I am movie buff. The reason I like watching movies, particularly drama, family movies is that I try to relate myself with the characters in some way and find a portrayal of my own emotions.
It is indeed a good way to understand yourself and others.
Here I am listing down few movies that I think every woman must watch for they are inspiring in nature. Each movie when ends gives you a sense of new beginning and that is why they are here on my list.
Note: as and when I watch a movie that I feel should be included in the list, I would add it here.
This is by far the most uplifting movie about women that I have seen.
Meera (Ayesha Takia) and Zeenat (Gul Panag) are two different women from different regions and religions. They are also different in their personalities. Meera is a docile, naïve daughter-in-law in an orthodox Rajasthan family and Zeenat is a fearless, determined woman from Kashmir. The story begins when Zeenat sets out for Rajasthan to find Meera to seek mercy for her husband who is being tried for murder of Meera’s husband in Saudi Arabia. Zeenat believes it would have been an accident as her husband and Meera’s husband were friends and he would have never killed anyone. As per the Saudi Arab’s law, if the deceased’s family forgives the guilt, the criminal may be released. Thus Zeenat sets out on the journey to set her husband free.
Meera and Zeenat meet and soon become friends. Meera is a vivacious, exuberant woman but now she has been coerced in living the life of a woman who just gets out of the four walls to go to the temple once in a day.
Their friendship brings out the best in each other and they compliment each other. With her Grand mother-in-law’s encouragement, Meera escapes the trading that her father-in-law tried to indulge her in and flees her home. She reaches out to Zeenat and promises to begin a new, fresh life with her. This is an indication that Zeenat was successful in getting the application signed by Meera and Meera in return got a free, dignified life to begin with.
Watch the movie and you know you get up with a sense of purpose and the confidence to achieve it. Gul Panag as Zeenat and Ayesha as Meera deserve a honorable mention for their performances.
2) The Waitress
As I put this movie on the second slot, I do it consciously. It would not be surprising if you have not watched it or have not heard of it, but you must watch it for the simple freshness the movie brings to the life of an otherwise abused waitress.
It is the story of a waitress (superbly played by Keri Russell) who is stuck in a marriage with a man she hates the most. He is abusive, bullyish and hell lot of possessive. To add to her misery she is also pregnant with his baby. But she is not excited about it. Infact for initial few months she loathes the pregnancy as well. Her only relief is ‘making pies’ at home and working as a waitress in a diner where she is friends with two other fellow waitresses. She makes beautiful pies and does it so delicately and lovingly that after the movie you would also want to make a pie and give it a completely new name. Making pies serve as a therapy and art for her and finally also give her a way to escape her tumultuous marriage.
The movie ends on a highly positive note. Though it is made in a light, breezy way it is not a normal feel good movie, it is actually an uplifting piece of drama. Finally, Keri is able to leave her marriage behind, win a pie making competition that gives her a huge sum of money and some help from the old customer who kept visiting the diner from time to time and left a small legacy while dying.
3) Bridges of Madison County
This movie is by far my most favourite movie. And the credit goes to Meryl Streep. She has played her character so beautifully well that you immediately relate with her and do not hate her for committing adultery in her marriage.
Francesca is a married woman and has a loving family. She stays in country side and is a fully devoted wife and mother. It happens in those four days when her hubby and kids go to a city fair and she is alone in the house getting bored and feeling lonely. Robert Kincaid, Clint Eastwood, who is a photographer for an adventure magazine passes by the place and asks direction for ‘bridges of Madison County’. Francesca is surprised how easily she agrees to accompany him to the bridges and falls in love with the kind of life he is living. She realizes she also wanted a similar life for herself and with the same dreams she married her husband but in the name of ‘America’ she is now here in the farm taking care of the fields. That brief encounter leads to dinner and much more and Francesca is in love with Robert. He is single and wants her to leave her family and come with him. He loves her too. Francesca packs her suitcase but can not and does not leave.
The thought of hurting her husband who is faultless in her lifeless life and leaving her kids jolts her and she decides to stay in the marriage. Watch this movie to know what happens as the movie progresses and why she asks her ashes to be thrown away across the bridges of Madison County.
Every woman in a relationship comes to a point when she feels she is lonely; her life is meaningless. You can easily relate to this emotion in the movie and probably this is why you don’t hate Francesca for being infidel.
4) The Color purple
An award winning movie by Steven Spielberg is certainly a must watch for everyone. Based on a novel by Alice walker, it is a heart rendering movie that makes you oppressed, sad and grief stricken for a long length of the reel. The movie is sad until the end. But the end uplifts your gloomy mood and you are glad that it happened.
The meticulous performance by Whoopi Goldberg is what makes it such a poignant flick. It revolves around Celie who is 14 yrs old and is continuously raped by her dad. She has a baby which is killed by her father. Later she is sold/ married off to a ruthless man,Albert, who is father of three kids.
The movie tracks her life while she discovers her self worth despite all the injustice and harassment done to her. Her only happy moments are when she writes letters to her younger sister and awaits eagerly for the replies. But her husband removes the letters from the mail box and makes her believe that her sister is dead. Sofia, Oprah Winfrey, also suffers domestic abuse but decides not to tolerate it. But she is badly beaten and jailed for several years when she passes a rude remark to the Mayer’s wife and punches the Mayor himself. Through a series of incidents, Celie meets her younger sister Nettie and discovers that her father was infact her step father and she has inherited a house and a shop from her real father.
The movie is an outright MUST watch for every woman. Even if you think you are too far to be near any kind of domestic abuse or exploitation, you should watch it to understand how it feels even if someone else undergoes it.
5) Terms of endearment
In contrast to The Color Purple, this movie is a light spirited, fun movie but the way the movie explores the relationship of a mother-daughter duo is exemplary.
The movie is about two remarkable women and their relationships with each other and with the men in their lives.
It is the story of a mother and daughter who are like best friends of each other and understand each other’s thoughts and needs perfectly well. Problems arise when the daughter, Emma, falls in love with a man who does not have a stable career. Emma’s mother, Aurora, was opposed to the relationship but Emma still marries the man. The mother supports her daughter throughout until the end when Emma falls prey to cancer.
All in all, it is a lovely movie that makes you want to become a mother like Aurora and a daughter like Emma. The movie is packed with some dialogues that make you laugh but this does not undermine its emotional quotient.
6) Erin Brokovich
Based on a true story, this is the story of a one woman win.
Erin is a twice-divorced woman and has three kids to look after. She is jobless and recently her baby sitter quit. She has around $75 in her bank account and her life is miserable. But Erin or our favourite Julia Roberts is not going to give up.
Do not focus on the deep cleavages of Ms. Roberts or the high- heels, focus only on the message and the grit. Erin takes up a low paying job working for a lawyer and comes to know of the hazardous health threats, the chemicals of a power plant pose to the residents of a California town. Erin fights the long legal battle and finally wins it.
This movie makes you feel good, empowered and inspired.
This movie by Mahesh Bhatt captures the trauma of a wife who is left by her husband.
Pooja (Shabana Azmi) is married to Inder who is now having an extra marital affair with Kavita (Smita Patil). He deserts Pooja for Kavita and Pooja leaves her home (that she had dreamt of since her adulthood) and moves in a women’s hostel. There she finds a new job and tries to begin a new life.
Raj, Pooja’s friend, proposes to her but she refuses. In the mean time, Pooja’s maid kills her husband who stole the money she had hard earned to pay for her daughter’s school fee. The maid finds out that her husband is having an affair with another woman and thus kills her and confesses her crime in a police station. Pooja decides to take care of the daughter and again refuses Raj’s proposal saying that she has found a new meaning and purpose in life.
The movie proves that being deserted by a man is not the end of life and that with self belief and self respect, every woman can be what she wants to be , with or without a man.
It is a totally beautiful movie about a naturally beautiful, soft woman.
Amelie, an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, decides to help those around her and along the way, discovers love. She is a waitress in a café in Paris and decides to improve the lives of her customers. Though she is not able to improve her own. But as time passes, she falls in love with a handsome loner and finally wins his heart.
This movie shows the real spirit and capability of an innocent woman and tells how a free spirited, good hearted woman can spread smiles around.
9) Cries and whispers
What a mysterious yet emotional movie this is!
It is a story of four women – Agnes is thirty- something and dying of cancer. Her two sisters Karin and Maria are attending her along with a peasant Anna. Anna is the one who wakes up in the night to take care of Agnes. Karin is an angry woman who hates her diplomat husband and Maria believes she is very beautiful and does not hesitate in getting into extra-marital affairs.
Agnes dies battling cancer and it is revealed that Karin and Maria never liked each other. Later in a dream like sequence, she re-appears and asks her family to be together and love each other. The movie is mostly sad and full of hatred but the last words as taken from Agnes’ diary that she has always maintained give it a hopeful ending. These last words are 'Come what may, this is happiness. I can not wish for anything better. Now, for a few minutes, I can experience perfection. And I feel profoundly grateful to my life, which gives me so much'.
Many may argue it is simply a comedy movie but I still like Juno and think every woman should watch it. Juno is a teenage girl who gets pregnant with her boyfriend. She is advised of aborting the baby but she just can’t seem to take it. Instead she decides to put the baby up for adoption and looks for the right parents.
The way young and confident Juno finds parents for her unborn baby and in the meantime realizes her love for her boy friend is what makes this movie good for women.