The best time for women in South cinema is NOW! And Nayanthara, Anushka, Samantha are the pioneers of this change

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Nayanthara, Anushka Shetty, Samantha Ruth Prabhu are the pioneers of change in the south industry.

‘Women in cinema’ is a constantly evolving subject. From carrying a film on their shoulders to being objectified, to being criticised, to being raved about, to being written off –  But today, it’s NOT about back-then or in-the-future, it’s about ‘NOW’. On Women’s Day 2018, we want to talk about ‘NOW’ – the best time for women in cinema. Industries are witnessing a revolutionary change on all fronts. From women starring as leads to actress being busier than ever after marriage, to them being part of unusual, small budgets films  – the rules are being re-written. There is a change and it’s making its presence felt slowly, but powerfully. Let us take you through films across multiple industries in the last 15 months that played catalyst in creating this new atmosphere for women.


Dora, 2017 

Nayanthara, a veteran Tamil actor starred in the lead, in a horror film. While the movie did not quite take – off, it was the beginning of a new era in cinema as several women-centric films followed in the same year.

Magalir Mattum, 2017 

jyothika, another popular face in Tamil cinema starred in Magalir Mattum, a film that celebrated women’s independence and freedom. The film boasted of a stellar supporting cast – Saranya, Urvashi and Bhanupriya.

Aaram, 2017

Nayanthara, one of the leading faces of Kollywood spearheaded a small budget film in 2017. The film highlighted the water woes and drought conditions of a certain village. The fact that it had a woman helming a cause, had everyone intrigued. On its release, the film was lauded for its hard hitting story and for Nayanthara’s gritty performance. She proved why she was called Kollywood’s South superstar with this poignant film.

Aruvi, 2017 

The year ended with a path-breaking film in the form of Aruvi. The female lead Aditi Balan made everyone sit up with her performance. The film was declared a blockbuster as it earned 35 times its budget. It was highly praised for its direction and for its lead cast’s performance.

Nachiyaar, 2018 

February saw Jyothika star in another powerful women centric film. While GV Prakash shared equal screen space, her role as a ruthless police won her ample praise. The police actioner was not Bala’s best work but the lead star’s performances saved the day.


Baahubali, 2017 

Last year, the much awaited sequel of the magnum opus finally hit theatres across the world. Although the film was an out and out Prabhas film, the movie would not have been complete without performances by Anushka Shetty and Ramya Krishnan. Both female leads as Devasena and Sivagami (respectively) left us wanting to be just like them – determined, feisty, independent. They pioneered the way for powerful women in cinema.

Fidaa, 2017 

This refreshing love story starring Varun Tej and Sai Pallavi was one of the biggest hits of last year. The highlight here was Sai Pallavi, who floored everyone with her vibrant act. She lit up the screen with her presence. It was hard for everyone to believe that Fidaa was her Tollywood debut.

Bhaagamathie, 2018 

This year began with a revolutionary wave in Tollywood when one of the big ticket releases had a female in the lead. We’re talking about Bhaagamathie. The film was promoted with Anushka Shetty’s name. After her powerful performance as Devasena, Bhaagamathie regained new importance. The film was the ultimate acid test for the Telugu actress – will she carry the film single-handedly on her shoulders? On its release, the film opened to rave reviews about her performance. The movie fared phenomenally overseas, and ended up crossing the 1M mark. Alongside, there was Padmaavat that did the same job in Bollywood.

Samantha Ruth Prabhu busting myths 

Talking about Tollywood, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, one of the most popular actresses of today has been busting myths and how. Just before she got married to Naga Chaitanya, rumours were doing the rounds that the actress was bidding adieu to acting. But here we are – nearly six months after her wedding – looking forward to two big releases in March. She will be seen in crucial roles in Mahanati and Rangasthalam. That’s not all! She is also currently shooting for her film with Siva Karthikeyan, now titled Seema Raja. She is also a part of the Tmail, Telugu remake of U-turn! Whoever said, actresses don’t work as much after marriage, has not taken a look at Samantha’s career!

Awe starred female leads in a typical roles 

The recently released AWE was also an example of the changing times. Three popular actresses – Kajal Aggarwal, Nithya Menen, Regina Cassandra teamed up to play atypical roles in a unique film. None of the roles individually highlighted their talents, the actresses, in fact, took on the responsibility of telling a good story. While films focusing on an actress’ midriff and cleavage might not stop overnight in Tollywood, a new wave is slowly spreading that focuses on redefining the role of the fairer sex in Telugu cinema.


Take off, 2017 

Take off, starring Parvathy in the lead, earned phenomenal reviews post its release. The film was highly praised by celebs and fans. The film catapulted Parvathy to unimaginable heights. The actress garnered acclaim for her powerful act, While in Malayalam cinema, there is no dearth of female oriented films, women centric films ‘took off ‘ once again!

Upcoming projects 

Mahanati, a biopic on yesteryear Star Savithri is is one of the most anticipated films of this year. Then there’s Kolamaavu Kokila, the U-turn remake, The Queen remake in four languages.

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