Women-centric themes seem to have caught Bollywood's fancy yet again, whether it is Priyanka Chopra's ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’, Sonam Kapoor's ‘Aisha’, Kareena Kapoor-Kajol's ‘Stepmom’ remake or Rani Mukerji-Vidya Balan- starrer ‘No One Killed Jessica’.
After a long break, Bollywood divas will get an opportunity to play characters rich in performance and not just be presented as mere decorative pieces to fulfill the glamour quotient of a Bollywood movie.
Vishal Bharadwaj ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’ is based on Ruskin Bond's story 'Susanna's Seven Husbands', about a woman who bumps off her seven spouses. Priyanka Chopra will play the protagonist in the film.
Sonam's 'Aisha', an adaptation of Jane Austen's novel 'Emma' about the perils of misconstrued romance, too revolves around the female protagonist's life.
Then there is Karan Johar's remake of Hollywood movie 'Stepmom', a heart-warming tale of two women. The Hindi remake stars Kareena, Kajol and Arjun Rampal in the lead and is being directed by Siddharth Malhotra.
Mani Ratnam's much awaited film 'Raavan' stars two men - Abhishek Bachchan and southern star Vikram. But it is Aishwarya Rai who is being described by her co-stars as the "hero" of the film.
One-film old Rajkumar Gupta's 'No One Killed Jessica' has also hogged the media limelight. Starring Vidya and Rani, it is inspired by the 1999 murder of model Jessica Lall.
It can be recalled that we have had women-oriented films in the past; however, most of them were either arty or starred character artists. Very seldom did we see a mainstream actress play the protagonist’s role and have the entire plot revolve around her. Even if we take a look at our recent films, all that the actresses are required to do is wear gorgeous outfits and look exotic. But not anymore, as lead actresses like Priyanka, Katrina, Kareena, Vidya and others are inspiring filmmakers to weave stories around them.
But the big question is will these movies go on to become hits. The battle is now between the divas and the plain Janes. What will the Indian audience choose in their film: A gorgeous looking eye candy or a simple beauty with a strong character sketch? Only time will tell...