Bollywood has definitely come up with some very out-of-the-box movies. Movies, which viewers didn’t see coming and were impressed by the storylines. Some of them talked about homosexuality – the hush-hush topic of the society, some about abortions, menstruation, etc. Movies like these always create a huge awareness and end up influencing people in a good way. Here is a list:
1. Padman – 2018
Padman salutes the real-life hero and a social entrepreneur of Coimbatore, Arunachalam Muruganantham. How he notices his wife using a dirty rag and his attempts to spread hygiene in a financially effective manner, which eventually leads him to make a pad all by himself. How he is insulted and thwarted by everyone who thinks he is a filthy, pervert, mad man. How he constantly sustains his determination to finally come out with a wonderful invention of making the sanitary pad machine. How he earns the respect of millions.
2. Toilet Ek Prem Katha – 2017
The basic message of the movie is good and should be applauded for taking on such a challenging topic in an entertaining manner. Except that entertainment should not mean encouraging harassing girls and women in the hope of winning their attention. Unlike in movies, it has serious consequences in real life in the majority of cases.
Ask your school/college/office-going sister or daughter. Now to the main theme of the movie – The message about having toilets at home is very important for India for hygiene and women empowerment.
It’s difficult to experience the hardships when we can ‘go’ almost anywhere and anytime while their women in Indian villages have to time it, get ready well before dawn, and can ‘go’ only once in the whole day. In open areas, in sunshine/rain/cold with perverts lurking, insects, snakes around and facing such hardships. It really is a serious issue that needs support. Credit to this movie, this will be discussed more openly now and can only improve the situation.
3. Lipstick Under My Burkha – 2016
From the pulsating call to end dress code or the freedom to earn a living, this is an articulate attempt to clear any airs about those who took this film as ‘vulgar’ (citing A-certification and whatnot), or something as basic as criticizing a working woman for stepping out of a well-off home. That disparity in our present, modern society can’t be overlooked in the process of being a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a sister. Not world domination, but at least simple independence should come at lower costs.
Therefore, it made good sense when Priyanka Chopra told Kapil Sharma on being asked about her ever-increasing wealth and fame, “Since us, women have to put four times the effort than men to earn the same; hence, I’ll work harder to earn as much as you.” Amidst thunderous applause, even Kapil couldn’t help but flash a smile at that.
4. Ki And Ka – 2016
In one of the scenes in R. Balki’s ‘Ki & Ka’, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan playing themselves, discuss gender role reversals. Jaya asks Amitabh if he would have been happy being a homemaker while allowing her to continue acting after their marriage. While Big B awkwardly retorts that he would be perfectly fine with that arrangement, his face and body language indicate otherwise. That amusing scene pretty much sums up the basic concept of Balki’s fourth feature film.
Balki, whose films are invariably driven by concept rather than a strong screenplay, gives a fine twist to the gender expectation set by our society – It’s ladKA who earns the bread and the ladKI who applies the butter on it. In a role reversal, Balki’s KA or Kabir (Arjun Kapoor) prefers to be the househusband to his KI or Kia (Kareena Kapoor) who toils it out in corporate boardrooms.
They meet each other aboard a boring flight and despite a 3 year age gap (Kia’s older than Kabir), decide to be life partners more out of their individual choice. She aspires to be a CEO while he, despite being an IIM topper, wants to be like his mom. Expectedly, Kabir’s billionaire builder dad (Rajit Kapur) throws a fit while Kia’s mom (Swaroop Sampat) inquires about their sexual compatibility. Anyways, marriage happens and with it, comes problems and misunderstandings.
What first appeals to you is that the movie does not beat around the bush and gets into its job very quickly. The on-goings keep you hooked with an entertaining camaraderie between Akshay and all the characters around him. He is THE performer, who slides into the skin of the character so effortlessly that you instantly connect with him. Music too goes in sync with the movie with excellent lyrics, explaining the happenings in a beautiful and poetic way.
5. Prem Rog – 1982
A brilliant true concept presented with an excellent actor, Mr. Rishi Kapoor is known for his acting, simplicity, and emotions. Love expressed without LUST and Indian rural love and culture displayed with brilliant actors like Shammi Kapoorji, Om Prakash, Padmini Kolhapuri, Tanuja, Nandaji, and Raza Murad.
6. Margarita with a Straw – 2014
A wonderful film about differently-abled individuals where we see them as actual humans instead of props to move forward the story. Although the film’s pacing feels strange, the actors make up for it because of how convincing they are with their roles. The mom being frigid off for dramatic effect didn’t work for me because it’s already established that Laila is quite independent on her own and can also take care of others. ( Otherwise, how would she get around in such an overwhelming city such as NY?) It’s great that the film explores her sexuality in a healthy way, which is laudable.
My only issue is, how Khanum was written. Though she’s not the main character, most of her motivations were so vague and I had more questions about her every time I saw her in a scene.
Finally, the metaphor is slightly heavy-handed but it works really well with what’s being said, and it lingered on my mind for a few days.
7. Kya Kehna – 2000
The concept was good! Showing true Indian values how a single girl child in a family is loved. Being innocent found herself in a relationship with a rich brat womanizer. The movie was tackling the pre-marriage pregnancy taboo in an Indian society how the whole society goes against a woman and boycotts the whole family.
Even her friends but only her family was with her till the end and especially her best friend (one-sided lover). It shows what a girl has to through in such situations. The main leads have done a commendable job but the side roles were totally gone in some parts of the story overall it’s a must-watch.
8. Fire – 1996
The movie gives us insight into pure love and how a female can make decisions independently getting away from customs and prejudices. It is very relevant in the present society where it widens our views. It also shows how misogynistic people view women as an object for their satisfaction. It is presented in a simple and comprehensive language.
9. Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women – 2003
The depiction of women in rural India is honestly mesmerizing. Limited (or non) dialogue by female protagonists defines the oppression she feels. Script and direction are the cardinal aspects of the film. The long-term results of female infanticide, the maddening s3x drive in males, and caste differences are the themes that are accurately depicted. By selecting the theatre artists, the makers ensured a top-notch acting performance.
10. Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh – 2005
The movie was amazing with Rajpal’s amazing acting of being suspicious about his wife and her friend for cheating on him and suffering from an existential crisis. The movie touched my heart and gave me chills when comedy king starts crying for what he has done to his happy married life after confronting her wife and realizing he was wrong the whole time.
11. My Brother Nikhil – 2005
Such a beautiful and highly underrated film. Had it been released today, it would have been appreciated more especially by Sanjay Suri who is stupendous! This movie totally belongs to him. I cried so much at the end.
I’m so glad that we live in a time where HIV/AIDS patients are not stigmatized like they used to be back then and that our country has finally accepted homosexuality.