Yes Queen: Tales of independent women in Indian cinema

Just like Hollywood, Bollywood is filled with classic tales of women falling for strong men who can, supposedly, take care of them. However, two movies stand out that go against these tropes. They are “Queen,” and “Dangal.”

“Queen” is a 2013 film about a woman who is left by her fiance days before their wedding. With her emotions in shambles and her family scrambling to cancel all the wedding preparations that were underway, Rani embarks on her honeymoon alone. At first, Rani is too engrossed in her troubles to enjoy the trip, but along the way she meets a variety of friends that make her grow as a person and make her solo honeymoon not so bad after all. 

“Queen” is a comedic drama that portrays a strong woman facing the pity of a community who largely believes she is crazy for stepping out on her own and going on an adventure, which involves a hostel with three male roommates no less.

“Dangal” is a 2016 film that is more true to life. It is based on the true story of two girls born to an ex-wrestler father who hopes for a boy to continue his dream of achieving wrestling fame. Going against all tradition and flying in the face of disrespect and judgement of his small rural community, he trains his daughters how to fight not just each other, but other boys who are sometimes much bigger than them. This film showcases a loving, but determined father and two strong and stubborn girls who fight to make their father proud.

Both films show that women can be independent and still achieve success and happiness even if that means going against all expectations of them.

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