On National Girls’ Day Sunday, Rani Mukerji opened up about the power of cinema to drive change that could benefit women. The actress, who has lived in Bollywood for 24 years now, feels lucky to have, overall, worked in films that have provided her powerful protagonists.
“By showing girls well, the cinema is definitely trying to help show how girls can be so much more than what society wanted them to be,” she said.
“Cinema has the power to impact societal change and actors have the power to talk to people and sow the thought of positive change through their choice of films. I was lucky as an artist to have projects that had strong female protagonists and, to be honest, I also consciously tried to seek out such projects, ”she added.
The actress reveals that she always has a specific plan in mind when choosing roles and films.
“I want my work to say loud and clear to the world what my intention was, with my film brand and my roles, and today I’m glad I chose well. I say this because I wanted to do my part to shift the stereotypical gaze of society towards women, ”she added.
Rani hopes she has helped project women as strong and independent through her roles.
“Most of the characters I played – like Rhea in Hum Tum, Shashi in Yuva, Roshni in Talaash, Suhani in Saathiya, Saamiya in Veer-Zaara, Michelle in black, Meera in No One Killed Jessica, Shivani in Mardaani or Naina in Hichki, among others – have hopefully helped project women as strong, independent, forward-thinking people who aren’t afraid to follow their hearts and do what’s right.
She says she is a sated artist because of her choices which have made an effort to change society. “Movies can play a big role in changing societal notions, bringing about the right change,” she observed.
When it comes to the portrayal of women in films, she feels that there is still a lot of work to be done.
“I know there is still a lot of work to be done, and movies can do a lot more to trigger good thoughts and conversations about women’s equality, parity and independence. I have confidence in the industry that we will try to do our best, ”she summed up.
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