In recent times, some audacious filmmakers, without worrying about the box office collections, have stepped out of their comfort zone and given us really inspiring movies that are based on taboo subjects! These movies put the spotlight on social issues like domestic violence, transgender rights, the LGBTQ+ community, and much more. These inspiring movies on social issues not only built awareness but also received appreciation from the audience.
Bollywood Hindi Films On Social Issues
Unlike the stereotypical Bollywood masala movie, here are some inspiring Bollywood movies on social issues that initiated the much-needed conversation about the taboo and difficult subjects:
Starring Taapsee Pannu in the lead role, this movie focuses on the important topic of domestic violence. The movie showcases how society attempts to normalize domestic violence in marriage and expects women to accept it. Thappad is the story of Amrita whose seemingly perfect life is shattered when her husband slaps her once at a party. But is one slap enough to question what a relationship stands for? Throughout the movie, Amrita is told to adjust and compromise in marriage because ‘ladkiyon ko bardast karna aana chahiye!” With a powerful social message and power-packed performances, this movie is a must-watch!
2. Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
Putting the spotlight on the LGBTQ+ community, this movie is about two men, who love each other but struggle to get acceptance in society and their families. This important movie not only tends to question society’s homophobic views but also builds awareness about ‘love is love.’
3. Dear Zindagi
The movie Dear Zindagi highlights the aspect of mental health. The way the movie has given us an insight into the life of a person going through depression has been carefully crafted to make you relate with the character.
Revolving around the life of a working mother, who wants to pursue her passion in Kabbadi, Panga is a beautiful movie with a strong message. Our society expects working mothers to be selfless and give up on their dreams for husbands and kids. Focusing on the social issue of depriving mothers of their right to turn dream into reality, this movie is a must-watch for every woman!
5. Gunjan Saxena : The Kargil Girl
“Women are weak!” “Women are born to take care of family and kids” “Women can’t handle difficult and stressful jobs in the defense service” and so many other regressive thoughts that this movie attempts to shatter. Gunjan Saxena : The Kargil Girl is a biographic film based on the IAF pilot Gunjan Saxena. Though Gunjan has a brother with a patriarchal thought process, she is blessed to have a feminist dad, who encourages her constantly to pursue her dream of becoming a pilot. Gunjan’s relentless fight for her dream and equality is what makes this inspiring movie a must-watch.
Even though Menstruation is a natural process, yet, society treats it like something to be ashamed of. Building awareness about periods, this movie focuses on how a woman’s period is a natural process and there is nothing to be ashamed of. This movie initiated the must–needed discussion on periods that many in our society are afraid of!
7. The Kashmir Files
Starring Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty, Pallavi Joshi, and Darshan Kumar, The Kashmir Files is a drama film based on the 1990 exodus of the Kashmiri Pandit Community. The movie showcased the painful struggle of many Kashmiri Pandits, who were either killed or forced to leave their house.
In Pagglait, Sanya Malhotra plays the role of a newly widowed woman who grapples with the inability to grieve. Even though crying is a natural thing, Sanya’s character is expected to cry even though she doesn’t feel so. Her family concludes that she has gone crazy as she doesn’t feel like crying at her husband’s funeral. Challenging society’s expectation of widows, this movie is a must-watch.
9. Badhaai Ho
Badhaai Ho is a delightful comedy that exposes society’s hypocrisy toward sex. It underlines our unwillingness to view our parents as sexual beings. The movie focuses on the young man struggling with the fact that his parents have sex as they get pregnant. Even though society shames the family over the fact at an elderly couple has sex, their son takes a stand for them in the end and evolves as a person.
Back in 2003, a movie named Matrabhoomi spoke on the social issue of female foeticide. The movie talked about the future of the country without girls. It probed deep-rooted social bigotry in country and how killing a girl child is barbaric. The motion picture revolves around the story of a girl who is married to five brothers.
Focusing on the patriarchal society prevalent in rural India, director Leena Yadav narrates the story of four women in a small village in Rajasthan. This movie touches on some very critical issues like marital rape, child marriage, dowry, and domestic abuse. It is a just reflection of social evils that affect India.
12. Lipstick Under My Burkha
Lipstick Under My Burkha is the story of four women and their sexual needs. This movie met with so many controversies for sending across the simple message that just like men, women have sexual needs and that’s perfectly fine.
In a country, where daughters are treated less than sons, this movie had a very powerful message. This movie was based on the real life story of Mahavir Singh Phogat and Geeta Kumari Phogat, who won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. In a country where women are coerced to choose their careers based on their gender, Dangal successfully proved otherwise.
Another masterpiece by Shoojit Sircar that hit the screens in 2016. ‘Pink’ initiated the much-needed discussion on consent. The famous dialogue – ‘No means no’ became a part of mainstream discourse. Over the last couple of years, we have encountered how it is important to understand the value of consent. During the #MeToo era, consent became a burning topic of discussion. This extraordinary movie will make men realize the importance of consent, and that the only thing to do when a woman says no, is to back off!
15. Shubh Mangal Savdhan
This romantic comedy focused on the topic of erectile dysfunction. The movie is about a shy boy, Mudit, who manages to woo Sugandha and the two decide to get married. However, before the wedding, their relationship undergoes a setback as they discover his erectile dysfunction. With the power-packed performances, this movie manages to build awareness about erectile dysfunction in the most entertaining way possible!
Do let us know which one is your favorite!
*All images are either screengrabs or movie posters.