Bollywood films are not just about six-abs flaunting heroes bashing up goons, or exchanging romantic glances with their leading ladies at picturesque locations. There have been films which dealt with subjects, people usually shy away from talking in public.

Here are 7 films which gained a lot of limelight for being out-of-the-box, but the Indian audience found it difficult to digest.

Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna: Directed by Karan Johar, this 2006 tear-jerker featured an ensemble cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji and Abhishek Bachchan. The plot revolved around a man and a woman who fall in love out of wedlock. The film was an overseas hit but received criticism in India as it dealt with the issue of extra-marital affairs. However, the performances of all the actors received accolades.

Salaam Namaste: Siddharth Anand raised many eyebrows when his debut film Salaam Namaste featuring Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan hit the theatres in 2005. The reason, it dealt with the subject of live-in relationship. In present times, a couple staying without getting married is cool but the situation was entirely different a decade ago. The film was an average grosser at the box office and its script was included in the Margaret Herrick Library, which is operated by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Kya Kehna: Starring Preity Zinta, the Kundan Shah directorial had the dimpled actress playing a teenaged girl Priya who falls in love with a rich brat Rahul (Saif Ali Khan). She gets involved in a physical relationship with her beau and becomes pregnant. However, Rahul refuses to marry and leaves her in a lurch. Priya decides not to abort the child despite objections from her family. The film dealt with the issue of teenage pregnancy and the perceptions of the society towards single mothers. While Preity was nominated for Best Actress in Filmfare Awards and the film bagged the coveted trophy in the Best Story category, it failed at the box office.

Phir Milenge: The society’s perception about AIDS patients is not encouraging one. There have been cases of HIV-infected persons being isolated in public domain. Shilpa Shetty, Salman Khan, and Abhishek Bachchan won accolades for their performance in 2005 flick Phir Milenge. The story was about an advertising professional (Shilpa) who shares intimate moments with her batchmate Rohit (Salman), an AIDS patient, and gets infected too. The world around her turns upside down as she is sacked from her job and faces stigma in the society. Though the film was quite practical, Indian audience didn’t bother much to watch it.

Filhaal: Karan Johar, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and other B-town celebs became parents via surrogacy. In India, surrogacy has been a widely debated topic for a long time. Bollywood too raised the issue in 2002 when Meghna Gulzar helmed Filhaal. The film revolved around a woman named Sia (Sushmita Sen) who agrees to be a surrogate mother for her best friend Rewa (Tabu)’s child. A year ago, Salman Khan, Rani Mukerji and Preity Zinta had shared screen space in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke which dealt with the same subject. But Filhaal won a lot of accolades, especially due to the stellar performance by Sushmita Sen and Tabu. Both the films didn’t work on the box office quite well.

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron: Directed by Kundan Shah, this 1983 satirical film acquired a cult status and is still remembered as one of the finest satirical films made in India. An ensemble cast comprising late Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Satish Shah, Pankaj Kapoor and other stalwarts, the film was a satirical take on prevalent corruption in politics, bureaucracy, and business. Remember the iconic Mahabharat scene towards the end of the film. The sequence manages to tickle our funny bone even today. Though it was a cult movie and people love it now, in 1983 it was a flop.

Julie: Before Preity Zinta essayed the role of a teenaged mother in Kya Kehna, Lakshmi created quite a flutter by playing the titular role of Julie in K. S. Sethumadhavan directorial in 1975. The film’s protagonist Julie was an Anglo-Indian girl who falls in love with a  Hindu boy Shashi. She is pregnant with Shashi’s child, leading to hue and cry in the society. But, Julie is adamant and decides to give birth to the child. The film won a lot of praises and its music became increasingly popular. There was the time when girls were not allowed to watch this film.

Do you know about more films which could make it to the list? Please do comment.

Also read: This is what Amitabh Bachchan has to say about the effort newcomers put into their films today

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