The posters for Rajkummar Rao & Kangana Ranaut’s Mental Hai Kya came out last night, and garnered everyone’s attention with the imagery on display. Produced by Ekta Kapoor, the film that reportedly deals with two mentally unwell patients (Kangana Ranaut & Rajkummar Rao), showcases the many degrees of their ‘insanity’ in the different posters. Some experts didn’t seem too happy with the depiction of mental health problems, and seemed to take offence by how graphic the posters were.
The crazy Rajkummar Rao or the quirky Kangana Ranaut, whose look from the poster did you love the most? Tell us in the comments below! #MentalHaiKya #MentalHaiKyaOn21stJune #KanganaRanaut @RajkummarRao @ZeeMusicCompany pic.twitter.com/J2SWNy6cvB
— BalajiMotionPictures (@balajimotionpic) April 17, 2019
In one of those, Rao’s character can be seen stubbing a cigarette on his forehead, while in another Ranaut can be seen dousing a matchstick with her tongue. Where Ranaut can be seen making ‘crazy’ eyes in one poster, another one of the posters show Rao holding an apple in a bleeding hand and a butcher’s knife in the other. It’s all ‘edgy’ for certain parts of the population, but for a commercial film that is reportedly trying to destigmatise mental health problems, don’t these posters defeat the purpose, a little bit?
Here s why we need to #Bridgethegap in all aspects with regards to #Mentalhealth scenario in India. upcoming movie #mentalhaikya -the name, the images super triggering and loaded with stigma @netshrink @AnantBhan @chibberratna @VijayNallawala @mentalhealthind @healthcollectif . pic.twitter.com/DHGhfUF2CN
— Smriti Joshi (@SmritiSawhney) April 17, 2019
And hence, it was hardly a surprise that a few experts took to Twitter to point this out. The film’s main poster also sees both the characters balancing a razor blade on their tongue, which shows them in ‘crazy’ light. Some even took offence the derogatory use of ‘mental’ in the film’s title.
#MentalHaiKya is a really bad title for a film. sanity is not overrated, and a person having mental health issues is not meant for your jokes and movie titles.
— jesus was poor (@ImpastoP) April 17, 2019
People with real mental health issues are struggling to get treatment, because of the stigma with words like ‘MENTAL’, ‘PSYCHO’. It is highly insensitive to have title like #MentalHaiKya I humbly request to change the title @RajkummarRao #KanganaRanaut
— Dr. Pavan Sonar
— Soumitra Pathare (@netshrink) April 17, 2019
Even though, the film’s exact plot and the treatment is relatively unknown, we can all agree that the posters could have been designed more tastefully. If the mission of the film really is to probe the stereotypes around patients with psychological problems, then the team should introspect about why would they blatantly propagate the same stereotypes in the ‘first look’ of the film.