Recommendations Post: Happy Female Lead Films!

It came up in discussion that female lead films tend to be really dark. Which is true! But why should we watch a bunch of women be miserable and punished all the time? This is a post for us all to share recommendations for happy female lead films. And I’ll start with some of my favorites.

Veere Di Wedding (Hindi)

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A female friendship comedy! How rare is that? No one is raped, no one is killed, no one is a sex worker. They are just rich people figuring out their romances and careers, like men do in movies all the time.

Mr. and Mrs. 55 (classic)

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This is a really silly rom-com, but it is slightly more from the perspective of our heroine Madhubala than our hero Guru Dutt. In order to get her inheritance, a rich girl has to be married. Her aunt advertises for a husband planning to help her get a divorce once the inheritance is received, hijinks ensue, love blossoms, etc. etc.

Kandukondain Kandukondain (Tamil)

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Sense and Sensibility in Madras! It’s not 100% happy, our heroines suffer and struggle and all of that, but they aren’t raped and they aren’t forced into prostitution, it is just normal struggling to find jobs and pay rent.

Aiyyaa (Hindi)

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A totally happy movie. Our heroine falls in love and has to avoid the boring arranged marriage fiance in order to win over her dream man.

Dear Zindagi (Hindi)

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I debated this one. Yes, our heroine is depressed for part of the film and needs therapy. But nothing really bad happens to her, and there is no greater social evil addressed beyond “parents should give their kids unconditional love”. And it has a really wonderful example of close female friendship between a bunch of happy non-raped and abused young women.

Fidaa (Telugu)

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Great movie! Again, it’s a rom-com, but the story is definitely slanted more towards our heroine than our hero. And she is strong and interesting and gets everything she wants in life without needing to suffer for it.

Teesri Manzil (classic)

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A classic film for many reasons and great fun. But it also tells a mystery story with our heroine as the investigator, trying to solve her sister’s murder. But it doesn’t play as depressing, it plays as a fun adventure with modest stakes.

Ohm Shanti Oshaana (Malayalam)

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A straight up love story, but this time the yearning faithful lover is a girl instead of a boy. We watch our heroine grow up and go through all kinds of changes before getting to her happy ending.

An Evening in Paris (Classic)

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A silly silly movie! Our heroine is an Indian heiress who comes to Paris to find love where no man will want her just for her money. And then there is a mistaken identity and adventures and all kinds of crazy good things.

June (Malayalam)

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A real coming of age story, our heroine goes from high school to college to young adulthood in the city to returning home and mature adulthood. Friends and boyfriends drift in and out of her life along the way, but it is a story of more than just romance, she also finds a profession she loves and gets to a better relationship with her parents as she ages and all kinds of things.

Chandni (classic)

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A love triangle between the passionate impractical love and the sensible love. Only instead of a man being torn between the two, it’s a woman! Who along the way also moves cities, gets a job, and generally has the sort of journey of changes and life lessons we usually only see from a hero.

Okay, that’s all I can think of at the moment! What are your favorite happy female films?

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20 thoughts on “Recommendations Post: Happy Female Lead Films!

    • Yes! It’s Tabu and Aish’s journey, the men around them are incidental.

      On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 1:02 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. Other happy, nice films with female lead:
    Godha – the heroine is strong and fights for what she loves, winning super sexy Tovino Thomas as a bonus
    Charlie – ok, man’s name is in the title and he is the protagonist but we get to meet him thanks to this amazing, free woman and for me she is equal lead
    Size Zero – Anushka Shetty is great as a woman who loves herself as she is
    Dawat-e-ishq

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    • Co-sign all of these! I would even take away the qualification on Charlie. The hero is the title character, but Parvathy is definitely the protagonist. It’s her journey, she is just hearing stories about this other person. And I really have to find a copy of Size Zero to watch.

      On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 2:54 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I was going to say Charlie is in the title but he is not the protagonist, but i started to think that he has those cool fight scenes, the moments of helping people who are in real trouble. That’s why for me they are equals – we meet Charlie thanks to her, but also we spend time with her because of him.

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      • Have you seen Trully Madly Deeply? It’s a really strange interesting movie starring the mother from Bend it Like Beckham (which is why I was just thinking about it). Another fabulous female lead film! And one that I think would be really interesting to remake in India. Oh, and also Alan Rickman!

        On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 11:48 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I can recommend Mozhi in Tamil in which Prithviraj-a musician-falls in love with Jyothika-a very independent but deaf and dumb girl. A very fun,full of energy movie which also has a nice bromance btw Prithviraj & Prakash Raj and some nice supporting characters.Or Achuvinte Amma in Malayalam that had a funny/friendly mother-daughter relationship with a small conflict coming out of the daughter having a boyfriend and a happy ending.In Hindi,isnt Khubsoorat-old and new-happy and feminine and what can make women happier than seeing Fawad Khan?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Piku! Yes, Deepika shares the screen with Amitabh and Irrfan but it’s her journey. Also Khoobsurat, Sonam version. So happy and colorful! No major suffering on camera (the big death happens 10 years before the action).

    I watched Ohm Shanti Oshaana a few days ago, adorable and not at all dark.

    How about Queen? I know you can’t stand watching Kangana but it’s a female lead in a very happy story with hijinks and adventures.

    Yeh Dillagi has three leads but the main character arc belongs to Kajol and it never gets too dark (despite the attempted date rape 😬)

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    • So happy you finally watched Ohm Shaanthi Oshaana! And the review for that will be reposted later today, so look for that.

      Agree about Khoobsurat, and Piku, and Yeh Dillagi! Torn about Queen because it feels a little bit “issue” oriented. In a happy way, but still about being a woman in the world instead of just telling the story.

      On Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 12:21 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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