GeneralPublic Interest

Oxford University Press India to launch Maithili Rao’s latest book- The Millennial Woman in Bollywood: A New ‘Brand’?

Mumbai, 09th Feb 2023; Oxford University Press India will launch a book titled “The Millennial Woman in Bollywood: A New ‘Brand’?” on Friday, 17th February 2023, 6.30 pm at Title Waves, Bandra Mumbai. Authored by Maithili Rao, a well-known Indian freelance film critic, writer, and journalist, the book will be released by leading Bollywood actress, Vidya Balan.

The portrayal of women in India has taken a pivotal shift. Whereas earlier they were decorative, victimized objects who were rescued by their knights in shining armour aka the hero, today’s strong heroines can rebel and raise their voices against injustice. They are now working professionals who are believable in their portrayal of ideologies, reflecting our daily lives, and enlivening our ambitions, desires, experiences, and even mistakes.

Published by Oxford University Press India, the present work by Maithili Rao studies this change and delineates the emergence of a new Bollywood brand – the millennial self-assertive woman – that has evolved along with a new globalized India. In the book, Rao argues that contemporary cinema recognized this change and quietly incorporated power into its heroines in small doses yet retaining the trusted formulaic stories that the audience took home with a satisfied smile on their lips.

The author explains how critically acclaimed hit movies ‘Chandni Bar’ (2001), ‘Page 3’, (2005), and ‘Fashion’ (2008) had female protagonists breaking the tried and tested structure. Rao noted that this emboldened filmmakers and producers to venture into what was earlier considered box-office poison and they went on to reinvent classics in such irreverent and subversive ways as ‘Dev D’ (2009) and ‘Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster’ (2011).

The fiercely independent, and sometimes confused young woman who is comfortable with her sexuality has made her way into the modern romance-comedy as well. With examples such as ‘Kahaani’ (2012), ‘Queen’ (2014), and ‘Mary Kom’ (2014) where women drive the plot fighting patriarchy, Maithili Rao asserts that the reins have been firmly handed over to the female lead.


About Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press (OUP) is a department of the University of Oxford. It further affirms the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. OUP is the world’s largest university press with the widest global presence. It publishes in many countries, in more than 40 languages, and in a variety of formats – print and digital. OUP products cover an extremely broad academic and educational spectrum, and it aims to make content available to users in a format that suits them best.

OUP celebrates 110 years of its presence in India. Branching out from publishing – OUP India has emerged as an integrated education services provider. OUP products cover an extremely broad academic and educational spectrum; publishing for all audiences – from pre-school to secondary level schoolchildren; students to academics; general readers to researchers; individuals to institutions.

Learn more about OUP at


For interactions with the author, please contact:
Iti Khurana| Manager – Publicity| Oxford University Press |

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