Smita Patil, an Indian actres that worked with the major parallel cinema directors had dismissed all the gender stereotypes in her films. Though it’s been 31 years she left the world. But her name renounces a woman who is considered one of the greatest actresses to grace the camera though her acting skills. She is praised for her captivating performances, her compassionate nature and commitment to work for women’s causes.
Smita’s first film as lead character was Shyam Benegal’s Manthan(1976). Then she worked with the same director in Bhumika which won her National award for the best actress. She has worked with the radically political cinema of the 1970s. Her work with Shyam Benegal, Govind Nilahani, Satyajit Ray, G. Aravindam and Mrinal Sen have placed her in the film industry as an actress worth her salt.
One of the remarkable films of Smita is Mirch Masala(1987), which was released after her death in 1986. Her character named Sonbai was desired by the Subedar(Nasaeerudin Shah) but she refused to give in to his demands to spend a night with him. She challenges the norm and all the women working in the mirch factory united against the injustices they all have faced. They put chilli powder on Subedar’s face who had entered the factory to pressure Sonbai and complete his desire. Her bold eyes and confident persona is still remembered as one of the most iconic moments in the Indian cinematic history.