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Here's every Bollywood female protagonist from 1980-2015. It's depressing

Sneha Vakharia | Updated on: 30 April 2016, 9:56 IST

We've just plotted every. Hindi. film. with a strong female protagonist in the past three and a half decades in a single graph. 

Because we know that you've sensed that Bollywood's changing. That of late, there are fewer female characters objects to be saved from Man on Road channeling his inner Shakti Kapoor

Fewer female actors objects designed to make the male protagonist appear more desirable by association

And fewer instances of women objects on posters to distract from the poor fashion choices of the hero

But you also know that a sense is too little. You demand cold, hard, numbers. 

So we trawled the internet for you, compiled a comprehensive list of all Hindi films, from 1980 to 2015, with women in lead roles. 

They include films like thisss. 

And this. 

And also this. 

We plunged the depths of hell. To find that in 35 years, we've made 125 films with women protagonists. 

That's 3.6 films a year. 

The films we've chosen are those with the female character(s) at the fore. This does not include films in which the male and female protagonist share equal screen time; only films that are the converse of conventional Hero-with-decorative-heroine. For example, Neerja would qualify. PK would not. 

For those who believe there's been a substantial shift this decade, hold your breath. At our very best (2010), we made only 9 female-led films.

That's less 5% of the overall number. 

Here are all those films, by year, plotted on a graph. Ta. Da.

Arya Sharma/ Catch News

These were our (unscientific) parameters

The requirements:

1) That the films be in Hindi. 

2) That they feature on an IMDb page. 

3) That the plot follows a female character more than any other. 

For a closer look, these are the films, listed by year:

2015: Dolly ki Doli, NH10, Margarita with a Straw, Piku, Calender Girls, Angry Indian Godesses, Kajarya

2014: Highway, Gulaab Gang, Queen, W, Lakshmi, Revolver Rani, Bobby Jasoos, Mary Kom, Mardani, Khoobsurat

2013: Gippi

2012: Jalpari, English Vinglish, Heroine, Kahaani

2011: No One Killed Jessica, 7 Khoon Maaf, Monica, Memories in March, Luv Ka The End, That Girl in Yellow Boots, The Dirty Picture

2010: Mittal v/s Mittal, Rokkk, Toh Baat Pakki, Aisha, We are family, Hello Darling, Hisss, Mallika, Kaalo

2009: - Nothing. Zilch. Prove us wrong please

2008: Fashion, Saas Bahu or Sensex, Meerabai Not Out

2007: Aaja Nachle, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Red Swastik, The Blue Umbrella

2006: Chingaari, Umraao Jaan, Dor 

2005: 7.5 Phere, Naina, Water

2004: Chameli, Ek Hasina Thi

2003: Hawa, Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon, Matrubhoomu, Samay, Pinjar 

2002: Filhaal, Makdee, Mitr, My Friend

2001: Chandni Bar, Daman, Lajja, Zubeidaa 

2000: Fizaa, Astitva, Gaja Gamini, Kya Kehna, Astitva  

1999: Godmother 

1998: Mehndi 

1997: Mrityudand, Aastha  

1996: Army, Aurat, Aurat, Aurat, Fire

1995: -

1994: Anjam, Bandit Queen, Madam X, Woh Chhokri 

1993: Damini 

1992: Zindagi Ek Jua 

1991: Antarnaad, Haque, Swayam

1990: -

1989: Chaalbaaz

1988: Biwi Ho Toh Aisi, Khoon Bhari Maang, Zakhmi Aurat, Savitri, Kab Tak Chup Rahungi, Sherni 

1987: Daku Hasina, Ijaazat, Mirch Masala 

1986: Angaaray, Insaaf Ki Awaz, Nagina, Aakhir Kyun

1985: Aakhir Kyun, Durgaa, Jhoothi, Khamosh

1984: Abodh, Andhi Gali, Bhavna, Khandar, Lorie, Parama

1983: Chhatpati, Mandi 

1982: Arth, Anokha Bandhan, Aparoopa, Lakshmi, Log Kya Kahenge, Nikaah, Umbartha, Namkeen 

1981: 36 Chowringhee Lane, Chakra, Umrao Jaan, Sameera

1980: Khoobsurat Yes. We've saved at least one film student his doctoral thesis. That student is welcome. 

Disclaimer: We may have missed a few because they're not recorded on IMDB, but it's likely to be a statistically insignificant number. And of course, definition of strong female character can vary. But only if you've never met a strong female character in your life.

Still think we missed a biggie? Let us know in the comments below.

Edited by Payal Puri

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First published: 30 April 2016, 9:56 IST
 
Sneha Vakharia @sneha_vakharia

A Beyonce-loving feminist who writes about literature and lifestyle at Catch, Sneha is a fan of limericks, sonnets, pantoums and anything that rhymes. She loves economics and music, and has found a happy profession in neither. When not being consumed by the great novels of drama and tragedy, she pays the world back with poems of nostalgia, journals of heartbreak and critiques of the comfortable.

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