Recent Bollywood hit flick The Dirty Picture, which won Vidya Balan the National Award for Best Actress, and Kahaani also starring Vidya Balan makes movie buffs sit up and take stock of how heroine-centric films fared in Kollywood. Directors like K Balachander, Bharathiraja, Balu Mahendra and K Bhagyaraj never shied away from portraying their heroines as strong the bold women.
Suhasini is one lucky actress to have bagged multiple opportunities to star in heroine-oriented films and two of her ever-green films – Manathil Uruthi Vendum and Sindhu Bhairavi – were directed by veteran director K Balachander.
Radha too belonged to the same generation and had her fair share of heroine-oriented films like Mudhal Mairyadhi which was directed by Bharathiraja. Revathi was Bharathiraja’s choice to essay powerful roles in films like Mann Vasanai and Pudhumai Penn.
Saritha and Sujatha, who belong to the earlier generation, were in a commanding position to bag women-centric roles at their times. Saritha can be credited to a number of women-centric films including Thaneer Thaneer, Achamillai Achamillai, Mouna Geethankal, and Agni Satchi. When it comes to such powerful roles, Saritha still seems to be the hot favourite with her fairly recent releases being June R and Julie Ganapathi.
Jyothika despite being a favourite commercial heroine also had her share of women-centric roles which she utilized to the best. Her role as Vasu in Snegithiye, the powerful portrayal in June R along with Saritha, as the differently-abled in Mozhi, which won her the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress proves Jyothika’s calibre as an actress capable of taking up challenging roles.
Jyothika and Ramya Krishnan must be lucky of the lot to have bagged meaty roles in a Rajnikanth starrer. While Jyothika got her share of limelight in Chandramukhi which also earned her awards, Ramya Krishnan’s role in Padayappa was no less; giving her ample scope to perform which she utilized to the best.
Of the more recent generation, Anushka seems to be the luckiest to have bagged a powerful and completely woman-centric role in Arundathi. This film went on to become a huge success in Tamil as well as Telugu and the actress certainly made use of the opportunity.
Given the fact that women-centric films do find patronage among the movie buffs; the long intervals in-between certainly questions its commercial viability.