Mental health is an important aspect of life for overall well-being, yet this topic has mostly misunderstood by society. According to WHO’s report in 2019, approximately a billion people consisting of 14% of the world’s adolescent population, and; living a life with mental illness. Cinema has held the power to always bring a certain aspect of society to the world in general population that serves as the common ground for understanding a phenomenon collectively. Similarly, mental health has been depicted for a long time in movies and theatres however most have an impact negative on understanding the already stigmatized mean health, especially in the Indian society.
However, there are movies in Bollywood that were able, to some extent or accurately, has depicted mental health among audiences.
Taare Zameen Par (2007):
Directed by Amir Khan itself, this blockbuster movie tells us the story of a young boy named Ishaan and his struggle with dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects a person’s ability to understand words, ability to read, write and speak sometimes. Moreover, the movie highlights the fact that parents sometimes failed to acknowledge the crumbling mental health of children amidst studies. Ishaan was helped by his teacher to unlock his true potential in the form of art. It was the message to make understand the parents about forcing on children’s mental health.
Dear Zindagi (2016):
Directed by Gauri Shinde, and starring Alia Bhatt and Shahrukh the story revolves around Kaira (played by Alia) who is coping with deeply rooted emotional struggles related to abandonment issues from childhood. The movie depicts journey towards self-development when she decides to take therapy psychology. The movie showcases how important it is for the young mind to feel susceptible to mental problems and how to seek help for mental well-being.
Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in lead roles, Tamasha very well depicts the character of Ved played by Ranbir who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).BPD is a mental disorder that involves the instability of emotions, moods, and behavior relationships it significantly impacts a person’s daily life. One moment he is jolly and carefree another moment he is chaotic and reckless. The movie how he dealt with his disorder which has affected his relationship with Tara, played by Deepika Padukone.The journey towards his self-discovery when he dives deep into his family issues from childhood
Karthik Calling Karthik (2010):
Starring Farhan Akhtar in the titular role the movie follows the character of Karthik who is suffering from dissociative identity disorder. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously called Multiple Personality Disorder, is a disorder that is complex and rare in nature. It leads to the development of two or distinct personalities of a person. The disorder tends to relate to early childhood trauma.
Karthik Calling Karthik deals with the issues faced by Karthik that disrupt his relationships and personal identity, Directed by Vijay Tilani, this movie was unable to perform well at the box office yet the way it dealt with mental disorders, is indeed impactful.
15 Park Avenue (2005):
Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It is a complex and multifaceted condition that can significantly impact a person’s ability to function in everyday life. Schizophrenia is relatively uncommon, affecting about 1% of the global population.
Directed by Aparna Sen, the film tells the story of a woman who was played by Konkosna Sen Sharma w who is suffering from Schizophrenia. It is a rare and severe mental disorder that changed the way a person thinks, feels, or behaves characterise by symptoms such as hallucination, delusions, and loss of reality. Delusions are false perception or belief about reality that prompts a person to have hold a belief about something in a wrong way.
The movie beautifully deals with the character who believes she has a husband and children at 15 Park Avenue, which in reality was not the case. The way this movie showcase schizophrenia its impact on the person in their family and the emotional struggles surely able to leave a great impact on your mind
Directed by Anurag Basu the movie shows two characters in love, played by Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor. The character Ranbir called Barfi was deaf and Prinyanka known as Jhilmil has autism. The movie celebrates the beautiful compassion and theme of love which exist beyond the realm of social norms and rules. It highlights the strength of those struggling with such a disorder and their e, emotional struggles to blend in the society, and their hope to live a normal life.
These films are a few examples that show the way Bollywood approaches depict mental illness and the struggles of those who are suffering from it. Mental illness and mental health are two related aspects of society which is being, more and more accepted in society. Thanks to the effort made by the film industry that brings the audience one step ahead in understanding the struggle of those suffering and has a mindset to help those in need of care, love support, and understanding.