Although classic Raj-Simran love stories sell in India, we yearn to watch films that pull the curtain off some conversations. To quench our thirst for exceptional films, we turn to Hollywood and wish that our industry offered us with mind-stirring content too. 

Nevertheless, when Bollywood seeks to address an unusual theme, it lacks sensitivity or even an in-depth research, to say the least. These are the films-turned-disasters that we still can’t wrap our heads around as Bollywood, unfortunately,  still has a long way to go in order to get many sensitive topics right. 

1. Atrangi Re

Aanand L. Rai’s Atrangi Re attempted to address mental health, primarily the condition of Schizophrenia but failed miserably as it deserved to be dealt with more sensitivity. Mental health was reduced to a subject of mockery for a few superfluous chuckles along with a slew of other problematic things. Looking at the bright side, it served as a good lesson in why Bollywood should maintain one hand distance from mental health topics.


2. Ujda Chaman

Sunny Singh starrer Ujda Chaman served as the Bollywood trailblazer to shed light on the male pattern baldness but it fell flat. The protagonist who desperately wants to get married, after being rejected by several women, gets hitched to an overweight woman who is, just like him, is under the society’s judgy gaze. Because, except for their insecurities, there was no other reason for them to fall in love right? To top it all off, the film also casually indulges into body shaming and sexism too.

Film Companion

3. Laxmii

Laxmii, starring Akshay Kumar, was an opportunity for Bollywood to bring equal rights of the transgender community into the spotlight, but it instead ridiculed them. In contrast to the intent, the film detracts the community by portraying them as people who are only waiting to wreak havoc in your life. Instead of dismantling this image, the film further reinforces it, making it impossible for the transgender population to merely survive in society.

Mashable India

4. Tribhanga

A big chunk of Kajol’s admirers had high hopes for Tribhanga since it seemed to have taken an offbeat take on mother-daughter bond, until it didn’t. The film attempted to demonstrate that motherhood can be flawed or not-always-perfect but it was nothing short of a 90s drama and failed to uncover the many layers of motherhood.

5. Guilty 

Kiara Advani featuring Guilty was amongst the first in Bollywood to dissect a discourse on #MeToo movement and victim blaming but lacked the depth of the idea. In two hours, it constructs a world that strives to address every imaginable socio-political angle of the perpetrator-survivor dynamic, yet wasn’t as convincing as it intended to be.

The Indian Express

6. Mimi

Although Kriti Sanon’s Mimi was lauded for initiating the conversation about surrogacy in India, it intertwined the concept of motherhood with sacrifice. It trivialised all of a woman’s dreams and prioritised the role of a mother. When women across the globe are battling for the right over their bodies, Mimi blatantly shames women who choose to have an abortion.

7. Majnu (Ajeeb Dastaans)

It’s great to see films incorporate the LGTQ angle to normalise it in society to the point where it doesn’t feel utterly forced. Majnu, the first part of Ajeeb Dastaans anthropology, sought to explain how same-sex relationships are vilified and their sexual orientations are always in question, this aspect didn’t seem to have fit organically into the plot. Even Jaideep Ahlawat’s presence couldn’t salvage the plot.


8. The Girl On The Train

The Girl On The Train, featuring Parineeti Chopra, depicted the protagonist suffering from PTSD and alcoholism. It effectively stereotyped these patients by depicting Parineeti’s role as having black nails and kohl rimmed eyes, as if she were a zombie. The film succeeded in totally missing the point. 


9. Begum Jaan 

Vidya Balan’s Begum Jaan tried to build a narrative around ‘bold women’ but ended up being cliched and tropey. The ladies’ bizarre antics exploited the idea of the world’s oldest profession. A bold and erroneous attempt that missed the mark. 

Bollywood Hungama

While some Bollywood flicks are great conversation starters, these don’t even fall in the said category.