Bollywood has always depicted the stories of common people as slices of real life. Since the black & white era of celluloid entertainment, Bollywood films like Do Bigha Zameen, Mother India, Amar Prem, Pyasa, Guide, Mera Naam Joker, Umrao Jaan have portrayed the struggles, ordeals, vulnerability, bravery, and collective strength of ordinary people who we relate to and identify with in real life.
From classics to contemporaries, Bollywood movies have been made on how ordinary people become extraordinary during their eventful journeys and at trying times, except a handful of period movies like Mughal e Azam, Jodha Akbar, and Bajirao Mastani. From the list of Bollywood films released in 2015, I handpicked the following five best stories of common man, which touched me the most.
Shoojit Sirkar’s Piku is the story of a working girl and her responsibility towards her 70year old eccentric father, which many people misinterpret as a sweet father-daughter relationship story. Played by Deepika Padukone, Piku is a 30 year old Bengali girl brought up in the cosmopolitan society of New Delhi and bound to her duties towards her obstinate father, who is a mental patient of constipation.
Played by Amitabh Bachchan, the whimsical, old man neither lets her get married nor has any idea of her loneliness. Piku is torn between her longings for an escape from the monotony of day-to-day life and her obligations towards her retired father who dies leaving her alone.
Manjhi – The Mountain Man
Of Bollywood films in 2015, Manjhi – The Mountain Man is a biopic on the life of an ordinary man with extraordinary strength. Played by veteran actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Dashrath Manjhi was a poor laborer in a north Indian village. He achieved an impossible feat using only a hammer and a chisel to carve a 110meters long path through a rocky mountain which the people of his village had to climb across or travel around to reach the other side.
One day his wife who you loved the most fell dead while climbing the mountain to cross it. This tragedy moved him to carve a 9meter wide path through the mountain though people laughed at his resolution and called him a lunatic. Manjhi – The Mountain Man is an inspirational story of a common man’s love.
Jazbaa is the powerful story of a single mother who is a criminal lawyer by profession. Played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anuradha Verma is a prominent lawyer with gift of the gab on the one hand and an emotionally vulnerable mother on the other. A mother can go to any extent and do anything to protect her child.
To get back her daughter from the kidnapper, she unwillingly acts as a defense lawyer for a criminal who is convicted of rape and murder. She is torn between a mother and a lawyer, between her professional responsibility and motherly duty. Jazbaa depicts the struggle and success, the fragility and fight of an ordinary mother in the guise of a powerful lawyer.
Among Bollywood movies released in 2015, Drishyam is an uncommon tale of a common man who is a school dropout and who runs a small cable TV business in Goa. A dedicated family man, Ajay Devgan’s Vijay Salgaonkar learns from every small thing in real life.
Unexpectedly one incident disturbs the peace of his life when it spawns like a nightmare on his family. He neither breaks down nor lets his family succumb to the juncture. H supports and escorts his family patiently as well as cleverly through the trying times.
The most violent movie of the year 2015, NH 10 depicts the action-packed story of an ordinary working girl. Played by Anushka Sharma, Meera valiantly confronts an honor-killing gang during a road trip and takes revenge on them for killing of her husband.
Meera who was mentally shaken in an attack by a group of boys during her return from a party in Delhi shows no hesitation in facing the gang that kills her husband to remove all witness to their brutal honor-killing act. The film reveals a gritty, strong, fearless woman in a common, ordinary girl.
Sourav is an avid reader, content marketer, travel writer, lifestyle blogger & social critic. He believes in the power of words and the stories of common men. He is food of food, books and travel. In spare time, he is busy cooking or playing with the camera. He is a solo traveler too.