Women in Tamil Cinema – International Women’s Day



The International Women’s day falls on March 8th every year. The day has particular significance and was the outcome of women’s consistent struggle to claim their rights in the society. After years of continuous great effort the first women’s day was celebrated on March 19th, 1911. The day was chosen as a mark of reverence to the Prussian ruler who understood the women’s plea and promised to take efforts to bring them to reality. Only in 1913, did the celebrations get shifted to March 8th.

The field of cinema has had many remarkable women in its repertoire. Both as heroines as well as technicians, they have made an indelible mark in the Tamil film landscape. T.P.Rajalakshmi who worked in one of the silent films of the early thirties was a noted heroine and later she also became the first director and producer in Tamil cinema. Actresses like Pandari Bai, Anjali Devi, Vijayakumari, Savithri, Saroja Devi, Padmini who were trend-setters of the time in terms of performances, all-rounder like Bhanumathi Ramakrishna who dealt with script-writing, acting and direction, comedians like Manorama, T.A.Madhuram who broke the stereotypes still hold a revered place in the pages of cinema history. In the subsequent period in Kollywood actors such as Sridevi, who, through her cutting-edge glamour and charm had found a permanent place in the audiences’ hearts, then in the years to follow, actress Revathy who had performed in many significant roles and later diversified into direction, Suhasini, another noted actress and a path-breaking director, Khushboo and Raadhikaa, well-known actors and producers are some of the successful women who have carved out a niche for themselves in the competitive field.

The charming Jyotika and the sizzling Simran, through their realistic performances have brought about a wave of change in the industry, Asin, who after a string of hits in Tamil has successfully migrated to Bollywood, Trisha, the heartthrob of many and so on and so forth. Besides, there have been women who have ventured into the creative side of films. Like B.R.Vijayalakshmi and now Preetha, the noted cinematographers in Kollywood, Thamarai, the sensational lyricist, director V.Priya etc.

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