From the past few years, the craze for cinema has increased in people and they are more likely to spend their time watching movies. Everyone tends to flock the multiplexes whenever the film of any Big Bollywood star is released. Every week, new movies are released around the globe. Some of them make big bucks while the others end up being a dud. Convincing storylines and action-packed scenes might turn a movie into a big hit but the ability of an actor can either make or break the film.
Cinema has an enormous impact on our society which impacts both- the mind and thought process of an individual. We are always inspired by our favorite movies and their characters. It’s astonishing how we get emotionally attached to these fictional characters in a short period. Though there have been innumerable films produced until now, there have been directors who have tried to produce content that will not just entertain but also give you a reality check alongside a strong social message. Talking about responsible cinema, let us look at the best films that tried to break the mold:
OMG! Oh My God
OMG gets across the message of the subtle difference between faith and blind faith, retaining wit and humor throughout the movie. The film also explores how people have turned prayer and worship into a business.
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is a 2017 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film directed by Shree Narayan Singh. The film is a satirical comedy in support of governmental campaigns to improve sanitation conditions in India, with an emphasis on the eradication of open defecation, especially in rural areas. The film highlights India’s toilet problem, which is caused by their cultural and religious sentiments. In Indian rural areas, people still do not have this basic need which leads to a lot of frustration among women which further leads to sexual harassment.
3 Idiots is a 2009 Indian Hindi-language coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by Rajkumar Hirani. Starring Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, and Omi Vaidya, the film follows the friendship of three students at an Indian engineering college and is a satire about the social pressures under an Indian education system.
Taare Zameen Par
The film explores the life and imagination of Ishaan, an 8-year-old dyslexic child. Although he excels in art, his poor academic performance leads his parents to send him to a boarding school. Ishaan’s new art teacher suspects that he is dyslexic and helps him to overcome his disability. Darsheel Safary stars as 8-year-old Ishaan, and Khan plays his art teacher. The movie explores the needs of ‘special’ children, and what society can do for them. It urges viewers (who could be associated with a differently-abled child) to be patient and empathetic towards someone who needs special care.
Damini is a 1993 Indian Hindi-language crime drama film directed by Rajkumar Santoshi. The story is about how a woman fights against society for justice. The film is considered to be one of the best women-centric films ever made in Bollywood. It is considered a cult feminist film and is still regarded as an all-time classic female-oriented film and important for portraying women empowerment in cinema. The pathbreaking film was praised for breaking social taboos and handling the subject of rape with sensitivity; a rarity in Bollywood at the time.
The narrative revolves around Shivani Shivaji Roy, a policewoman whose interest in the case of a kidnapped teenage girl leads her to uncover secrets of human trafficking by the Indian mafia.
Peepli Live talks about one of India’s gravest social issues that is farmer suicides and the subsequent response the event gets from politicians and the media. It introduced a lot of people to the farmer crisis India is facing for some years now.
Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women
The movie based on the social issue of female foeticide showcases the future of the country if we keep killing the girl child. There are still many places where a boy’s birth rejoices while a girl child is killed. The movie revolves around the story of a girl who is married to five brothers. The movie portrays a glimpse of the cruel society and leaves a message of saving a girl child.
Jolly LLB is a 2013 Indian Hindi-language legal comedy film, written and directed by Subhash Kapoor. The film stars Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani and Amrita Rao in the lead roles. The film revolves around the early life of lawyer Jagdish Tyagi a.k.a. Jolly (played by Warsi) and focuses on his attempt to earn six innocent wage earners their rights and his journey against the monopolistic behavior of the rich and judicial corruption. The storyline is inspired by the 1999 hit-and-run case of Sanjeev Nanda and a minor reference to the Priyadarshini Mattoo case.
The title of the film has no relationship as being the favorite color of girls but rather conveys that women should have the freedom to speak and walk freely at night. The film takes on eve-teasing and women’s rights not only the audience on the edge of the seat but also compelled people to think about the necessity of women’s safety in our country.
A Wednesday is the best reflection of the challenges faced by the common Men in India due to the increased rate of crime and the fear it has instilled in everyone’s mind. The speech by Naseeruddin Shah, in the end, throws light on some of the problems that we all face. The film addresses the issue raised due to lack of action or initiative from the Police and other authorities that have hampered the security in India even further.
Salman Khan plays Bajrangi, an ardent devotee of Hindu deity Hanuman, who embarks on a journey to take a mute six-year-old Pakistani Muslim girl, separated in India from her parents, back to her hometown in Pakistan. The film’s powerful message about love, compassion, and empathy touched everyone’s heart.
Akshay Kumar starrer Padman is inspired by the true story of Tamil Nadu based entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham who made cheap, affordable sanitary napkins for the women in his village. The Padma Shri (2016) recipient has invented a low-cost sanitary pad making machine to manufacture sanitary pads in large amounts.
Through a crime investigation, this film highlights the plight of the lower caste and the evils of the caste system that still prevails in our society.
The film rightly brought the light on the loopholes in the education system of our country. A comedy-drama, ‘Hindi Medium’ spoke largely about the troubles parents face today for the education of their children.
Vicky Donor was a movie that broke many taboos of Indian society as well as cinema. It talked about sperm donation and artificial insemination and how it is becoming the need of the hour. It also touched upon how societal pressure nowadays is ironically breeding infertility. But it also touched upon the topic of remarriage of a divorcee and the broadening mindset of the Indian middle class.
Dor makes a strong feminist statement without being strident or shouting slogans. It shows how widowed women are still treated in modern India, but it also has an underlying message about the power of forgiveness.
This 1936 film deals with the social position of Dalit girls and is considered a reformist period-piece. The story portrays a love story of a Brahmin Boy and a Harijan (Untouchable) girl. At the time when people were discriminated based on their caste, this movie sets a good example of how every human being is equal and love knows no boundaries.
Chhapaak is a 2020 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Meghna Gulzar and produced by her as well as Deepika Padukone in collaboration with Fox Star Studios. Based on the life of Laxmi Agarwal, it stars Padukone as an acid attack survivor, alongside Vikrant Massey.