Gone are the days when princesses needed saving or even a crown prince. Today, women are excelling in multiple areas of life. They are powerful agents of change who have gradually but steadfastly worked towards the empowerment of all women and the fruits of their labour are before us. From modern-day revolutionaries like Meghan Markle who surrendered a life of royalty for the independence of thought and deed to Michelle Obama’s work across life’s diverse arenas, women are taking leaps and making strides everywhere.
This is also true for the global entertainment industry – where there was once tremendous gender disparity and leading roles were only meant and custom-made for men. Women would support, and often be saved. In recent years there has been a shift with women actors and directors taking centre stage. The next three weeks are a testament to this; the industry will witness a number of women-led movies in the next three weeks and we have hand-picked some of the must-watch movies especially for you!
‘Where The Crawdads Sing’
This movie is a quadruple-whammy for womanhood! Where the Crawdads Sing is based on the best-selling book of the same name and written by author, Delia Owens. The book was then adapted into a movie, courtesy Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon whose production house, Hello Sunshine, bought the rights for the movie. The movie is directed by Olivia Newman and led by Golden Globe award winner Daisy Edgar-Jones who is central to the movie’s plot. With 96% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, this story follows Daisy Edgar-Jones’ Kya who raises herself in the marshes of the deep South and becomes a suspect in the murder of a man who she was once involved in!
Starring Tamannaah Bhatia at the forefront of this film, this movie is all-things-women as it follows the story of a small-town girl called Babli who moves to Delhi to make a living. The much-anticipated movie will showcase the challenges she faces along the way, while she is still in pursuit of finding a job and before finally making it big as a bouncer.
With women leading this film, creatively and artistically, The Invitation, a supernatural horror film is all set to make its way to the big screen in India. The movie is directed, produced and written by stellar women – Jessica M. Thompson, Emile Gladstone and Blair Butler respectively. It also stars Game of Thrones fame Nathalie Emmanuel in the leading role. An edge-of-the-seat entertainer, The Invitation follows a young woman who, after her mother's death, meets long lost-family members for the first time, only to discover the dark secrets they carry with them.
‘Don’t Worry Darling’
‘Don’t Worry Darling’ has been the controversy Qween of Hollywood in 2022 – yes, we say ‘Qween’ because it is headlined by women all around! Directed by actor Olivia Wilde, with screenplay by Set It Up fame Katie Silberman, the movie stars Academy award nominee, Florence Pugh in the leading role along with popular personalities and actors – Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, Chris Pine among others. ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ follows a young, happy couple – Jack and Alice Chambers (played by Pugh and Styles) in the 1950s who are seemingly living a great life in the ostensibly perfect company town of Victory, California. Twist: the entire town has been created and paid for by the mysterious company for which Jack works and Alice gets a whiff of it!
‘The Woman King’
We have saved the best for last! The Woman King is made by women, for women and men can jump on-board the wagon too. Based on true events, The Woman King is a historical epic movie about the Agojie, the all-female warrior who protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the 19th century. To showcase the story to a larger audience, the movie had to cast women and it rightly did so with the prodigious Academy, Primetime Emmy and two-time Tony award winner Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch who made history as the first black female 007, the multi-faceted Sheila Atim as well as the International Emmy award nominee Thuso Mbedu among others. The cherry on the cake is that the movie is also spearheaded by a fiercely talented group of women – directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, screenplay from Dana Stevens, story by Maria Bello and Dana Stevens, and produced by Cathy Schulman, Viola Davis herself and her husband Julius Tennon as well as Maria Bello! What’s more? The movie is already generating Oscar buzz!
Another Bollywood movie spearheaded by a national award-winning powerhouse of talent, Revathi, Salaam Venky, will also have a leading woman actor at the fore. And, this leading actor is none other than Kajol! Based on a true story, the movie narrates the tale of a mother and how she deals with the challenges thrown at her. If this sounds too simple for you, consider this – Revathy last directed ‘Mitr: My Friend, as a debutante director, which also sounded and seemed simple enough, but the film went on to win much acclaim, recognition and even a national award!