[F] Friendships and Women in Movies #AtoZChallenge Day6

Friendships between men and women are inherently different . That’s not an opinion or an observation , that’s a fact .

Men are more of the ‘let’s catch some beer’ kind of friends whatever be the context [ break up or promotion ] . For women , Friendships are complicated , all-consuming , emotional , high involvement . They need sticking around , they need wiping tears , they need a lot of work!

But like I said , Female Friendships are complicated because they could be the most intense relationships when they last and when they end they could be more traumatic than the most ardent love affairs. So when we see Female Friendships around us , they could be categorized into – Fake , Fabulous or Former .  If there is one thing that’s captured close to reality in movies is Female Friendships unfortunately they have been fewer than those around men and their camaraderie .

Which is understandable because while men join hands and save the world from all the evil , women are yet to cross the threshold of home as per a lot of movie makers and script writers. When it comes to Men and their everlasting friendships there is no dearth of movies . From Jai Veeru in the epic Sholay , to the coolest boy – trip ever Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – the men have nothing to complain .

While more SATC or Sisterhood of the travelling pants or Bridesmaid kind of movies need to be made for Indian screens , yet until then let’s talk about a few that get it right when it comes to ‘we the women’ and our friendships across all three categories.

When your husband enjoys Aisha more than you , you know the filmmaker’s have got something right  .  Not surprising actually considering that its written , produced and directed by women . The uber cool vibe aside , it gets all the 3 F’s right . There is an element of ‘fake’ when Aisha takes up Shefali as a ‘makeover project’ . Pinky and Aisha go from ‘fabulous’ to ‘former’ due to differences that they eventually settle.

At the far end of the spectrum is the way Parched portrays the relationship between Lajjo , Bijli and Rani . Their shared history of pain , abuse , challenges brings them close.They are all so different but when they come together they feel a sense of liberation. Can’t imagine a happier ever after as the titles roll to show them riding away into the sunset.

There is a moment in Dear Zindagi that captures the essence of Fabulous friendships really well , when Kaira wonder how its is easier to talk to her friends and so difficult to speak her mind to her parents.That one thought defines new generation issues so beautifully it’s like an insight so many brands would pay moolah to unearth.

In recent times , I particularly liked the way Minal , Falak and Andrea [ in PINK ] not only share an easy rapport but take care of each other like family. They were from different regional backgrounds , were very different as personalities and yet stood for each other giving a subtle but very strong message about how Female Friendships should be showcased.

There have been other heartwarming selfless tales of women coming together and instrumental in bringing about each other’s ‘coming of age’ moment in the narrative . Vijay & Rani [ Queen] , Zeenat & Meera [ Dor ] , Sita and Radha [ Fire]  and Sia & Reva  [Filhaal ]

Fire and Filhaal could easily be the most poignant and stunning piece of work on the subject . Both directed by a woman director and on complex subjects , portrayed the entire trajectory of Female Friendships. I’ll be talking about both in an upcoming post.

Before we move on , let me share with you something interesting . We know how ratings are given to movies owing to various criteria. In UK though to make light of the poor representation of women , a comedian actually came up with a test called Bechdel Test . The recent shallow behavior of Censor board & controversy on banning a women oriented movie [which incidentally if I could watch , could get covered in this post’s subject too] shows how far we are in terms of implementing a fair rating system. In India , when creativity is under stress , we cant cry hoarse about women and our issues onscreen right? What we can do though is wonder how out of thousands of movies churned out every year by the biggest movie making industry in the world , how many would actually pass a test that involves 3 simple rules? Two women that are named , speak to each other and also discuss something other than men? if you have an answer to that , do leave me a note !


I am collaborating with Jaibala Rao who is blogging about Iconic movies of our generation here . Click here to Join me in my #AtoZChallenge journey this April as I explore Women representation in contemporary movies. If you are participating in AtoZ too , do leave your link and I’d try my best to drop by .


10 thoughts on “[F] Friendships and Women in Movies #AtoZChallenge Day6

  1. Love the Bechdel test. It is so apt, no? And gets one thinking .. Heard of it when I was watching a TV series.
    Great post! While the movies you’ve mentioned do portray a special bond between the women protagonists in them, we still need movies dedicated to sisterhood and female friendships in a large way!
    Aditi Kaushiva recently posted…Ekadashi #AtoZChallenge‏ @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  2. Oh mahn, a friendship like Rani and Vijay is goals! The two of them were so cool, and learnt so much from each other, and yet had such a great time! A fabulous fabulous friendship.

    And yes, I loved the categorisation of female friendships! 😀

  3. Women and friends! Everytime i talk to men about women being friends, all they do is raise their eyebrows. Once i had a discussion with my cousin and i was full on with my feminist voice at that time, i asked why movies like dil chata hai and 3 idiots can’t be made with females in similar roles and he was like- you guys are so fickle minded that you don’t last like how we boys do!

    Whatever the outcome of that discussion… I would love to watch movies based on more of female friendships for sure.
    Medha Nagur recently posted…By: F for Forgiveness- Forgiving self and others while you also seek forgiveness is the sure stairway to inner peace – Medha NagurMy Profile

  4. Incidentally, I wrote a letter to my son on friendship yesterday. 🙂 I love the dynamics of the three friends in Pink. They were so different yet so much in sync. Filhaal was another favorite. I feel women have deeper connections with their friends than men. Your posts do set me thinking, Chandni. I’ve never thought about movies in such detail.

  5. Wow! I’ve never analyzed Indian movies that deeply!
    Females in India rarely have time for friends. They’re so wrapped up in their husbands and kids. Plus, most of them don’t have that kind of freedom that men do. Bound by domestic responsibilities. Have to take permission from so many people, including in-laws at times!
    No wonder we rarely see iconic female friendships in Indian movies.
    Happy AtoZing!
    Chicky @ http://www.mysteriouskaddu.com
    Kaddu recently posted…A to Z of Happiness: G – Gratitude #atozchallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  6. It’s sad how many movies fail the Bechdel test in Hollywood. I can only imagine what it’s like in Bollywood. I’ll admit, I don’t know most of the movies you’ve mentioned so can’t comment specifically to them! 🙂

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