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Top 5 female-centric films in the first half of the decade which changed Bollywood Mainstream cinema

The Indian film industry has slowly but surely been making strides in churning out films with female protagonists. A storyline based on a female character with no commercially bankable male star is mostly considered a risk by filmmakers. But some filmmakers have defied the norm and made some great films that were also commercially successful.

1.     The dirty Picture – 2011

This movie caused quite a stir for its choice of the protagonist – the rise and fall of the original item girl of the South, Silk Smitha. Vidya Balan played the lead role. Her uninhibited performance of embracing her sexuality on screen made this film a career-defining one for her.

2.     Kahaani – 2012

This complex thriller kept viewers guessing right till the end as it took the viewers on a wild goose chase in the tiny by lanes of Kolkata with a heavily pregnant but gritty woman looking for her husband. The climax left the viewers wondering what exactly happened. A stellar performance by Vidya Balan.

3.     English Vinglish – 2012

Sridevi made a comeback with this film in a deglamorized role. She played the role of a simple middle-aged, middle-class housewife who cannot speak English. Her convincing performance made a connection with millions of women like her and won her critical acclaim.

4.     Queen – 2014

The story revolves around the coming of age of a small-town girl who gets dumped a day before her wedding.  The heartbreak of rejection was beyond her control but how she decided to go on her dream honeymoon that she had been saving up for made it a heartwarming watch. Kangana Ranaut nailed the part perfectly.

5.     Margarita with a Straw – 2015

Although this movie did not see much commercial success, it did win a lot of critical acclaim for its sensitive portrayal of the complex life of a young woman (played by Kalki Koechlin) suffering from cerebral palsy. The film also explores her struggles and trials of finding love and her sexual orientation.

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