By Nikita Madan
Women on Indian celluloid rarely get the chance to go bad, but when they do, they leave a mark. The Bollywood villainess has evolved from the patriarchal mothers-in-law or the dancing moles of gangster to strong independent women who are unapologetic about their needs. They seduce, they terrify, they manipulate, they kill, and they do whatever they have to do to get what they want. Nothing is forbidden and that’s why they are so much fun!
They are no bechaaris or sati savitiris and that’s where their charm lies. In the hordes of pretty girl next door type roles, girls who dare to break the cliché, stand out. These are the girls we love to hate. So here is my pick of top 5 villainesses in Bollywood (in no particular order) as they say bad girls really know how to make a good scene.
1. Priyanka Chopra– She gets involved with a guy for his money and influence, leaves him for her career, marries an older man for his money, seduces the guy she earlier left who is now married and when spurned slaps a rape case on him. What’s not to love about this power hungry seductress played deliciously by Priyanka Chopra in ‘Aitraaz’? Well, she dies in the end but you have to agree that the movie belonged to her.
2. Kajol– Sacrifice for love is applauded but killing for love is so much more fun. Kajol as the obsessive psychopathic killer in ‘Gupt ‘ is a personal favorite. A taut thriller, Kajol plays the role with equal amount of innocence and menace.
3. Simi Garewal –Few could have played the role of Kamini in ‘Karz’ with such panache and sophistication as done by Simi Garewal. She marries for money, kills for money and is shamelessly attracted to a younger man, what more do you want from a villainess? Take out music and its villainess and Karz wouldn’t be such a cult classic.
4. Mahie Gill– According to me, the movie ‘Sahib Biwi and Gangster’ belonged the Mahie Gill. She nailed it as the alcoholic lonely deranged wife of the sahib. Totally unapologetic she drinks, seduces and kills without batting an eyelid. Why can’t more heroines be like her?
5. Shabana Azmi – I’m pretty sure there was no kid who was not terrified and traumatized by the chudail in ‘Makdee’. Shabana Azmi terrified the day light out of kids and adults alike with her performance as the chicken blood drinking witch in the film. The scene where she drinks blood still makes me gag.
The bad girl brigade has many more names like Urmila Matonkar in ‘Kaun’ and ‘Pyaar tune kya kiya’; Konkana Sen Sharma and Huma Qurreshi in ‘Ek thi daayan’ ; Bipasha Basu is ‘Raaz 3’. In Bollywood where women are mostly typecast as submissive , virtuous, selfless sacrificing entities, women with negative shades are a breath of fresh air. They are crazy, they are psychotic, they are obsessive but you have to agree they are way more interesting than the average good girl. Hope to see more fem fatale on screen, and on that note can’t wait to see the quintessential good girl Juhi Chawla portray a character with negative shades in ‘Gulab Gang’.