How Hindi Cinema deals with mental issues?

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Hindi Cinema
  • Navneel Maji 

Talking about mental issues, like depression and anxiety, has started to become a trend in Bollywood films. But, are they doing it correctly in the portrayal of people with such issues? With the latest film ‘Hichki’ prepares to release, which shows a teacher who is suffering from Tourette Syndrome (mental disease where the patient has sudden physical reaction or movements, hence the name Hichki)and has a hard time teaching their students and living life, we need to reconsider how this trend is going.

The history of cinema shows that we had a hard getting the stereotype of any person with a mental problem as ‘insane’ out of the picture. We always need that one person who says whatever comes to their mind and a make dumb of himself or herself. The best example is the movie ‘Khilona’ of how one should be made. Cashing in one those stereotypes only makes the movies project unrealistic depiction of the problem.   

In recent times, the movies have become more sensitive to the coming of the films like Dear Zindagi, Black by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The movie was somewhat realistic, though it is but and drop into the ocean, and we have a long way to go. Pune-based psychiatrist Soumitra Pathare, director of The Center for Mental Health Law and Policy, says that the Hindi film is ‘three to four’ decades behind Hollywood when it comes to scripts dealing with Mental Health.

The problem is we don’t research intensively consulting psychologists and psychiatrists to know the real nature of the issue and what people have to go through. For instance, in making the movie ‘Inside Out,’ they went through many rounds of discussions with psychologists before they even finalized the script. Hoping with the coming of more revolutionary and path-breakers new director coming into the industry, there will be more films that talk about this taboo of ‘mental issue’ and bring it out to the public in more honest and humane way.  

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