It is women power at box office in 2016

Bollywood has over the years doled out numerous critically acclaimed and commercially successful movies with woman as the protagonist. ‘Mother India’, ‘Astitva’, ‘Chandni Bar’, ‘Lajja’, ‘Kahaani’, ‘Mardaani’, ‘Queen’ etc. are instances in point. The bygone year also saw woman-centric films like ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’, ‘Piku’, ‘NH10’, ‘Margarita with a Straw’, ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ being immensely appreciated.

‘Chalk n Duster’ which released on January 15 features Juhi Chawla and veteran actress Shabana Azmi in the lead roles. The film also casts acclaimed actress Divya Dutta apart from Zarina Wahab and Girish Karnad. Richa Chadda also plays an important role of a journalist. The film directed by Jayant Gilatar is about teacher-student relationship. It is the first film of 2016 where female characters take prominence.

Let us check out some upcoming movies in 2016 that have female stars in the lead and showcase woman power.


‘Neerja’ is based on the true story of late airhostess Neerja Bhanot who sacrificed her life while saving the lives of passengers from terrorist on board a hijacked Pan Am flight in Karachi in September, 1986. She posthumously became the youngest recipient of India's highest civilian award for bravery, The Ashok Chakra, while Pakistan also bestowed the prestigious Tamgha-e- Insaaniyat Award to her for showing incredible human kindness during the hijack. Sonam Kapoor essays the role of the 23-year-old braveheart while Shabana Azmi plays the role of her mother. The Ram Madhvani directorial is set to release on February 19.

Jai Gangaajal:

‘Jai Gangaajal’ is the sequel of Prakash Jha’s 2003 film ‘Gangaajal’ starring Ajay Devgn in the role of a police officer. Actress Priyanka Chopra replaces Ajay in the sequel of the action drama. She will be seen in the role of a no-nonsense IPS officer Abha Mathur who takes on some powerful and influential men in her district.  The film also stars Manav Kaul, Rahul Bhat, Murli Sharma, Ninand Kamath and director Prakash Jha who will play the role of a cop. The film is scheduled to hit screens on March 4.  


‘Sarabjit’ is a yet another true story about the relentless efforts of Dalbir Kaur, the elder sister of Sarabjit Singh who was imprisoned in a Pakistan jail, to secure the release of her brother and bring him back to the country. Sarabjit inadvertently crossed over to the neighbouring nation and was convicted of terrorism and espionage and jailed. He was kept in Lahore jail for 23 years before being killed by his inmates in April 2013. The biopic is being directed by Omung Kumar and casts Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the role of Dalbir. While Randeep Hooda portrays the character of Sarabjit, Richa Chadda will be seen in the role of Sarabjit’s wife. ‘Sarabjit’ which was earlier slated to release on May 20 will now hit screens a day ahead on May 19.


‘Cabaret’ as the title suggests is a film based on the dance form being produced by Pooja Bhatt and Bhushan Kumar under the banner of Fisheye Network private limited. Pooja zeroed in on critically acclaimed actress Richa Chadda for the lead role after two years of intensive searching. Richa has trained hard in the dance form and done extensive practices to perfect her role. There were speculations that the film has been inspired from the life of yesteryear actress and cabaret queen Helen. But neither Pooja nor Richa has ever mentioned about drawing any parallels with Helen. Directed by Kaustav Niyogi, the film also stars Gulshan Devaiah and banned cricketer S.Sreesanth. The film went on floors in June last year and is slated to release sometime this year.

Ki and Ka

‘Ki and Ka’ is a romantic-comedy film that stresses on gender equality. It revolves around a young married couple who challenges the gender roles placed upon men and women by the society. Kareena Kapoor Khan and Arjun Kapoor play the lead roles as husband-wife. While Kareena plays an ambitious career-oriented woman, Arjun plays a stay-at-home husband. The film directed by R.Balki also stars Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya Bachchan in special roles. The film will open in theatres on Fools Day, i.e. April 1.


‘Akira’ is the Bollywood adaption of Santha Kumar’s Tamil film ‘Mouna Guru’ which is being produced and directed by AR Murugadoss and co-produced by Fox Star Studios. Sonakshi Sinha and Konkona Sen Sharma play the lead roles. According to Sonakshi, the film is woman-centric action drama and was physically and emotionally challenging for her. She also trained in martial arts for a month and a half to prepare for her role in the film. The film which also casts Shatrughan Sinha, Mithun Chakraborty, Anurag Kashyap and Aditya Roy Kapur went on floors in March, 2015 and will release later this year.