Bollywood has a long history of romanticizing toxic men in its movies. From heroes who stalk their love interests to those who believe in toxic masculinity, Bollywood has often portrayed toxic behavior as a sign of love and affection. However, this portrayal has been changing in recent times, with more emphasis on healthy and respectful relationships. While there are still instances where toxic behavior is romanticized, there are a few Bollywood female characters who were excellent examples of leaving a toxic man for self-respect. Here are inspiring Bollywood characters who left a toxic man and left us inspired:
5 Female Characters Who Left Toxic Men For Self-Respect
1. Aishwarya Rai as Paro in “Devdas”
Aishwarya Rai’s portrayal of Paro in the movie “Devdas” stands as a quintessential example of a Bollywood character who broke free from a toxic relationship with a man who exhibited several problematic behaviors. The man in question was the titular character, Devdas, who not only failed to commit to Paro but also displayed a range of toxic behaviors, including possessiveness, entitlement, emotional manipulation, and reckless behavior. Despite her love for Devdas, when Paro eventually chose to leave him behind and marry another man, he couldn’t accept her marriage and turned to alcohol and self-pity.
2. Kangana Ranaut as Rani in “Queen”
Kangana Ranaut’s portrayal of Rani in the movie “Queen” is an excellent example of a Bollywood character who left a toxic man. Rani’s toxic relationship was with her fiance, Vijay, who not only broke off their engagement just days before their wedding but also belittled her and made her feel unworthy. Vijay’s behavior towards Rani was emotionally abusive and had a severe impact on her self-esteem.
However, Rani decided to embark on her honeymoon alone and discovered herself in the process. She went from being a timid and insecure woman to a confident and independent person who did not need validation from anyone, including her toxic ex-fiance. Rani’s story in “Queen” resonated with many viewers, especially women who have experienced toxic relationships. The movie was not only a commercial success but also inspired many women to find their own independence and break free from toxic relationships.
3. Anushka Sharma as Aarfa in “Sultan”
Salman Khan’s portrayal of Sultan in the movie “Sultan” depicts a character with toxic traits, particularly in his relationship with his wife Aarfa. Sultan’s insecurities and ego often prompt him to act possessively and exert control over Aarfa, creating tension and conflict between them. Additionally, his self-centeredness causes him to prioritize winning a gold medal in Turkey over staying by Aarfa’s side, even as she nears her due date. Tragically, upon his return, he discovers that his newborn son has died due to severe anemia. The baby shared Sultan’s rare O- blood type, and Sultan’s absence had deprived the child of a donor. Aarfa ultimately decides to leave Sultan and move in with her father due to his toxic behavior. However, Sultan undergoes a transformation after realizing the impact of his actions, working to make amends and become a better partner.
4. Taapsee Pannu as Amrita in “Thappad”
It is impossible to compile a list of inspiring female characters who left toxic husbands without mentioning Taapsee Pannu’s portrayal of Amrita in the movie Thappad. Amrita chooses to leave her toxic husband after he physically assaults her at a party, causing her to re-evaluate her life and her relationship with her manipulative and controlling spouse. Recognizing the slap as a violation of her dignity and self-respect, Amrita decides to seek a divorce and move on with her life. The film serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of women standing up against toxic marriages and the societal norms that enable them.
5. Bhumi Pednekar as Sandhya in “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”
In the movie “Dum Laga Ke Haisha,” Bhumi Pednekar portrays Sandhya, a woman who is married to Ayushmann Khurrana’s character, Prem, who can be viewed as a toxic and unsupportive partner. Prem is dissatisfied with his arranged marriage to Sandhya and continuously ridicules and humiliates her because of her physical appearance. After overhearing Prem making fun of her among his friends, Sandhya decides to leave him and files for divorce.
As the story unfolds, however, Prem gradually starts to appreciate Sandhya’s strengths and talents, and the couple works together to establish a more equal and affectionate relationship.
It is never easy to take a stand against a toxic marriage. We are extremely happy that these inspiring female characters left their toxic husbands and inspired many women to take a stand for themselves. Which is your favorite character? Tell us in the comments below.