Medical conditions, ailments and diseases have always been a part of Bollywood movies. We have repeatedly watched movie characters dying of cancer, or a protagonist’s mother suffering from tuberculosis. Apart from cancer and tuberculosis, the recent flicks centre on some rather rare health conditions such as short-term memory loss, progeria and dyslexia, which have made a significant impact on audience.
[Read: Prognosis of Dyslexia]
Hindi Movies with Medical Themes
Khamoshi (1996) was the critically acclaimed Hindi movie, which showcased life of a deaf and mute couple. It was the first flick to portray complexities of the medically impaired and how they deal with medical condition. Although, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's directorial debut flopped at the box office, but established him as one of the finest movie-makers of Hindi film industry.
Black (2005) is the most acclaimed Indian motion picture on medical theme. The story revolves around a blind and deaf girl (Rani Mukherjee) and her relationship with her teacher (played by Amitabh Bachchan) who later develops the Alzheimer's disease.
[Read: What is Alzheimer's?]
Taare Zameen Par (2007) showcased life of an eight-year-old Ishaan (Darsheel Safary), who fails to excel academically due to dyslexia, a medical condition in which one has difficulty to read and write. His art teacher (Aamir Khan) suspects dyslexic conditions and helps him overcome it.
Shahrukh Khan essayed the role of a man suffering from Asperger's syndrome in My Name is Khan (2010). Koi Mil Gaya (2003) showcased Hrithik Roshan in a role of a mentally disabled man, while 15 Park Avenue (2005) was fecilitated with national award for throwing light on schizophrenia.
Movies on neurological conditions such as U, Me aur Hum (2008) turns attention to Alzheimer's, while Ghajini (2008) depicted Aamir Khan dealing with short-term memory loss, a type of amnesia. Bollywood's stalwart Amitabh Bachchan starred in Paa (2009), a movie about progeria. He played a 13-year-old boy with progeria, a condition that cause premature ageing in children.
Bollywood has come a long way after Khamoshi hit box-office, and is contributing to social change by creating awareness of medical conditions among masses. Conditions such as progeria, autism, dyslexia, Alzheimer's, Asperger syndrome were considered themes of documentaries until a few years ago.
Today, film-makers are open to centre movies on medical theme and are ready to come up with compelling scripts to explain the troubles of differently-abled and ones with neurological difference. Once considered an underdog theme, ‘overcoming medical difficulties’ has received warm reception by cine-viewers in the last few years.
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