There was a time when Bollywood was mostly about macho heroes and angry young men fighting off with a group of villains and creating those larger-than-life figures for the audience. However, over the years, the industry has changed and shifted its focus to narratives rather than the protagonist.

Taapsee Pannu

Now, filmmakers are trying to come up with different types of stories that too with women in lead. For example, last year we saw a number of powerful movies that were spearheaded by women such as 'Chhapaak' and 'Thappad' that had enjoyed theatrical releases before the pandemic started. Later in the year, we also watched eponymous biopics like 'Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl', 'Shakuntala Devi' and other women-centric movies like 'Bulbbul' on OTT platforms. Today, as we celebrate International Women's Day, here is a list of upcoming women-centric Bollywood films of 2021 that you should not miss.

ALSO READ: International Women's Day 2021: All you need to know about this year's theme for celebrations and more

Shabaash Mithu

Directed by Rahul Dholakia, 'Shabaash Mithu' is a film based on the life of the celebrated Indian Women's Cricket Team captain, Mithali Raj. The story will showcase her journey from playing for the Indian railways to leading the national team. Actress Taapsee Pannu will be portraying the character of the Indian sprinter and she has been rigorously trained for the movie. Back in January 2020, Taapsee had shared the first look of the film on her social media handle and ever since then, fans have been eagerly waiting for the film.

Gangubai Kathiawadi

With Alia Bhatt in the titular role, 'Gangubai Kathiawadi' is one of the many biopics that are slated to release this year. The film will narrate the life of Gangubai Kothewali, the well-known madam of a brothel in Kamathipura and her underworld connections. Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the biographical film has been adapted from a chapter of Hussain Zaidi's book 'Mafia Queens of Mumbai'. The shooting of the film had started back in 2019 but was halted in March 2020. However, recently the makers have released the trailer of the film and it has already started facing backlash over apparent 'blatant misrepresentation' and 'an attempt to malign' the history of the place. The film is slated to release on July 30.


Directed by Amit Masurkar, the upcoming Vidya Balan starrer was announced in February 2020, however, the shooting was stopped midway due to the pandemic. The story of the film revolves around the concept of man-animal conflict and will portray real-life stories. Reportedly, Vidya Balan will be playing the character of a forest officer. In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Balan said, "I loved 'Newton' and when Amit narrated 'Sherni' to me, I knew I wanted to do this film. The uniqueness of the story and its world appealed to me."

Rashmi Rocket

'Rashmi Rocket' is another upcoming women-centric sports drama that will see Taapsee Pannu in the lead role. The film, directed by Akash Khurana, will showcase the life of an ordinary village girl who undergoes a major physical transformation to become an ace sprinter. The film is expected to be released in 2021.


Actress Parineeti Chopra will be seen playing the titular role of this film. Directed by Amole Gupte, 'Saina' is based on the life of Saina Nehwal, who is the country's first shuttler to win an Olympic medal. Apart from Parineeti, prominent actors such as Paresh Rawal and Manav Kaul will also feature in this film. According to reports, Manav Kaul will don the character of Saina Nehwal's coach P.Gopichand in the film. The film was scheduled to release last year in March, however, it got delayed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.