5 Best Women Centric Films to Watch
To judge the sheer presence of enough women characters being represented in cinema, there is a test called the ‘Bechdel Test’. It is a very simple test, which helps in judging whether enough women representation is there in cinema or not. The test keeps its bar way too low and in spite of that, very few films pass the test. In fact, most of the popular Academy Award winning films do not even pass this test.
The test has a criteria consisting of just three points. The first thing is that the film should have two or more women characters in it. Now that is simple. It’s the least one can ask for. The second criterion is that those two women should have proper character names in the film. That is also not a big thing to ask for! And lastly, these women should have a conversation with each other about anything other than men.
As mentioned earlier, this sets the bar way too low, and yet a large amount of films fail to clear this ‘Bechdel Test’. This test in no way helps in determining the content of the film though. Also, the films that pass this test may not necessarily be feminist films. This test just judges whether enough women are being represented or not. On that note, here is a list of some women centric films that push the envelope. They all pass the test, and are also amazing films about womanhood.
1. Devil Wears Prada
This has to be one of the most loved women centric films of all times. This is the kind of film that one can watch again and again, and still not have enough of it! 'Devil Wears Prada' is a story about a woman (played by Anne Hathaway) who wants to make it big in the field of journalism, but instead gets stuck in a job as a secretary to the editor-in-chief of the biggest fashion magazine, ‘Runway’. Miranda Priestly is the ‘difficult-to-deal-with’ boss in the film, and is played by Meryl Streep. No one could have done justice to that character the way she did it. It is a wonderful film about two clashing characters and both full of substance. It talks about clash of ideas, ambitions and dreams of career-minded women. The story is extremely entertaining, and is a must watch.
2. Kill Bill series
Quentin Tarantino is swayed by women. He goes beyond than considering them as mere objects of sex. In 'Kill Bill', he proves that even the pretty and saucy women can make interesting, intense and powerful characters. The bride played by Uma Thurman is by far the most badass character that cinema has ever seen. She is strong, she is stylish and she holds the film together. Some of the other fighters in the film were also women. O-Ren-Ishi is one character who combines grace with strength. The last scene of Volume One is a classic watch. All the fight sequences are beautifully choreographed. In spite of being an out and out action film, the plot helps in developing empathy for the bride. This is the kind of film that makes you come out more confident and stronger.
3. Hannah And Her Sisters
Woody Allen is one filmmaker who really knows how to write some of the most mind-blowing women characters. He understands their complexities. He is in love with them. He makes them look real, yet supremely interesting. His women are not perfect. Every actress who has worked with him has sworn that she found a part of her soul that she never knew existed. 'Hannah And Her Sisters' is one such film that deals with a set of imperfect women who have highly complex characters. The film makes for an interesting tale. It deals with themes of uncertainty, failure, straying in relationships, being misunderstood, falling in love, and falling out of love as well. It makes for a nice Sunday watch.
4. Rachel Getting Married
This is another film starring Anne Hathaway, and is one of the most underrated films of its time. It is an intricate story of a woman who is back from the rehab for her sister’s wedding, and how she deals with the issues of acceptance, and overcoming how she is always misunderstood. It is yet another story of imperfection where the lead character shows sheer guts and glory. She is a confident woman who has made her share of errors, and she knows how to deal with them. There are moments when you would hate her, but you shall always identify with her. Anne has given one of her most powerful performances in this film, which is a must watch for all the women out there looking for some good inspiration.
5. Sex and the City series
It’s crass and can pass off as a cheap fluffy film, but one has to agree that 'Sex and the City' was a revolution on television. And the films carry forward the same humor and class. The films have women talking openly about their desires. There is a bunch of women, some of them are vain, some ambitious, some who are subservient to their husbands, and some who are sexual, but all of them talk about what they feel and drive empathy towards them. Behind all this floss and glamor, there are some important messages to be heard. This makes for a light watch, and in fact, one can plan a girls’ night where you see the films back to back.
There are quite a few women centric films in Hollywood, and the good news is that these films are also doing good business. That just shows that one does not only want to see men show off their hot bodies and jump across from one building to the other. There is space for women centric films too. If you still haven’t seen the films mentioned in this list, you should surely take out the time to do so.