5 Must-Watch Movies that Depict How Woman Characters Should Actually Be!
Popular culture has always shown caricature of women. It lacked the nuance and intersectional approach to showcase real women in social and economic narratives. Also strong women often have been portrayed as cold and manipulative.
The entertainment industry has a checklist of boxes that shows one-dimensional characters. Liberal women are shown to be promiscuous and not family oriented; they always need the hero to tame them. Classics like Gone With The Wind, Breakfast and Tiffany’s, and 10 Things I Hate About You, show women characters who are strong and independent; however, the male lead always tames them under the garb of love.
Women of Colour also are put in a box where they are exotic lady or someone playing the role of a middle class working professional with a superior white-character coming to their aid.
Women and their characters on the silver screen are type-casted or made gimmicky. They lack real insights to the paint points of the characters. The grey-shade of a woman’s personality is hardly addressed in the movies and books.
With the audience now being more aware of their choices and having the urge of representation, the entertainment industry is slowly changing. The rise of OTT platforms have given the opportunity for storytellers to show raw and real women characters with all their imperfections, ambitions, and emotions.Let us look at some of the brilliant fictional characters giving accurate representation of women :
1) Piku (Piku)
In Bollywood, daughters are shown to be devoted to their fathers. They never question their authority or the style of toxic parenting that invades their privacy. Other than this, fathers also consider their daughters to be a liability and plan to get them married as soon as possible.
Directors and storytellers also showcase the Electra complex to justify the urge of women to look for husbands who resemble the attributes of their father. This becomes even more appalling when single women or spinsters are shown not having a love-life because of a strained relationship they had with their fathers.
With Sujit Sircar’s Piku, finally this mould was broken in Indian Cinema. Piku was a devoting daughter but with a mind of her own. She was not scared to criticise her father or even admonish. She chose to date and work on her own terms. Even Piku’s father encouraged her to have her ambitions fulfilled than being stuck in the mundane cycle of marriage.
Sircar gave an accurate representation of a modern-daughter from a Bengali household without making her a stereotype of what people expect Bengali women to be.
2) Julia Child (Julie and Julia)
Women who do not fit the social conventions of beauty and are not able to produce a child in their marriage are often portrayed to be unhappy or be comical to repress their unhappiness. For the plus-sized middle-aged women, humour or unhappiness had become the ideal method of gimmicky portrayals.
However, the film Julie and Julia based on the life of renowned chef Julia Child gave us a fresh and authentic narrative.
Julia Child is middle-aged, plus-sized, and married. However, she is also childless and struggling to find a passion which she can turn into a career. The latter seems to dominate her mind more than the prospect of being a mother.
One might be thinking that her marital life is sade, but on the contrary, her husband is supportive and they even have a thriving sex-life.
Julia’s mind seems gimmicky and funny, but she is also ambitious and full of sarcasm. She goes head on to become a chef , an industry dominated by men. Her persistence is what keeps jer going to write a cook-book that brought French Cooking known to Americans.
Julia Child’s character gave an accurate representation of a middle-aged woman being blissfully happy in their marriage and career without the need of having a child.
3) Mindy Lahiri ( Mindy Project )
Indian’s raised in America are often stereotyped to be nerds, comical, and a lover of curry. The representation is extremely racist and inaccurate. This is where Mindy Lahiri created a trend-setter of South Asian representation in US television.
Mindy was a doctor and unlike humble-rooted Indians in America, she was entitled, flawed, and yet lovable. She was like any other American girl paving through her life of being a doctor and mom.
Mindy was not an ABCD, but she assimilated well enough and owned her body shaped, style, and sexual prowess.
4) Miranda Hobbes (Sex And The City)
After reading the book, ‘We all should be Mirandas’ , I felt that the character of Miranda Hobbes was under-appreciated for being the authentic representation of a common woman in her mid-thirties.
Unlike her friends, she was the elast glamorous of all and was focussed on her career rather than getting married or finding love.
She believed in the ordinary and organic way of falling in love and even had commitment issues, a trait hardly shown in women.
She is a woman who would not settle tomedicore job or just be a mother. When she felt unsatisfied, she was not scared to end her mariage and venture forward in a new found queer relationship in her fifities. Miranda made the ordinary and simple relatable to the audience.
5) Arabella Essiedeu ( I May Destroy You)
Black women’s representation on television shows have been laden with struggle. It was time to go beyond that and make their narrative inclusive. Arabella in the series I May Destroy You is one such character whose struggle and life has meshed with nuance. It tells the story of coping as a rape victim and navigating the recollection of the events. The character shows the elements of gender and power-play that is still present in ourr society, while having the urge to plot revenge on her rapist and finally letting go of the emotions.
Arabella’s story is relatable to many such women who are coping with the aftermath of sexual assualt .