From Padman to Batti Gul Meter Chalu: Movies with messages to appear in 2018 as well

From fight against power distribution to menstrual hygiene and labour activism, Hindi films will propagate social causes next year, too

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(Clockwise from top left) Rani Mukerji in Hichki, Shahid Kapoor will be seen in Batti Gul Meter Chalu and Vidyut Jamwal in Junglee

There are potboiler movies that are no-brainers and have just one job — to entertain. Then there are films that compel you to think and awaken you socially. Even if Bollywood films are meant to be an escape from reality, such movies will keep you connected to the grassroot level and remind you of things that deserve your attention. If 2017 had Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (TEPK), Pink, Aligarh, Newton, and Lipstick Under My Burkha, 2018, too, will have its share of socially-relevant films...


Akshay Kumar in Pad Man

For the moment, Akshay Kumar is a man on a mission to make films about hygiene. This year, he acted in TEPK, which was aimed at improving sanitary conditions in the country and curbing open defecation. Next year, one will see him in Pad Man, which is inspired from the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a Tamil Nadu-based social activist who invented a low-cost sanitary napkin machine to revolutionise the concept of menstrual hygiene, a subject that is still considered a taboo in the country.


Rani Mukerji in Hichki

Rani Mukerji’s film may not have a social cause, per se, as its theme but it gives an important message. The actress plays a woman who deals with her weakness and turns it into her strength. Hichki talks about seeing weaknesses, including a disability or a condition, as just hiccups and tiding over them to emerge as winners. Producer Maneesh Sharma has described this Siddharth P Malhotra-directorial as a woman-centric film that’s about an underdog triumphing against all odds.


Varun Dhawan in Sui Dhaaga

The movie starring Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma is based on the Made in India initiative and pays a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Directed by Sharat Katariya, the film talks about self-reliance and harks on the swadesi movement marked by the Father of the Nation, while raising awareness about indigenous handloom industry in the country, and dignity of labour.


Shahid Kapoor will be seen in Batti Gul Meter Chalu 

Just like Akshay, the director of TEPK, Shree Narayan Singh, will continue to make people socially-conscious with Batti Gul Meter Chalu next year. Starring Shahid Kapoor, the film’s theme is rising electricity charges and bills. It tells the story of a common man’s fight against power distribution companies and will see Shahid in the role of a lawyer.


A still from Union Leader

The film stars Tilottama Shome and Rahul Bhat in the role of Jay, who works at a chemical factory. When his co-workers start dying due to exposure to chromium sulfate, Jay organises a union to fight the legal and social injustice. He puts his job at risk and jeopardises the future of his son, for whose education he has taken up the work. The film reinvokes the practice of labour activism, a theme that’s been missing in Hindi cinema of late.


Vidyut Jamwal in Junglee

The director of The Mask, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Scorpion King, etc — Chuck Russell — directs Vidyut Jamwal in this action thriller. The movie, which explores the relationship between a man and elephants, deals with elephant poaching and ivory smuggling as a theme.


A still from Love Sonia

Based on international human trafficking, Tabrez Noorani’s film depicts the plight of young girls who are victims of the evil practice. Starring Mrunal Thakur, Frieda Pinto, and Demi Moore, the film is the story of a feisty girl who tries to rescue her sister from trafficking. The idea of the film stemmed from a real incident when Tabrez found out about a human trafficking incident in Los Angeles in 2003 where girls were found in a shipping container from China.

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