Kangana Ranaut recently said that her upcoming movie Manikarnika is the biggest budgeted movie with a female protagonist that has been made in India. She might have a tough competition for that claim, since Padmaavat, starring Deepika Padukone in the central character role, was budgeted at 215 crores, and from the confession of the actress herself, is the most expensive movie that is based on a female protagonist. Both movies are historical epics, with Kangana’s Manikarnika based on the life and valor of Queen of Jhansi who was a freedom fighter of India, while Padmaavat (previously titles Padmavati) is based on the legendary Queen of Chittor, Padmavati, who performed self immolation with the ladies of her fort to save her dignity from the Allauddin Khilji, who had conquered Chittor.
Bollywood has certainly come away from the time when women were just considered an object for the audiences. Now, they are equal participants who are capable of helming their own movies. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan starred in one of the biggest Bollywood epics in the title role half, Jodha Akbar, although the movie also concerned Akbar, it was a very big opportunity for her to get the role. Deepika Padukone herself was a part of another big movie, called Bajirao Mastani, in which she played Mastani.
Savitri, a Telugu language movie, from 1933 was made on a very big budget for that time. Mother India, which starred Nargis and was nominated for the First Oscar, was also an expensive movie for its time. As the times change, the movie industry is also going to change, and slowly, women are going to get their own movies to helm without the fear of failure.