For decades, filmmakers who chose the unconventional trail began making films with social messages or stories that attempted to break stereotypes in our society. Bollywood films have never been afraid to openly discuss social issues and challenge preconceived stereotypes and stigma.
Previously, these films were classified as art films because they were not deemed mainstream. However, such films are now not only widely popular but also commercially successful. These brave cinematic depictions demonstrate the impact that art and movies can have on our lives.
Talking about such films, the most recent one joining the bandwagon is Ranveer Singh's Jayeshbhai Jordaar which will be released in theatres tomorrow. Divyang Thakkar wrote and directed the comedy-drama which is produced by Yash Raj Films. Ranveer Singh plays the son of a traditional Gujarati sarpanch who asserts equal rights for both men and women in society. As depicted in the trailer, he goes against all odds to protect his unborn child, despite his family's opposition to female children.
So, before we embark on this roller coaster ride with Ranveer, here are 5 underrated Bollywood films that coped with social ills and attempted to portray challenging real-life issues in their cinematic form.
Aligarh is a biographical drama film written and directed by Hansal Mehta and written by Apurva Asrani that was released in 2015. In the lead roles are Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao. It is based on true events encircling the life of Ramchandra Siras, a Marathi professor and the head of the Classical Modern Indian Languages Faculty at the prestigious Aligarh Muslim University, who was suspended on moral grounds. Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras is the target of a sting operation to discern his sexual orientation. Later, he develops a friendship with the journalist who covers his story. This film is both moving and socially awakening.
Nil Battey Sannata, released internationally under the title, 'The New Classmate', is a 2015 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama movie directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari. Apeksha, played by Riya Shukla, is the daughter of a high school dropout domestic servant who ceases to continue her education due to her family's financial situation. Chanda Sahay, played by Swara Bhaskar, decides to enroll as a student at her school in order to tutor and encourage her. The film beautifully addresses the issue of female education and literacy in our country.
My Brother… Nikhil
My Brother… Nikhil is a 2005 Indian film that revolves around the life of Dominic Desouza. The film follows the protagonist, Nikhil, from 1987 to 1994 when he is diagnosed with HIV AIDS. During the film's release, knowledge and understanding of AIDS in India were extremely low. People weren't prepared for such concrete and crucial ideas to be tossed their way. The movie wonderfully copes with everything from HIV/AIDS stigma to closeted gay partnerships.
The film is based on a true story about a man who goes above and beyond to provide low-cost, sanitary pads to women in villages. This film is a glimmer of hope in a society where there are still many notions, myths, and false assumptions about the menstrual cycle. Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, and Radhika Apte made sure that the designated message is delivered to the audience.
Is a slap sufficient ground for divorce? It is, without a doubt. If nothing else, this Anubhav Sinha film, starring Taapsee Pannu in the lead role, demonstrated that no matter how serious the situation is, never compromise for abuse and toxicity.