Welcome back from from our last article (Bollywood films that got huge accolades and business due to negative publicity – PART 1)!
Here, we present you with more such Bollywood films from recent times that have been subject to baseless protests and CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) checks for ‘hurting’ the sentiments of a particular community. So much for the ‘Freedom of Speech’ our constitution guarantees to us! LOL!
Parzania showcased the true story about the sudden disappearance of 10-year-old boy, Azhar Mody after the horrific Gulbarg Society massacre of 2002 which eventually took the shape of the Gujarat riots. Because the film was about communal riots in Gujarat, the film was purposefully not released there, and cinema owners in Gujarat were allegedly threatened not to screen Parzania.
After an initiative by ANHAD, a civil rights group, the film was screened at some places in the state after April 2007. The film went on to win big at the 2006 National Film Awards and won the Silver Lotus Award – Best Actress – Sarika and Golden Lotus Award – Best Direction – Rahul Dholakia. It also won the 2008 Screen Awards – Ramnath Goenka Memorial Award.
India’s Daughter (2015)
Directed by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin, this documentary revisits the horrific Delhi gang rape case in which a 23-year-old student Jyoti Singh (Nirbhaya) was brutally gang-raped, her body mutilated inside a moving bus and eventually murdered by dumping her on the streets in 2012.
The movie was banned in India for airing the views of the rapists even before the verdict on the rape case was declared by the Supreme Court and for showing India in a poor light. The film was later released on social media via YouTube and other online video platforms.
The Dirty Picture (2011)
Being thought to be highly disrespectful towards women, this biography on veteran actress Silk Smitha’s life got massive criticism. The Vidya Balan starrer received extreme criticism for showing the actress in low cut blouses, engaged in precarious positions with her co-actors and doling out vulgar expressions.
The film got banned by CBFC for a while, and was also facing a lawsuit by Silk’s brothers, but eventually got released with 56 cuts.
The Dirty Picture grossed ₹1.14 billion (US$18 million) worldwide and also received several awards. It won three National Film Awards including Best Actress, three Filmfare Awards and six Screen Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.
The movie dealt with direct questioning of the stature and relevance of various religions and their practices in India. The protests began right from the movie’s first poster release in which Aamir Khan, the protagonist of the film (a humanoid alien) is seen covering his groin with a transistor. A PIL wanting to ban the film said that the movie intentionally promoted nudity and vulgarity.
Also, many charges of sedition were labelled against Khan as the Hindu community apparently felt that Khan had insulted Hinduism. After many threats of assault, burnt effigies and lawsuits, the movie released eventually.
PK received two awards out of eight nominations at the 60th Filmfare Awards, including Best Dialogue and Best Screenplay. The film won five Star Guild Awards and two Life OK Screen Awards.
Internationally, the movie won the Telstra People’s Choice Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne and is also the second-highest Bollywood grosser in China after Khan’s Dangal.
Ae Dil Hei Mushkil (2016)
The movie received protests because of only one reason – the presence of a Pakistani artist (Fawad Khan) in the film. At the time, India and Pakistan’s cross-border relations were really strained after the Uri terrorist attacks. The people of India (mainly politicians) called for all Pakistani actors in India to be thrown out and not to be made part of any Bollywood venture.
Eventually, Karan Johar convinced the outraging, self-assumed patriots of our country that the movie was shot way before the incident and which is why it should be released.
At the 62nd Filmfare Awards, it received nine nominations and won four awards for its soundtrack. By the end of its theatrical run, the film grossed ₹160.69 crore in India and total ₹237.56 crore worldwide against a budget of just ₹80 crore.
Padmavat faced huge backlash from right-wing groups like Karni Sena, RSS, etc. and the royal family of Rani Padmavati for allegedly showing the queen in bad light even after the movie’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali confirmed that no such portrayal is being done.
Historians have even debated the real life existence of the queen, with many saying she was a fictional character in an epic poem by Jayasi on which the movie was based.
The movie’s sets were vandalized, Bhansali was brutally assaulted and manhandled, Deepika’s nose had a bounty and what not! The film was scheduled for release in December 2017 but after all the unwarranted drama, it released on 25 January 2018 to receive massive critical acclaim.
Padmaavat is currently the one of the most expensive Indian films ever made. Despite being banned in some states of India, it has grossed over ₹525 crore against a budget of ₹215 crore!