We go to the movies expecting three hours of entertainment, some singing, dancing, action and comedy. And we come out of theaters feeling mildly satisfied that those 3 hours were well spent in an air conditioned room with some fun and the popcorn.
But, there are times when Bollywood movies dare to break the mould and show something historical that touches a deep chord. Some actually manage to change a couple of lives while some help to speed up pending justice, some fill you with emotional turmoil and some give your life a complete new turn.
Here is the list of 20 Indian movies which were much more than just entertainment. Movies that led to a bigger social impact and still remembered as epic in their own ways.
Rang De Basanti
Revolving around lives of a group of carefree students who protest against the government and the fighter MIG planes used by the Air Force after the death of their friend in a plane crash, this thought-provoking movie created a huge impact socially.
Chak De! India
One movie that played an important role in reviving popularity of women hockey in India. Chak De! India talks about religion, sexism, India partition, regional prejudice, emotions and lot more.
Taare Zameen Par
The movie taught Indian parents that the act of not scoring well in exams can be much more than just carelessness from the child’s side. It beautifully captures life of Ishaan, a dyslexic kid while spreading a message that every kid is different and has different needs.
The revolutionary movie that gave a whole new twist to the Indian education system. The movie gives a message that education doesn’t require money, uniform, big schools and colleges, all it requires is the strong will to study.
One of the finest performances by Shah Rukh Khan till date, the movie focuses on the issue of brain drain and Indians moving abroad for greener pastures and how they should come back to their roots. The story revolves around the life of an NRI who works for NASA and how his visit to a village changes his life along with hundreds of other villagers.
OMG! Oh My God
With 330 millions Gods to worship, religion has become a business for some. In spite of touching on a sensitive subject, the movie received a great response from both audience and critics. Without being preachy and boring, the film teaches us how we should not look for God in idols.
The story of how a woman fights against society for justice, the film is considered to be one of the best woman-centric films ever made in Bollywood. Meenakshi Sheshadri portrays the role of a strong woman who fights against her own family for raping the house maid.
Udaan was first Indian film to be part of Cannes’ official section in seven years. It tells the story of thousands of youths from India’s middle-class families, who want to break free and follow their dreams.
The film is based on the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai which many believe were organised as retaliation for the Bombay riots. Written and directed by Anurag Kashyap, this movie was not allowed to be released by the Indian censor board for 2 years!
Matrabhoomi: A nation without women
The movie is based on the social issue of female foeticide showcasing the future of the country if we keep killing the girl child. There comes a point when a girl is forced to get married to five brothers as there were no girls left at all in the village. The movie portrays the glimpse of the cruel society where only the birth of a son is rejoiced.
Vicky Donor touched upon a less talked about topic of sperm donation. The film is a romantic comedy based on the backdrop of a serious issue which is still considered “taboo” in Indian society.
This powerful film is based on the plight of women in India. The movie satirizes the honour with which women are placed in society and the restrictions on them. The film features some of the most powerful ladies of Indian cinema and their victory against all the bad that society has done to them.
My Brother Nikhil
The movie deals with the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS as well as the coming out of a closeted gay relationship. The film was highly appreciated world-wide.
Dealing with the social and cultural changes taking place in India shortly after independence, Mother India had a powerful impact on the citizens of India. Nargis portrayed the character of a widow who kills her own son when he crosses the line and goes on a wrong path.