Detective, police officer, cable operator, boxer, politician, physiotherapist and ghost—these were some characters added to the Hindi film pantheon this year. Many of these films were commercially successful, some of them positively critiqued, and almost none of them were stereotypical. All of them were played by women.
What seemed like the start of a changing climate in a male-dominated, star-led world of Hindi movies began with No One Killed Jessica and The Dirty Picture in 2011. This year, with more than a dozen films written with female protagonists, the woman hanging helplessly off the muscular arm of a superstar appeared to have faded.
Queen, Mary Kom, Mardaani, Highway, Ragini MMS 2 and Dedh Ishqiya, to name a few, proved that nothing works better than the right combination of a solid story, credible actors and the right marketing pitch. But the final verdict remains in the hands of an audience that no longer blindly follows a superstar vehicle.