From the start of time, theatre and art have been a mirror of society, helping us understand deep-rooted problems that prevail in it. In a country like ours, Bollywood has time and again started off conversations, enlightened masses by bringing about awareness around crucial issues related to s*x, gender and s*xuality.
The art form not just inspired millions but also addressed issues considered taboo on a huge platform, in a way that helped to change the nation’s outlook towards them. Most of the times, when depicting these issues relating to men, Bollywood often tries to take a fun route to make the stories more relatable and hit a sweet spot with the audience. The blend of social issues with emotion and laughter is clunky.
From Vicky Donor to Bala & Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan, here’s a list of some Bollywood films which are normalizing conversations around issues of men, and making their way into mainstream cinema:
This Bollywood film showcases the problem of premature balding which is one of the lesser talked about issues in India. The issue is faced by a majority of people, especially by the young. The film showed us how Ayushmann Khurrana‘s character is in a desperate need to grow his hair back and him resorting to various internet hacks that only prove to be futile. Various studies have reported premature balding is a pressing issue especially amongst people in their 20s.
Ek Mini Katha
Amazon Prime Video on Thursday announced that Telugu film Ek Mini Katha, featuring Santosh Sobhan and Kavya Thapar in the lead roles, will release on May 27. Ek Mini Katha sheds light upon a problem faced by most men but is a cause of embarrassment and which is never discussed openly. It tackles a poignant issue of ‘size’ in the most humorous and light-hearted way. Yet again, bringing a novel concept to the fore.
Shubh Mangal Zyaada Saavdhaan
Homosexuality too is one such topic attached to men. This Bollywood film doesn’t take up the serious aspect of the issue which involves bullying and harassment of homosexuals. It takes up the broader aspect of the issue: the society’s or rather family’s unwillingness to accept it as natural. It is a sensitive issue considering the massive burden of taboos our society carries.
Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan
With ‘Shubh Mangal Savdhan’, the makers managed to reach the other end of the spectrum. Discussing the concept of erectile dysfunction, this Bollywood film managed to be a hit in an industry that glorifies toxic masculinity and received worldwide critical acclaim.
Vicky Donor was Ayushmann Khurrana’s Bollywood debut film and released in 2012, It dealt with the issues of male infertility and sperm donation which had never been picked up before. However, the makers’ leap of faith paid off and the movie became a box office hit as well as a benchmark for socially relevant Bollywood movies. Talking about s*x is still a cultural taboo in conservative India, but the film hopes to usher in change with a light-hearted take on infertility and sperm donation.
Super Deluxe embraces the idea of s*xual fantasies. The film gives us four stories and the protagonists in each of these stories are tested in their beliefs in the strangest ways. It gives us four stories and the protagonists in each of these stories are tested in their beliefs in the strangest ways.
Uppena is the story of two characters, Aasi and Sangeetha, who are chasing a distant dream, where the horizon itself feels real. The film scales the issues of patriarchy and casteism is a light-hearted way, making us all introspect, from where are such issues stemmed from.