Bhumi Pednekar Says Audiences Need To Be Okay With Women Doing Heroic Things. But Are We Ready?
Have you ever noticed how in probably all Bollywood movies in the 90s, the women characters were based on the textbook definition of a damsel in distress? I have always hated how they would portray women and though it has gotten better now, we still have a long, long way to go. However, a lot of this shift in the way women are depicted in movies can be credited to actors like Bhumi Pednekar. She is hands down one of my favourite actresses. Not only because she is a fabulous actress but also because she consciously chose characters that are strong-women with a voice. It has made all the difference.
Bhumi Pednekar’s latest movie, Durgamati, is a horror-thriller film where she plays the role of an IAS officer. In a recent interview with PTI, she said that according to her, the narrative has definitely changed and that strong women characters are being written now.
She said in the interview that, “I’m a damsel who gives others distress. I feel that the narrative has definitely changed tremendously over the last few years. Some really strong female characters are being written and rightly so.”
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Also Read: 5 Thoughts I Had While Watching Durgamati Trailer: Will Bhumi Pednekar Be Able To Recreate The Appeal Of Anushka Shetty’s Bhaagamathie?
Moving on, she spoke about how movies should not be defined by gender. ‘Male-centric movies’ and ‘female-centric movies’ shouldn’t be two different genres. And it makes complete sense. Why are movie roles so limited to gender? Women can do heroic things without the help of a man as well. Women-centric films are considered to be a genre by themselves and that is problematic. Why can’t there be strong women leading characters in a typical mainstream Bollywood movie? Our goal is and always has been gender equality.
Bhumi Pednekar said, “A film is a film. It’s centred around a character and a storyline. Our audiences need to accept female-oriented films as well. They need to be ok with women characters doing all the heroic things that they’re usually fine with if it is done by men.” Further adding, “I think that’s important and that is happening. Whatever films I have done in the past, I believe I’m a product of the changing narrative and the changing audiences,”
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Talking about her character in Durgamati, Bhumi said that she wanted to a movie that “blurs the line between both genders”. This movie, she said, provided her with the canvas for that. She wanted to do a role that is traditionally done by male actors. This is why you’ve gotta love her.
She said, “We rarely see women-led films where the lead character has so much heroism. The canvas that the film has given me, you rarely see that. I wanted to do something larger-than-life, something that is traditionally done by male actors and stars. I wanted to do a film which blurs that division between both the genders. It’s a film that has given me the opportunity to give the performance of a lifetime.”
We need more actors, like Bhumi Pednekar, who are trying to blur the gender distinction in our movies. Why should roles and characters be limited to gender?