14 Films Directed By Indian Women That You Should Watch, Like Right Now

8 months ago 6

Let's celebrate some amazingly talented women!

1. Firaaq (2008)

Percept Picture Company

Directed By: Nandita Das   

Unsettling visuals mixed with Nandita Das’s complex storytelling technique, Firaaq recounts the trauma experienced by five individuals as a result of the 2002 Gujarat riots. A tale of personal grief set against the backdrop of political turmoil makes for a bold and compelling watch.  

2. Qala (2022)

Clean Slate Filmz / Netflix

Directed By: Anvita Dutt Guptan  

A daughter’s yearning for her mother’s love is portrayed through breathtaking visuals and a background score that will stay with you forever. Qala is about an artist’s lust for success, the unforgiving entertainment industry, but, above all, a daughter’s love.

3. Darlings (2022)

Red Chillies Entertainment / Netflix

Directed By: Jasmeet K. Reen  

While it has been marketed as a "dark comedy", Darlings is actually a satirical portrayal of marital abuse and the story is one that you simply can’t get enough of. The star cast is led by Alia Bhatt, Shefali Shah, and Vijay Varma, and all three of them deliver excellent performances.

4. 15 Park Avenue (2005)

SPS Films

Directed By: Aparna Sen

One of Aparna Sen’s most brilliant works, 15 Park Avenue tells the story of Meethi (Konkona Sen Sharma) and the fallout she suffers from schizophrenia. Against the conventional depictions of mental health, the story is one about family and their trauma.

5. Raazi (2018)

Dharma Productions

Directed By: Meghna Gulzar   

Raazi is an adaptation of Harinder Sikka's 2008 novel, Calling Sehmat, which is a real-life account of a RAW agent who gets married into a family of military officers in Pakistan, in order to pass on information to India before the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 breaks out. Alia Bhatt is a delight to watch in this film.

6. Luck By Chance (2009)

Excel Entertainment

Directed By: Zoya Akhtar  

The film follows the journey of Vikram, an aspiring actor (played by Farhan Akhtar) and how he navigates the brutal reality behind the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry, and how his relationship is impacted in the process. 

7. Parched (2015)

Ajay Devgn FFilms

Directed By: Leena Yadav   

The story revolves around four women in rural Rajasthan, whose lives are interconnected and dictated by social stigmas and regressive traditions. However, despite the abuse these women suffer, their victimhood does not form the crux of the story, instead, the focus remains on Yadav’s love for these characters. 

8. Dear Zindagi (2016)

Dharma Productions

Directed By: Gauri Shinde

A series of unfortunate events leads a budding cinematographer, Kaira (played by Alia Bhatt), to a rather unconventional therapist, Dr Jehangir (played by Shah Rukh Khan), who then guides Kaira towards the path of healing and brings about a change in her perspective.

9. Ankahi Kahaniya (2021)

Flying Unicorn Entertainment / Netflix

Directed By: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Ashwiny's story is part of an anthology that dives into themes of loneliness and human connection. Abhishek Banerjee plays the role of a garment salesman who falls in love with a mannequin, thereby succumbing to his drudgery. This is one of the most unique stories I have ever come across.

10. Gali (2017)

Hit and Run Films

Directed By: Shabani Hassanwalia and Samreen Farooqui

Hassanwalia and Farooqui's documentary is an intimate love letter to the subversive culture of hip-hop and b-boying in the heart of the national capital, Delhi.

11. Lust Stories (2018)

RSVP Movies / Netflix

Directed By: Zoya Akhtar

Zoya Akhtar's contribution to the anthology film, Lust Stories, is a silent gaze at a house-help's (played by Bhumi Pednekar) sexual relationship with her employer that very loudly shatters the prejudice that the audience holds.

12. Sparsh (1980)

Amazon Prime Video

Directed By: Sai Paranjpye  

Sparsh released in 1980 but is way ahead of its time and stands tall in its portrayal of people with disabilities. Told through the lens of the love story between Anirudh (Naseeruddin Shah) and Kavita (Shabana Azmi), it is both a realistic and metaphorical portrayal of darkness and light.

13. Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd (2007)

Excel Entertainment

Directed By: Reema Kagti

Six couples, one road-trip, and a honeymoon destination — Goa — this multi-starrer romantic comedy captures different shades of love and makes for an instant classic.

14. Bulbbul (2020)

Clean Slate Filmz / Netflix

Directed By: Anvita Dutt Guptan 

Anvita Dutt has this uniqueness when it comes to capturing her leading lady. Tripti Dimri plays the role of a child-bride who grows up to be a matriarch, but, behind the rose-tinted glasses lurk the hauntings of the past. 

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