In Tamil industry, there is a trend where heroines usually from North come in romance the actors, does duets and leave. However once in a while, in countable instances we do come across women characters that are etched beautifully. Characters where their presence is not merely to add eye candy to the film and its promotions.
Here are five female characters who lived for themselves. They are not glam dolls, not the bubbly ones who dance in rain and not the usual sacrificial ones.
- Thenmozhi – Mandela (2021)
Thenmozhi runs the local post office, she is a strong headed woman and doesn’t like people ill-treating Mandela (Yogi Babu) just because he doesn’t belong to any particular caste. When Mandela takes in privileges given by the electoral candidates, she kept accusing him for taking them in. At one point she left him, rather than enjoying the luxury he gets instead she stood up for her morals and though Mandela shined more in this film, it wouldn’t be complete with Thenmozhi which is played by Sheela Rajkumar.
- Althea Johnson – Taramani (2017)
Ram’s Althea played by Andrea Jeremiah is an independent, unapologetic woman. Althea is an Anglo-Indian woman and has a kid from her previous marriage. She is modern not because she wears skirts, drinks, smokes and have a social life, after knowing her husband’s sexuality she let him go and have a peaceful, she took the antagonist part in their broken marriage and let people to assassinate her character. Faced the situations life put forth her bravely, she is a free-spirited woman and determined mother. She also proved just because a woman is social and drinks it doesn’t mean she is open to sexual relationships, she stood against her boss for the same. Althea Johnson being herself, which too unapologetically is what we look up to.
- Malarvizhi – Iraivi (2016)
A very small screen space was given to Malar, played by Pooja Devariya. A realistic, practical woman and also a victim of male chauvinism in her previous marriage. She was forced to stay independent from her past and that’s why she denies when Michael (Vijay Sethupathi) proposes her marriage, in spite of being in love with him. She is a mystery and that made Michael to come back to her again and again. Malar is aware of what marriage would do to her and she chose not to play a victim role again. Her clear vision on the aspects of love, lust and marriage made her stand unique.
- Geetha Rani – Raatchasi (2019)
Though the film follows a usual narrative pattern, like a teacher would turn a school around Geetha Rani’s character (Jyothika) stood unique and to be precise powerful. A Lieutenant Colonel takes up the position of a headmistress and works on developing a poorly functioning government school. When her dad died, she did all the customs a son is meant to do, according to the society and returned to work the same day afternoon. Daddy’s girl stood strong there, though she broke down when she hears his voice message. The beautiful relationship she had with the kid made us smile and the determination she showed throughout the film is what not only women, men should also look up to. Raatchasi for a reason.
- Rudra – Kodi (2016)
Rudra is dignified, ruthless woman. She killed Kodi (Dhanush), yes she played an antagonist role. What stands unique is that, in the era where women give up career, life and everything for the sake of their love or family, Rudra stood up for her and what she wants. Though she loved Kodi, she had her own political desires and opinions and stayed in the party in spite of Kodi being in the opposition. Rudra stood for her dream, desires and didn’t let emotions bring her down at any cost.
We need more women characters to break the stereotypes and lead the show!