Often common people look up to actors as their ideal. What the actors do or say affects citizens greatly. Therefore the most effective way to convey messages to the people is through actors. Here are a few Bollywood movies that deal with social issues.
Bollywood movies that address social issues
1. Jayeshbhai Jordaar
Ranveer Singh’s latest Bollywood movie Jayeshbhai Jordaar received great praise as it depicts today’s girl child problem on point. The movie focuses on people’s obsession with wanting a male child. Moreover, the use of humour in between makes the movie a source of entertainment too.
The story is about a politician (Jayeshbhai’s father Boman Irani) who is forcing Jayeshbhai (Ranveer Singh) to give him a grandson. Someone who will continue the legacy. However, Ranveer Singh is totally against this and starts his revolt against his father. The cast also includes Shalini Pandey and Ratna Pathak Shah.
2. Padman (Available on Netflix and Zee5)
Akshay Kumar’s Padman focuses on what people casually call it ‘Woman’s problem’. The following film is based on Tamil Nadu activist Arunachalam Muruganantham. The Bollywood movie focuses on banishing the taboo of menstruation. He does this by inventing the sanitary pad machine.
Although this mission of his received great objection in the start, he eventually got people to talk about it freely. He started this mission to make sanitary pads available when he saw his wife using unhygienic cloth as pads. Moreover, the movie also won an award for best film on Other Social Issues.
3. Chhapak (Available on Disney+Hotstar)
Deepika Padukone in her film Chhapak addressed the issues of an acid attack survivor. The film is based on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. The movie depicts all kinds of issues such as loss of identity, lost confidence, fear of going out in public, fear of looking in the mirror and many more.
The movie received great praise and is surely worth a watch. Directed by Meghana Gulzar, the cast also includes, Vikrant Massey.
4. Article 15 (Available on Netflix)
Article 15 as the name suggests is based on Article 15 of the constitution of India. The article prohibits any discrimination on the grounds of sex, religion, race, caste, or place of birth. The movie stars Ayushmann Khurrana.
Even though this is a very sensitive topic, director Anubhav Sinha does a great work of portraying it in the film. In the film, Ayushmann plays a brahmin cop who has to against his own cast privilege when he is posted in a village where casteism prevails on higher levels.
5. Pink (Available on Disney+Hotstar)
The movie talks about women’s consent differently. It also addresses the made-up beliefs about women wearing inappropriate clothes and suggests that they are asking for it. The movie sends a powerful message ‘No means No’.
The Bollywood movie stars Amitabh Bachchan, Tapsee Pannu and Kirti Kulhari. Amitabh Bachchan plays the role of a retired lawyer who helps Tapsee to get justice. Director Aniruddha Roy Choudhary does excellent work to portray the issue.
6. Lipstick Under My Burkha (Available on Amazon Prime Video)
The following film had to go through court dates starting from its release. After its trailer came out the censor board suggested many cuts. The Bollywood movie talks about female desires. However, this is not a very open topic in Indian culture. To talk about one’s desires, especially women is considered very bold and not ‘womanly’. The most interesting part about the film is that it also talks about the female desires of older women.
The movie stars Ratna Pathak Shah, Plabita Borthakur, Konkona Sen Sharma and Aahana Kumra.
7. Taare Zameen Par (Available on Netflix)
Aamir Khans Taare Zameen Par talks about the social stigma involving Dyslexia and mentally challenged children. Even today the film holds a prominent place in the issue of dyslexia. However, the movie beautifully explains how dyslexic children see the world, how to handle such children and that it is okay to be a little slow in academics and life overall.
The movie stars Aamir Khan and Darsheel Safary.
8. Badhai Do (Available on Netflix)
The movie talks about LGBTQ+ rights. Although this topic is quite sensitive, Rajkumar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar portray it beautifully. The movie also talks about the child adoption issue which is still considered ‘not right to bring someone else’s child home’.
In the movie, Rajkumar Rao who is homosexual and Bhumi Pednekar who identifies herself as a lesbian marry each other to avoid the social consequences.
9. My Brother Nikhil (Available on Disney+Hotstar)
The movie at the time of its release was not handled properly by the audience. But as the audience has changed in recent years this movie is a must watch. The movie talks about the social stigmas of HIV+ people. The movie addresses the disease and its recipients delicately. Moreover, the film also educates people about the true nature of the disease and how it is spread.
10. Saand Ki Aankh (Available on Zee5)
The Bollywood movie starring Bhumi Pednekar and Tapsee Pannu talks about women’s standing in society. The film is based on a true story about two sharpshooters Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar. The two women over the age of 60, are among India’s sharpest shooters. The movie talks about opportunities for girls and how older women are treated in society.