The poster and trailer of Sonakshi Sinha’s upcoming film Noor released today, just a day ahead of International Women’s Day 2017 and it has been making all the right noises! One thing that has caught everyone’s attention is Sonakshi’s portrayal of a journalist in the film. While she looks totally goofy in the poster (we cannot be complaining as it makes for a cute picture), you might conclude that she will be playing a journalist who is non-serious about her job. And the initial rushes of the trailer will tell you that you are right in your prediction. But, one incident changes her life forever and she realizes the importance and seriousness of being in the profession!

And we are grateful! For it would have been a big disappointment to see an actress just given a role of a professional and then not be seen doing her job! In Bollywood, seldom do we see actresses playing characters that are also entrepreneurs or ambitious professionals.

Even if we do have someone playing a professional, the role will not be something you can relate to. For wouldn’t it be a crime to have the female lead play anything without a dash of glamour? And therefore, jobs where they get to play photographers or airhostess or models and actors or sidekicks on a film set have been the easiest ones! Where are women who shake things up in the boardroom? Or the one who call the shots, grab things by the neck and turn them on the head?

Filmmakers have been very smart in making us see what they want to us to see. Just to drive home the point that our cinema is changing and we now have stronger women characters, they have resorted to giving the female leads – a job! No matter then if we don’t see them going to work even a single day in their life during the film. Who cares if they still go around doing the same old thing- being glamourous, falling in love, singing love songs, grooving seductively and wearing revealing clothes? But all is not lost! We do have a few filmmakers writing strong roles for our actresses. On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017, here’s taking a look at Bollywood films that celebrate the ambitious, career woman! (ALSO READ: International Women’s Day: 5 films where Deepika, Anushka, Yami and more female leads should have ended up with a different fate)

Deepika Padukone as an architect in Piku
Deepika’s portrayal of a young, single working woman in urban India, trying hard to balance work and personal life was every girl’s story! One could instantly relate to the character of Piku, her struggles, her failures, her joys and her disappointments.

Anushka Sharma as a journalist in PK
Having to prove yourself again and again to your family, to your bosses and to the world – Anushka Sharma’s Jagatjannani or Jaggu didn’t have to try very hard to strike a chord with the audience. The film revolved around Aamir Khan’s character of PK but Anushka’s journalist was given equal footing! The film is a classic example of how the male and female leads in a film can be given equal opportunities to shine in the arc lights!

Kareena Kapoor Khan as a business woman in Ki and Kaa
A woman cannot have it all and managing the house is not just a woman’s job! These were two very important messages that one learnt from Kareena Kapoor Khan’s Kia in the film. She plays a business woman who is ambitious and has a never diminishing fire to be an achiever. Her character highlighted the gender inequality and stereotypes that ail Indian society and keep women from making their dreams come true. It also underlined how societal pressures often make us act in a certain way and influences our decisions, not necessarily for the better.

Rani Mukherjee as a feisty reporter in No One Killed Jessica
Rani’s character in the film beautifully brought to fore the challenges of being a professional. She played a braveheart journalist who has to risk her life at every point just to dig out the truth. She plays an investigative journalist, trying to expose the ones responsible for a high profile murder case. Her character aimed at breaking gender stereotypes prevalent in the workplace – the most important being – if you are a woman, you are not strong or smart enough to do an important job! The film convincingly managed to achieve what it set out to.

Priyanka Chopra as a cop in Jai Gangaajal
The film revolved around a stereotype that women are not strong or ambitious enough to shake things up! Priyanka Chopra’s IPS Abha Mathur is appointed as an investigating officer by criminals thinking that she won’t be able to cause any harm to any of them. But the female lead in the film shocks all who thought – ‘She’s just a woman after all, how far will she go if she decides to turn against the tide?’ (ALSO READ: On International Women’s Day, Varun Dhawan reveals how Badrinath Ki Dulhania changed his approach towards women)

We are not denying the fact that there have been some brilliant films with some amazing women-centric roles in Bollywood over the years! But it is not enough! The film industry needs to shift its attitude towards the portrayal of women and write characters close to reality, ones that will also inspire the audience! We know change doesn’t happen overnight, it is a continuous process! Here’s hoping that Bollywood will continue to take one step forward from where it has reached today!