Hindi film industry has entertained us with innumerable films of various genres. From masala to romance to action films, we’ve seen it all. But did you know ‘controversy’ is also a genre in Bollywood? Our Hindi cinema is infact loaded with many such movies that were either banned or stalled by the censors, fearing communal unrest. But believe it or not, these films deserve a watch for their outstanding portrayal of the sensitive topics. However, if you are one of those who are easily affected and manipulated by a two-hour film, than this article is not for you!
Here’s presenting a list of 10 most controversial Bollywood films, you must watch:
Garm Hawa (1973)
Bollywood’s classic political drama created quite a stir during its time. Directed by M. S Sathyu, Garm Hawa narrated the story of a Muslim family and difficulties they faced post the partition of India. Since the subject was sensitive, the censors feared communal outbreak. The film was put on embargo for 8 months; however, post its release it went on to win several accolades.
Gulzar’s directorial venture, Aandhi attracted a sea of controversies. With the film posters showcasing a woman politician, the story was allegedly based on the life then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. The film was banned instantly. However, it was released on state-run television channel and was an instant hit!
Kissa Kursi Ka (1977)
Another 70s film that sparked a controversy was Kissa Kursi Ka. With the film throwing subtle references at the political system and corruption in the country, it was banned by the censors immediately. Moreover, all the prints and posters too were confiscated by the authorities. Enough to create curiosity, isn’t it?
Bandit Queen (1994)
One of the best films to have ever graced the silver screen, Bandit Queen received an over whelming positive response at several film festivals. However, it was criticised by the Censor Board of India for excessive use of crude language and sexual content. The film further faced issues when Phoolan Devi, the lady on whom the film was based on, raised an objection.
Part of Deepta Mehta’s well-known trilogy, Fire glorified same sex relationships. The film created uproar on the first-day of its release and was resend to the censors. Though it was cleared later, Fire continues to remain as one of the most controversial films in India.
Anurag Kashyap’s debut film, Paanch remains unreleased till today. Based on true incidents, the film highlights the story of 5 band members, who brutally kill nine people. The censor authorities accused the film for promoting drugs, violence and sex. However, it was cleared after several cuts, but never released.
Hava Aney De (2004)
An Indo-French co-production, Hava Aney De was never screened in India. With the Indo-Pak war as the back-story, the Censor Board of India suggested over 21 scenes to be deleted. However, the director refused to accept the offer and the film was pulled out last minute.
Black Friday (2005)
Anurag Kashyap’s hard-hitting crime drama, Black Friday narrates one of the most horrific events in the history of Mumbai – The 1992-93 riots and bombings. The film was blocked by the censors, fearing pandemonium in the nation. Moreover, it had to undergo various screenings before it saw its release in 2007.
Amu is story of a young woman, whose past lies hidden in the event of 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The film had to face several audio-cuts before its release in India. An interesting story that it is, Amu definitely deserves a watch!
Deepa Mehta’s Water starring John Abraham and Lisa Ray attracted the wrath of the Hindu organisation in Varanasi. With the story dealing with a topic like Sati, the film went through difficult times during shooting itself.
There many such films in the Hindi film industry that remain unreleased, but deserve to be watched. No filmmaker aims to create a controversy, but instead tell a story, a real one. And there’s no harm in watching some reality. Catch on these films and be your own critic.