It’s a known fact that the film industry in India is predominantly male dominated, and kollywood is no different. There have been very few women centric films since the birth of tamil cinema. It still remains an unsolved mystery why this unfortunate trend continues for generations together. Women, since the dawn of time have always excelled in the field of arts on the same scale as men, maybe even better. Sure enough, male chauvinists would vehemently disagree but it has to be pointed out that the hard work and talent of female artists have been grossly undermined.
Reports indicate that most directors are forced to compromise on their narrative thanks to the pressure exerted on them by their chosen male ‘star’. Even the very few and daring filmmakers who don’t bat an eyelid vanish from mainstream cinema or adapt to this seemingly never-ending trend, inorder to survive. The yesteryear generation was comparatively better than the contemporary one. There were a few films which had a woman as the core theme and it attained both critical acclaim as well as commercial success, Sridevi was a household name as she featured in many such films. Moondram Pirai, Arangetram, Achamillai Achamillai were some of the potent films which revolved around women. In recent times, the only movie which could be deemed as women centric cum box office hit was Mozhi, it even fetched Jyothika the state film award for Best actress.
More often than not, we all hear things through the paparazzi that audiences and movie goers in general are to blame for lack of support to female oriented films. Well, it is agreed that those genre of films are not so well received as the regular ones which primarily revolves around the hero. But having said that, it is the filmmakers’ talent to feed the viewers with such films and make it likeable, and not just for namesake. The likes of veterans such as K.Balachander, Bharathiraaja and Balu Mahendra have made many a film which were then touted as highly futuristic. They faced strong opposition and ridicule from their social circles and yet they emerged victorious and unscathed.
Nowadays, the entire movie watching experience has underwent a drastic turnaround with multiplexes being the trending and favoured choice in today’s chaotic lifestyle. And with it, the mindsets of people have also changed. Their perspective towards women and women centric movies have also gone through a steep turnaround, for the betterment of all ofcourse. This is reflected through the much appreciated film women centric film Aarohanam, which didn’t do so well at the box office but received accolades from critics.
It is to be noted that even Bollywood is slowly but steadily moving in the right direction with the making of more and more films with significant weightage to women. Kahaani, The Dirty Picture were films which were not only female oriented but also blockbuster hits. Established and time tested directors must venture out of their comfort zone where they have tasted great success with male dominated films. When these filmmakers produce top notch movies with women centred themes, it not only would strike a chord with the masses but would also serve as a base and pave way for future directors to bravely try out these genres and render equal opportunities to actors and actresses alike.
As a society, it would be a disgrace if we view women as mere objects of desire and portray them in sensual roles alone. Its high time for some serious introspection and equally, fans should offer unconditional support to women centric films as much as we do to the men dominated ones.