Rani Mukerji has opened up on the power of cinema to drive changes that could benefit women. The actress, who has been around in Bollywood for 24 years now, feels fortunate that she has by and large worked in films that offered her strong protagonists.
“By projecting girls well, cinema definitely tries to contribute towards showing 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 do have the power to talk to people and seed the thought of positive change through their choice of films. I have been fortunate as an artiste to get projects that had strong female protagonists and, to be honest, I have also consciously tried to seek out such projects,” she added.
The actress reveals that she always has a specific plan in mind while choosing roles and films.
“I want my body of work to loudly tell the world what my intent was, with my brand of cinema and my roles, and today, I’m happy that I chose well. I say this because I wanted to do my bit towards shifting society’s stereotyped gaze towards women,” she added.
Mukerji hopes she been instrumental in projecting women as strong and independent through her roles.
“Most of the characters I have 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’, among others, have hopefully been instrumental in projecting women as strong, independent, forward-thinking individuals who are not afraid to follow their hearts and do the right thing,” she added.
Mukerji says she is a satiated artiste because of her choices that made an effort to change society. “Films can play a big hand in altering societal notions, bring about the right change,” she observed.
When it comes to the portrayal of women in films, she feels there is still a lot of work to be done.
“I know there is still a lot of work to be done, and films can contribute much more in triggering the right thoughts and conversations about equality, parity, and independence of women. I have faith in the industry that we will try to do our best,” she stated.