Should art be for art’s sake? Only beautiful. Or should it serve a purpose of educating us? The argument has been on since centuries, whether what (of these two) should an ideal painting, sculpture, or even ‘film’ be. And more often than not if the medium is one that requires an audience to devote time and watch it, a film becomes extraordinary by doing that ‘extra’. Here are some of those Bollywood movies that did that extra by urging societal change.
A girl dumped by her fiance just before their wedding takes a seemingly crazy decision of going solo on her honeymoon and ends up rediscovering herself. And the fact that it was a blockbuster in the era of ‘Kick’ says a lot. The transformation of Rani’s character from a timid girl to a bombshell, her relationship with her friends in Amsterdam, the kiss and the climax all make it that movie one can learn a lot from.
Moving from the bright to dark. Aitraz was the movie that made me hate not the character played by PC but the actress herself. Filled with quintessential Abbas Mastan drama, this one dealt boldly with the still tabooed topic of male molestation. And a wife fighting for her husband worked in driving the message home that male can be victims too.
- English Vinglish
Contrary to it’s name and what the promos showed, English Vinglish had much more to tell us than the tale of a lady who wants to learn English. Rather, it is about her psyche and that of everyone else’s in this country that depend on English for their share of confidence, respect and self love. And while the last scene in the flight pretty much captures the essence it is Sri Ji’s dialogue “I don’t want love, just a little respect” that resonates within the soul of mother’s and wives in every household.
Clichéd. I know. But barfi, for it’s subtlety had to be in the list. Back in the theatre when we watched this film Mummy felt sorry for Ranbir and Priyanka while I for the rest of us. Take a close look at that song and you’ll realise the more amenities and pleasures we run after in life the farther it takes us from our ‘Itti si khhushi’.
Known for it’s ghazals, Arth literally gave a meaning to the term independence and women empowerment when it released. Similar in its message to Queen, this one is about a woman who sees her dream home shattering when her husband leaves her for another girl. Following a series of complex events it comes to a close where she is transformed into a strong woman who neither marries her old love nor accepts her husband who has come back but chooses the life free from dependence.
Remember that song ‘Mera Kuch Saman’? Well, the movie is equally beautiful. Based on a Bengali story, directed by Gulzar and an art house production, Ijaazat has a lot in its kitty. But what often goes unnoticed in the complex plot is that the film, however briefly, talks of a man living with his mistress of 7 years without marriage. Yes, a live in relationship, a subject still not discussed openly in Bollywood. And while it all ends in tragedy the mere portrayal of this unique relationship in 1980’s make it a wonder enough.
Brilliant, right? And what’s more amazing is that these aren’t the only such films. So while this article ends here, I know your own list of such gems would keep on churning in your mind.