Bollywood is famous for making films based on a set formula that guarantees to bring in money. Even if that formula supports regressive, sexist, and misogynist mindsets. But thankfully, there are a handful of filmmakers who have taken a bold stand and haven’t shied away from giving us progressive movies that made Hindi cinema a little more palatable and forward-thinking.
1. Masaan (2015)
Masaan makes a bold attempt to deal with the punishing caste system with great sensitivity. Power-packed with top-notch performances, it’s one of the leading progressive movies of all time!
2. Dirty Picture (2013)
Inspired by the lives of SSilk Smitha and many of her contemporaries, The Dirty Picture addresses sexualization and objectification of women in cinema. With a power-packed performance of Vidya Balan, this progressive movie handled the innate sexism of the film industry in an admirable way!
3. Cheeni Kum (2007)
In this progressive movie, Amitabh Bachchan plays the role of Buddhadev who is a 64-year-old chef, who is living with his 85-year-old mother. He falls in love with 34-year-old Nina Verma (Tabu). This movie showcased such a mega age gap, breaking the stereotype.
4. No Smoking (2007)
You need to appreciate this brilliant psychological film that is classy and abstract. A black metaphor of life, which poses some serious questions to the thinking mind. Lust, and how far can you go to pursue your lust?
5. My Brother Nikhil (2005)
This movie beautifully portrays unconventional relationships. One of the finest movies that have touched upon the topic of LGBTQ+. My Brother Nikhil is sensitive, powerful, emotional, and life-changing.
6. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017)
Nobody ever made an attempt to acknowledge that men could have erectile dysfunction. In a masculine society like ours, the movie Shubh Mangal Saavdhan was definitely a step forward.
We live in a society, where a woman is expected to be broken after her marriage is being called off. But, Queen managed to shatter this stereotype and normalized a woman traveling to her honeymoon ALONE to find her confidence! It was one of the most empowering films of the decade.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider did an incredible job in adapting William Shakespeare’s Hamlet in a manner that perfectly fits the story of Kashmir.
9. Dedh Ishqiya
With power-packed performances, Dedh Ishqiya managed to portray a lesbian relationship with aplomb. A mainstream star like Madhuri Dixit playing a lesbian character was a huge progressive achievement in itself back in 2014.
10. Article 15
Focused on the caste system, this movie is far from perfect. But, this movie still manages to jolt people out of slumber to the horrors of caste discrimination in rural India.
We hope Bollywood will acknowledge these progressive movies and would give us more progressive cinema. Do let us know which Bollywood’s progressive movie is your favorite!