Women have had to struggle their way up in every walk of life- be it at home or at workplace. Often hushed up and brushed under the carpet, their stories have tried
breaking the patriarchal hegemony time and again through various mediums of fine arts.

Cinema being a popular medium, artists and directors from various parts of the world have attempted to give a voice to women, narrating their everyday struggles and unsung sacrifices for their families. However, these too have faced challenges.

Tamil film,'Magalir Mattum', narrates women's struggles in a unique, if not unconventional, manner. The dialogues are grounded in reality and aptly bring out the
struggle a woman goes through in managing a household and work. The Jyothika-starrer movie is a cult in itself, creating a new beginning at the end for Tamil cinema
that believes in projecting women as heroes. 

Here's exploring a few films from the past, which have fought the tides of time and celebrated women in the right spirit. 

Aval Oru Thodar Kathai (1974):  Directed by K Balachander, this film of the 70s was way ahead of its time in projecting women, not as objects of desire, but as powerful beings. The film deals with the ultimate sacrifices of a woman to meet the requirements of her family and how she still fails to receive the social status she deserves.

Uthiripookkal (1979): Directed by J Mahendran, the film deals with the turmoils of a woman who is constantly abused by her husband. Lakshmi, the main protagonist of the movie upheld the turmoils of a woman in rural India who fights such situations every day. 

Roja (1992): Imagine an innocent woman from a village in South India, battling terrorists in Kashmir to rescue her husband. Mani Ratnam aptly captures the power of a woman's will to defy odds when it comes to the well-being of her loved ones. 

Magalir Mattum (1994): Translated as 'Only Ladies', this film is the namesake of the Jyothika-starrer 2017 release 'Magalir Muttum', which deals with women's issues on similar lines. The 1994 movie showed the struggle of three women from different social strata at their workplace. While the film deals with how women deal with lecherous bosses at office, the main selling point of the film is its end when a female bus driver shows a thumbs-up, symbolising "from now on, it's going to be us".

Indira (1995): This film didn't do much well in the box office because of its cult plot, dealing with a single woman's struggle to do away with the caste system in her village. For the fact that she is a woman and fighting a social taboo, ingrained in the environs she lives in, makes the movie a critical piece.