1st Edition

Centring Women in Bollywood Biopics Empowerment and Agency in Contemporary Indian Cinema

    256 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the dramatic rise in popularity of the women’s biopic in contemporary Bollywood, within the context of wider cultural shifts over the past decade.

    Delving into the societal shifts reflected in the genre, both on and off screen, the book explores the contours of individual agency and the centring of women in Indian cinema. The book offers new insight into women-centric Hindi biopics, a fast-rising genre carving out a tradition of its own, with female directors and actors contributing to this rising postfeminist celebration of woman’s agency and individuality. The authors posit that the alternative narratives, created by Bollywood and accepted by mainstream audiences, have become a catalyst to elevate women or female actors to protagonists, without the need to conform to the sexist mores of mainstream Bollywood.

    This book will be of interest to scholars, researchers and upper-level students in the areas of film studies, media industries, gender and feminism, and South Asian studies.


    1.     Introduction: The Women-Centric Bollywood

    2.     The Larger Context: Postfeminism in India and Women’s Biopics

    3.     Biopics of Female Sports Personalities in Bollywood

    4.     Women in Politics

    5.     Celebrity Culture and Select Bollywood Biopics

    6.     Conclusion


    Chandrava Chakravarty is Professor, Department of English and the Director of Centre for Studies in Gender, Culture & Media at West Bengal State University, India. Her research interests include Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century, Colonial Bengal, Gender and Cultural Studies.

    Sneha Kar Chaudhuri is Head and Associate Professor of English, West Bengal State University. Her areas of specialization and research interests include Neo-Victorian Studies, Adaptation Studies, Gender Studies, historical fiction and historical cinema.