Did you know that October 10 is celebrated as World Mental Health Day, a day that is dedicated to spreading awareness and aiming to remove any social stigma attached to mental health? It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization.
Over the years, mental health has been misrepresented in many ways on the silver screen and fictional books. However, there are a few that take on a rather sensitive portrayal of the same. Here are five films in Indian cinema that do a much better job than most films ins showcasing mental health.
This Gauri Shinde film features a troubled, young woman who has it all and, yet, there’s something that’s leaving her upset and moody. A deeper analysis shows that there’s more to her than what meets the eye, and that depression is something that can affect anyone and you never see it coming. She seeks therapy and it does her wonders, thereby busting all those myths that depression is not about being in a bad mood, it’s about being in a fragile state of mind that needs help.
Taare Zameen Par
This was an Aamir Khan portrayal and focused on the sensitive portrayal of Dyslexia, a reading disroder that often goes unchecked. The story is about a small boy who’s often called lazy and stupid because he lags behind in academics. Turns out, Dyslexia plagues him but he’s still talented in plenty of other ways and has a terrific teacher to help him battle this disorder.
This film focused on the concept of Split Personality Disorder. While the film largely depends on hyperbole and star elements thanks to its cast, the film still reinforces the concept of having a psychologist on board to treat someone as opposed to branding it with myths that a ghost has taken over, thereby bring to the fore that not everything is supernatural, there are always logical explanations to the way people behave.
This film, at the heart of it, is a love story, a rich man and an ambitious young woman fall in love and everything is about to fall into place but her murder and his grievous injury owing to enemies turns this entire world upside down. He has anterograde amnesia, a disorder where you forget easily. However, armed with a Polaroid camera and an aide who is equally determined to catch the killer, this film makes a good watch.
Many a movie have come and gone, touching upon the stigma of mental illness. When the lead pair both suffer from them, one would expect a bore fest; however, Hey Jude comes through, although at a slow pace, to be the feel-good film that it is. A laidback movie, the story does not involve itself in showing the depth of characters for us to invest a lot in, which is unlikely for a movie on mental illness.
READ: ‘Hey Jude’ review here