Instagram Account Features Illustrated Guide to Female Film Leads

July 29th 2016

Almie Rose

Illustrator Shivani Gorle of Mumbai was fed up with Netflix. Specifically their "movies with a strong female lead" category.

movies with a stong female lead Netflix

She didn't understand why this needed to be its own separate category; why a film with a "strong female lead" should be anything but the norm.

So Gorle decided to highlight the well-rounded leading female characters who were already out there — with her art.

She posts her detailed hand-drawn portraits on her Instagram account, Queens of Screen. ATTN: spoke with her via email about her art, her love of film, and of course, lady Ghostbusters.

ATTN: You've done portraits of Natalie Portman ("Black Swan"), Vidya Balan ("The Dirty Picture"), and Kate Winslet ("Titanic") to name a few. Who are you going to draw next?

SG: I usually alternate female characters from Hindi movies with those from Hollywood, so I feel like this time it’s going to be Uma Thurman’s Bride from "Kill Bill" (both volumes) and then Priyanka Chopra’s Ayesha in "Dil Dhadakne Do."

ATTN: What's your favorite portrait of yours so far?

SG: If I have to really choose, I think it should be Emma Watson’s Hermione from the "Harry Potter" series. I’ve looked up to her since I was a kid, and over the years she held her own, fighting both Death Eaters and the likes of Draco. She even started her own club —S.P.E.W. —Society for the Protection of Elfish Welfare. The way she stands up for her own rights and everyone else’s is super inspiring.

Aesthetically, I think my best one so far has been Sandra Bullock’s Ryan from "Gravity." I like how the space-suit helmet is round just like the format she has featured in, and how the reflections bounce off the glass making it look life-like yet playful.

ATTN: You told Mashable "Why can't there just be regular movies with both genders playing equally strong and well-rounded characters?" Do you think a movie like this already exists, and if so, what movie is it?

SG: Well, many of them do, including the ones from which I’ve featured characters for my series. "Inglourious Basterds,""Spotlight,""Udta Punjab,""Titanic,""Gravity"—all these films have cast female leads in roles just as dynamic and inspiring as their male opposites.

A good case in point would be "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." The characters of Joel and Clementine are equally well-developed. As an audience, we know both their dreams, longings, flaws and fears. The writers of the film treat their personalities as human, and not gender-specific.

ATTN: Speaking of gender specificity, there has been so much discussion about the new "Ghostbusters" film. Do you plan to see it? What are your thoughts?

SG: I haven’t actually seen the original "Ghostbusters" film or been excited to see the new one (please don’t hate me). But I saw the trailer and I was a bit overwhelmed by the near-million dislikes. I’d have to see the film first to judge whether the characters do justice to their roles or just exist for the sake of new-age feminism.

Chris Hemsworth looks like he’s going to play the male equivalent of a hot blonde, so I’m a bit disappointed that the movie might defeat its own purpose, but maybe Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig could save the show! I’m a huge fan of McCarthy and I loved her in "Spy." Wiig is also a favourite [sic] because of my past love for "SNL."

ATTN: What's your least favorite trope or stereotype about female characters in films?

SG: As a teen, I didn’t really enjoy those movies where the girl gets a makeover, and then gets the guy she likes. In most cases, this "transformation" involves losing the glasses, the weight and the sass. I want young girls to realise [sic] that straightened hair and contact lenses don’t solve the problem. Being unattractive is not a fact, but a state of mind.

More film-makers today need to attack the perception of beauty, and let their characters embrace who they are in order to be truly beautiful. Also, my least favourite [sic] trope in general? Lack of facial and body hair. Women worldwide endure a lifetime of agony trying to live up to hairless body standards in movies and TV shows. Something needs to be done about that.

RELATED: This Artist Is Receiving Recognition for Her Depiction of Women

You can view all of Gorle's portraits on her Instagram.

[H/T Mashable]