When women hit the road

Farhan Akhtar’s upcoming all girls trip movie Jee Le Zaraa, the first of its kind in Bollywood, has a lot of expectations and hopes to live up to. Here’s why


“Did someone say road trip?” read the caption of a recent post which had sent Bollywood fans into a frenzy. Farhan Akhtar and the team associated with the project took to social media to announce their upcoming film Jee Le Zaraa.

“Thrilled to announce my next film as director and what better day than 20 years of Dil Chahta Hai to do it. #JeeLeZaraa with @priyankachopra @katrinakaif @aliaabhatt will commence filming in 2022 and I cannot wait to get this show on the road,” Akhtar wrote on Instagram. Written by Zoya Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar and Reema Kagti, the film is slated to release in 2023.

The reason why the announcement of this upcoming film made headlines is because it’s going to be the first Bollywood girls trip movie EVER!

Thelma & Louise, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Ibiza, Bachelorrotee, Rough Night, Think like a man too, Sex and the City movie — the list of Hollywood’s girls trip movies is endless. But in Bollywood, there’s none – except Bindass’s web series The Trip (2016-18) and a few episodes of Amazon Prime Video’s Four More Shots Please (2019-ongoing). Even beyond the Hindi film industry, there hasn’t been a movie of this magnitude based on this theme.

Why it’s so important to have an all-girls trip film in a country like India is because for women here, a trip isn’t just a trip. It’s symbolic of freedom, independence and empowerment. This is something women, all over the country, can relate to.

From parents’ permission (doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 28!) to keeping in mind the safety issues – an all-girls trip requires a lot more planning and thought than an all-boys trip. This is often not shown or focused on when such a film is made.

Women in their best of the dresses, soaking in the sun, having a Pina colada by the beach and talking about men – is not what their trip is all about. It’s just a cliched depiction. There are real issues, especially in a country like ours, like safety, washroom breaks, monetary issues and even not being on the same page as your girlfriends!

Thus, if Akhtar’s upcoming film steers clear of all the cliches and can portray real stories of women, with real issues, at the same time having the best time of their lives – irrespective of all the odds, then there will be nothing like it.

For the longest time, our society and the films – have pitted women against each other. Notions like “two women can never be friends,” “a woman is another woman’s worst enemy” and all that “saas-bahu drama” – all these things fed us with the belief that female friendship is a myth.

Whereas, the reality is different. Women too are fully capable of forging life long bonds. They have each other’s back when things go wrong, and can be a solid squad or gang for real. Friendships – irrespective of the gender, might have issues, but that’s normal of every relationship on earth. Thus, society’s belief that female friendships are fake or aren’t as solid as men’s is entirely wrong.

In Bollywood, there have been a few films and shows like Veere di wedding, Aisha, Queen, Angry Indian Goddesses, Adulting, Engineering girls, Four More Shots Please, among others – celebrating female friendship. Thus, this big banner film – starring three of India’s biggest stars Alia, Katrina and Priyanka – on women hitting the road is definitely taking the celebration of women and their friendship to a notch higher. Here’s hoping Bollywood takes this further and further in the years to come.


Cover: (From left) Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif // Credit – Instagram

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