Women power to the fore

By Durga Chakravarty

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) The first half of 2019 saw a smashing success, with hero-led stories such as "Gully Boy", "Uri: The Surgical Strike", "Kesari" and "Kabir Singh" breaking all records at the Indian box-office. The second half, though, is all about women and women power!

Machismo was once a flavour for every Bollywood film, but the fad seems to be changing now as filmmakers are taking a step forward by focussing on woman power in movies and going beyond cliched storylines.

The second half of 2019 looks more promising as potential names like Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Tabu, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu and several other actresses are set to dominate the year end.

First to release in August is "Mission Mangal". It's cast has Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Nithya Menen and Kirti Kulhari as the iconic team of women who executed Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) of November 2013, in the Independence Day release, "Mission Mangal".

Kirti said: "When it comes to intelligence and merit, women were often kept in the backstage. I think after the release of this film, the thought will change. Having said that, though the film is inspired by the real-life incident, it is a fictional story and all the characters are fictionalised, including their names."

In September it is time for the Sonam Kapoor starrer "The Zoya Factor", based on novelist Anuja Chauhan's book of the same name.

"The Zoya Factor" tells the tale of a girl, Zoya Solanki (Sonam), who meets the Indian Cricket Team through her job as an executive in an advertising agency and ends up becoming a lucky charm for the team in the Cricket World Cup. Zoya was born at the moment when India lifted the 1983 World Cup.

Cancer crusader and actress Manisha Koirala will be seen making a comeback in September with "Prasthanam", in which she will playing Sanjay Dutt's on-screen wife. The film, a Hindi remake of the Telugu film of the same name, will have a double dose of actresses as Amyra Dastur will be seen alongside Manisha.

October marks the return of Indian actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas on the silver screen with her co-production "The Sky Is Pink". The Bollywood's "Desi girl" in a tweet had said that she cannot wait any longer to be back in dual role as an actor and a producer.

Actresses Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar are aiming for the box-office bullseye with their film "Saand Ki Aankh", which is slated to release in October.

Bhumi seems to have a happy run at the box-office after "Saand Ki Aankh" she will be seen in string of films such as "Bhoot - Part One: The Haunted Ship", "Bala" and "Pati Patni Aur Woh" -- all releasing one after the another during the October-December period.

Actress Yami Gautam will be seen sharing the screen with Bhumi in "Bala".

"Being a woman, I think such content is encouraging -- be it strong central female protagonists or two women leading the way in films... It's a positive sign for me," Yami had told IANS.

Veteran actress Tabu will be seen in November end in "Jawaani Jaaneman", which marks the debut of actress Pooja Bedi's daughter Alaia F.

The December time period is dotted by other Bollywood entertainers such as "Panipat", "Pati, Patni Aur Woh" and "Dabangg 3", which marks the debut of Mahesh Manjrekar's daughter Saiee.

The year will end with Kareena Kapoor Khan's "Good News".

"Good News" will bring back Kareena to the silver screen after a year break. She will be seen sharing screen space with Kiara Advani.

(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at durga.c@ians.in)

--IANS

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