From Rita in Awaara (1951) and Simran in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) to Geeta and Babita in Dangal (2016), women's agency within Hindi cinema's narratives has been precariously constructed. This talk will focus on the representation of women and women's agency from the 1950s to contemporary Bollywood – to explicate the duality of benign patriarchy that only accords women the semblance of power that must be unerringly nurtured by masculine guidance.