Indian Cinema has provided us with an abundance of movies based on culture, history, and out of box issues of society. This now and then ignited sparks of controversy, temporary ban or not even allowing it to be distributed nationwide. The films were criticized nationally yet received a lot of fame internationally. Anyone who follows Bollywood is well aware that it prospers on controversial promotions. Here are some most controversial movies in Indian Cinema.
Most Controversial Bollywood Movies
1. Bandit Queen (1994)
Directed by: Shekhar Kapur
Cast: Seema Biswas, Nirmal Pandey, Manoj Bajpayee
IMDb rating: 7.5/10
Bandit Queen, one of the finest flicks ever made, garnered an extraordinarily favorable event at colorful film carnivals. The Censor Board of India, on the other hand, edited it for its explicit use of strong language as well as sexual material. The film was further complicated when Phoolan Devi, the person on whom the movie was based objected. The movie narrates the story of the Bandit Queen Phoolan Devi who was held captive by police in 1983 and released in 1994.
For five times, she was allegedly prosecuted by the Indian Police and turned into a modern-day Robin Hood by the Indian Press. Although the media tended to make her the optimal figure with blue eyes, dark hair, and beauty, in reality, she was an average Indian girl. She later joined politics and was assassinated in 2001.
2. Fire (1996)
Directed by: Deepa Mehta
Cast: Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, Karishma Jhalani
IMDb rating: 7.1/10
Fire, one of Deepa Mehta’s well-known trio, encouraged same-gender couples. The same-gender relationship portrayal made it the most controversial movie of that time period. The picture sparked outrage on its first day of premiere and was returned to the censors. Though it was allowed later on. The fire remains one of India’s most contentious flicks, especially given the fact that two famed actresses are portraying unorthodox roles.
In a barren arranged marriage to an amateur swami who seeks enlightenment through sexual abstention. Radha’s life takes an infectious turn when her young, beautiful sister-in-law seeks to free herself from the confines of her loveless marriage.
3. Kissa Kursi Ka (1978)
Directed by: Amrit Nahata
Cast: Raj Babbar, Shabana Azmi, Chaman Bagga
IMDb rating: 7.8/10
Another political lampoon aimed at the Gandhi family again. Though, the movie was aimed at Sanjay Gandhi, the man behind the Maruti Car Project. This movie did hit a hard note and it grew pretty popular once the emergency was lifted and Sanjay Gandhi was interrogated and imprisoned for a month.
4. Black Friday (2004)
Directed by: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Pavan Malhotra, Aditya Srivastava, Imtiaz Ali, Zakir Hussain
IMDb rating: 8.5/10
Anurag Kashyap’s hard-hitting crime nail-biter, Black Friday depicts one of Mumbai’s most heinous incidents, the 1992-93 riots, and explosions. The film was censored because the Film Board worried about a civil outbreak.
A cinematic representation of the bomb blasts that rocked Bombay on March 12, 1993, displays the police investigation, amidst the allegations of human rights violations, led by DCP Rakesh Maria, in tracking down the suspects, especially Bashir Khan.
5. Haider (2014)
Directed by: Vishal Bhardwaj
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon
IMDb rating: 8.1/10
The movie faced counter-reaction because of the depiction of the Indian Army in the movie. It also received negative reviews from some gobbets of the followership who called for a boycott of this movie. Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Haider- a young man returns home to Kashmir on entering news of his father’s exposure. Not only does he learn that security forces have detained his father for sheltering militants, but that his mother is in a relationship with his real uncle.
The intensive drama follows between mother and son, as both struggle to come to terms with their father’s death. Soon Haider knows that his uncle is responsible for the horrible murder, and what follows in his path to retaliate against his father’s death.
6. Padmavat (2018)
Directed by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Cast: Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Jim Sarbh
IMDb rating: 7/10
The difficulties girding this film are still talked about. The movie, which was initially titled “Padmavati,” is one of the most significant period films in Deepika Padukone’s career graph. Sentiments of some religious communities of Rajasthan were hurt and protested against the depiction of history in the trailer of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film.
There was a bounty put on the lead actress as well as the director. Death threats were passed and it was all fuelled by the presumption of apparent restoration of history.
7. Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016)
Directed by: Alankrita Shrivastava
Cast: Aahana Kumra, Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma
IMDb rating: 6.8/10
There was a lot of dilly-dallying smeared across this film before it eventually got a release in the theatres. The film was critically accredited and was awarded a couple of film fiestas, including the Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality. Yet, the Central Board for Film Certification was against the bold content shown in this woman-oriented film. This film exfoliates some light on the discussion of womanly fantasies for life and that didn’t turn out to go too well with concerned authorities.
8. The Kashmir Files (2022)
Directed by: Vivek Agnihotri
Cast: Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumaar, Mithun Chakraborty, Atul Srivastava
IMDb rating: 9.9/10
The Kashmir Files is a story based on original video interviews of the first-generation victims of the Genocide of the Kashmiri Pandit Community in 1990. The story revolves around Krishna Pandit, a JNU scholar who thinks his parents were killed in an accident as told by his grandfather. But the real truth is more saddening and painful.
The controversies surround everything, be it actors, their personal space, or their movies. Every time a taboo is about to break in Bollywood, it faces immense backlash and criticism. Somehow, if the movie survives criticism, it is further edited by the Indian Censor Board, defecting its originality.