Though made for entertainment, films are not always supposed to create a make-believe world or tell escapist and dreamy stories. Being the mirrors of the society, movies are supposed to show the reality. Movies, also, are considered one of the biggest influencers on the people and therefore they are the prominent mediums of generating and propagating ideas and concepts of change. To create such a story is a gigantic task for a filmmaker as he has to resort to different types of storytelling to make it appeal to the masses. Satire is one very effective method of creating a realistic picture of the political or social system.
Though we have a humongous amount of comedy films in Bollywood, our filmmakers have very rarely chosen the genre of satire to comment on politics, religion and social issues. By creating quirky conversations and laughable situations, these satires simplify the issue for the viewers.
Here is a list of best of the satires films made in Bollywood-
Jane Bhi Do Yaaro
Probably the pioneer of the satires in Hindi film industry, this Kundan Shah directorial is a cult classic. It comments on the rampant corruption in politics, business, media and bureaucracy. The depiction of the dilemma to choose between self interest and morals which is shown in the film is relatable even today. Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Ravi Baswani and Panka Kapoor have aced their acts in this story of unraveling of a murder mystery that takes hilarious turns.
Image Credits- Aamir Khan Productions
Director Anusha Rizwi handled a sensitive issue of farmer suicide brilliantly with a subtle dark comical treatment in Peepli Live. How the political system handles such an important issue and how our media looks at it as merely a breaking news opportunity is showcased with a story of a farmer named Natha.
OMG- Oh My God!
Image Credits- Viacom18 Motion Pictures
Commenting on Godmen and religion can be very dicey as there is a huge risk of hurting the sentiments of a particular group of people. However in this adaptation of a Gujarati play Kanji Virudh Kanji, the director Umesh Shukla has strongly commented on misuse and commercialization of religion.
Tere Bin Laden
Image Credits- UTV Motion Pictures
With a smart script and some great performances, Tere Bin Laden has made it into the list of best satires. Directed by Abhishek Sharma, this is a spoof on Osama Bin Laden and USA’s mission against terrorism. Through the slapstick jokes, the film makes us introspect about how we compromise our values to achieve our goals.
Khosla Ka Ghosla
Image Credits- UTV Motion Pictures
This film is a story of a man who buys plot and gets into the trap of a property dealer who takes illegal possession of the plot and then blackmails him. This Dibakar Banerjee directorial is a laugh riot and through its entertaining depiction, makes everyone aware of power of the will of the common man. Anupam Kher and Boman Irani have acted brilliantly in this satirical tale.
Image Credits- Vinod Chopra Films
Rajkumar Hirani took the sensitive subject of religious dogmas and superstitions and crafted a courageous satire where Aamir Khan performed to perfection. The film beautifully comments on our age-old religious beliefs through the eyes of an alien. Because of the comical treatment given to the subject, it became a solid entertainer for both classes and masses.
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha
Image Credits- VIacom18 Motion Pictures
Open defecation is certainly a very important problem, peculiar to India. Apart from financial reasons, several cultural and religious beliefs are also significant causes behind people resorting to it. By giving it a satirical treatment and weaving it with a love story, director Shree Narayan Singh and actor Akshay Kumar talked about the issue through TEPK. The film was widely accepted in the non-urban sections of the country because of the relatable and relevant subject.
Phas Gaye Re Obama
Image Credits- Warner Bros Pictures India Ltd
This Subhash Kapoor directorial is a satire on the backdrop of recession that originated in the USA. The film depicts a story of when a group of Indian gangsters kidnap an NRI, not knowing the fact that he is nearly-bankrupt. The film stars Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Manu Rishi, Sanjay Mishra and Amol Gupte, and all of them have performed brilliantly.
Also read- 20 best Bollywood comedy films