With Women’s Day right around the bend, it’s time we take a gander at some of the recent iconic women in films.

  • 03 Mar - 09 Mar, 2018
  • Mohammad Kamran Jawaid
  • Glitterati

Imperator Furiosa

(Charlize Theron)

Or Furiosa for short. The headlining character in Mad Max: Fury Road wasn’t the iconic, and slightly bonkers Mad Max (as Mel Gibson used to play him). In Fury Road – which actually lends part of the title to Furiosa and the furious journey back and forth in the desert terrain – Furiosa plays a central cog in the entire narrative. She is one of the key soldiers of the mad tyrant Immortan Joe. She quickly betrays him escaping with his five wives to a far-off location away from his domain.

Furiosa is determined, gutsy, and, well, furious as hell who takes the front seat in a film that is, essentially, all about strong women.

Mildred Hayes
(Frances Mc Dormand)

It’s not often that two iconic women push themselves into cinematic history, yet here they are. In Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Mildred (Frances McDormand) shares the strong will of the previous women in the list, yet, there is a difference between her and the others. She is out of justice and revenge – and she won’t take excuses as an answer.

Mildred’s daughter died during rape; her badly charred remains were found by the local authorities. Seven months pass, and yet the killer wasn’t found. Tired of trusting the police, Mildred rents three billboards and creates a brief media frenzy, trying to push the authorities into action.

Her bullheadedness doesn’t stop there. In fact, her grief, the inability to handle relationships, as well as her resoluteness to not let go, makes her human fallibility seem more apparent. Mildred’s laser-sharp focus on her daughter’s loss makes her lose sight of things and people, and this character play makes her a true cinematic icon. A flawed, powerful, woman who doesn’t let go.

Princess Leia Organa

(Carrie Fisher)

Carrie Fisher may have left the mortal world, but Leia Organa still lives in the Star Wars universe. A key part of “the Force” and twin sister to Luke Skywalker, Leia started out as a humble member of the Imperial Senate and the Princess of the planet Alderaan – which blows up as a show of force in A New Hope (the first Star Wars film to come out). Leia is rescued by Luke and Han Solo, eventually marrying the swashbuckling side-hero by the end of the third movie (The Return of the Jedi). Their son is the current trilogy’s main villain.

Leia is strong-willed and astute – with a life full of fighting evil oppressors and their infinite armies. But then again, she has to be.

Though the world remembers her for the brief kiss she gave Luke in A New Hope, or the metal-bikini costume in The Return of the Jedi (which she uses to kill the slimy villain Jabba the Hut), few applaud her for the strength she gives to the entire franchise (and let’s not forget the fact that she was the only key woman in the first trilogy).


(Sally Hawkins)

Speaking of strong women, Sally Hawking plays a particularly indomitable one in The Shape of Water.

Elisa is a mute, who works as a janitor in a super-secret government facility where she finds a kindred spirit: a fabled humanoid creature from the ocean. Soon the two fall in love. Like her, his language is unintelligible to us humans. Their love has no boundaries, and their attraction and communication gets stronger with the simple things we take for granted – music and eggs (as it turns out, she is a stickler for keeping a perfect schedule and daily routine, which involves having eggs for lunch).

When the creature is tortured by the government, Elisa decides to break him out – despite the gargantuan odds. What can a janitor do? Especially when the clock is ticking. Guillermo del Toro explores that and much more, including Elisa’s very open sexuality.

Elisa is intricately layered, and drives the film. What more could one ask for? Maybe an Oscar for recognition, if the following candidate doesn’t nab it first this year.