understand that women are more than just eye candies. They are just as capable of pulling off stunts and punching someone in the face as men, even better, in fact considering all the experience of being aware and alert while walking alone on streets.

Women are fearless fighters who are very much capable of demonstrating physical prowess and Preity Zinta is putting this message out there loud and clear through her post. It’s high time Bollywood realises that there has been an extremely low representation of women in the action genre and finally gives us more female action heroes to swoon over. We hope it so much as tries to bridges this gender gap so the young girls can have strong fierce role models to look up to rather than dolled up women waiting to be rescued by the HERO.

We need more kick-ass women in action roles in our movies. Are you listening, Bollywood?

Also Read: Throwback Thursday: Dus Is Flawed But Refreshing For Normalising Female Action Heroes. It Deserves A Sequel

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