Most films represent some of the most vivid and personal depictions of the human psyche. Too often, movies stigmatise or distort mental health issues, making characters that have a problem appear different from everyone else. The truth is that everyone, young and old, is affected in some way by mental health difficulties, whether you have an illness yourself or have a friend, family member, or acquaintance that has a condition. As a result, those who deal with these challenges on a daily basis may feel ostracized due to such movies, and their impact on people who watch them.
The film industry has come a long way since categorising practically every type of mental illness or problem under the word “madness”. Over the last two decades, filmmakers have shown some maturity and sensitivity when it comes to the portrayal of mental illness in movies, except for a few who didn’t completely grasp the significance of presenting the afflicted characters’ unique symptoms through the narrative. Individuals who did get it correctly, on the other hand, sent a strong message to those suffering from mental illnesses. And, while mental illness still carries far too much stigma in modern society, that stigma is fading; popular depiction in films viewed and liked by many can be a huge part in breaking down that barrier. Check out some of these films that did get it right.
This quirky animated film personifies the various emotions that run through a young girl’s mind. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust – all try to assist Riley with her family’s relocation to San Francisco. Riley learns to deal with her emotions to help her cope with the stress of adjusting to her new life. Inside Out is a well-made, intelligent, and current picture that portrays mental health in a new light.
Dear Zindagi is one of the films that is totally focused on the subject of mental health. In the film, Kaira (played by Alia Bhatt) is a cinematographer who suffers from deep-seated psychological and abandonment difficulties dating back to her childhood. She becomes aware of this and seeks counselling from Jug, an unconventional therapist played by Shah Rukh Khan. The film follows her on her path of self-discovery, healing, and survival. This movie broke barriers since it is not only applicable to many young adults today, but it also normalised therapy and the need to seek expert counsel when discussing one’s mental health and wellbeing.
Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Socially inept Charlie (Logan Lerman) begins high school alone and worried. Fortunately, he meets a bunch of charismatic seniors, including Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller). His buddies make him happy, but his inner struggle reaches a peak as they prepare to depart for college. We discover more about Charlie’s mental health journey as the film progresses, from his hospitalisation in a psychiatric hospital to the specifics of a childhood tragedy. This coming-of-age film does an excellent job of depicting the ups and downs of growing up with mental illness.
It’s Kind Of A Funny Story
You wouldn’t imagine a comedy could be set in a mental health hospital. This well-crafted movie, on the other hand, follows the narrative of Craig, a 16-year-old boy who checks himself into a mental unit owing to sadness and suicidal tendencies. Because the youth wing is being renovated, he is forced to stay in the adult unit. The hospital isn’t a terrifying place, and the patients aren’t portrayed as “crazy” or “insane” – it’s a safe place where individuals in need are getting help and utilising humour to distract themselves from the severe circumstances that brought them there. This Hollywood take on a psychiatric hospital may be more amusing than any real-life event, but it helps to normalize the idea that people require this level of care at times.
In Tamasha, Vir (Ranbir Kapoor) suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. He may be careless, reckless, and lively one moment, but is shy, reserved, and dull the next. The film explores his childhood and family life to explain his disease and how it affects his relationship with his lover Tara (Deepika Padukone). This Imtiaz Ali-directed movie focuses on the complexities of a personality-disordered individual’s relationships and does justice to the qualities displayed by persons suffering from the condition.
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