6 Bollywood Movies That Didn’t Make a Fool of Mental Illnesses

While some movies like Hasee Toh Phasee and Krazzy 4 completely failed at portraying mental illnesses by making fun of or over-exaggerating them (seriously, who allowed Krazzy 4 to exist?), there are some that did a brilliant job. They portrayed it accurately and helped educate audiences about it as well. 

Its Mental Health Awareness Week and here are 6 Movies that didn’t distort or ridicule mental illnesses, but got it spot on :

1 / 6

15 Park Avenue

Aparna Sen’s 15 Park Avenue is a cinematic masterpiece. It revolves around Meethi (Konkona Sen Sharma) who suffers from Schizophrenia. It beautifully portrays the effects Schizophrenia has on the victim, her family and relationships. It’s realistic, emotional and will be on your mind for days. It is a must watch for everyone. 

15 park avenue mental health awareness week

2 / 6


While many consider Tamasha to be boring and senseless, it is actually an ingenious movie. Ranbir Kapoor plays Vir who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. One moment he’s carefree, reckless and animated, and in the next he is shy, reserved and dull. The movie shows how this affects his relationship with his girlfriend Tara, played by Deepika Padukone and dives deep into his childhood and family life to explain his illness. Tamasha is easily one of Imtiaz Ali’s best movies and should not be missed out on.

3 / 6

Karthik Calling Karthik

Vijay Lalwani’s Karthik Calling Karthik is a great movie. It’s about Karthik, played by Farhan Akhtar who is a Schizophrenic. This leads to multiple issues in his personal and professional life, despite going to therapy. What’s great about the movie is that it doesn’t over dramatise or exaggerate Schizophrenia. Karthik wasn’t shown as a crazy mad man, he was a normal person who had a mental illness and was learning how to cope with it. Karthik Calling Karthik will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. 

4 / 6

Dear zindagi

Dear Zindagi is one of the biggest blockbusters in Bollywood and it’s entirely on mental health. It revolutionised the industry. The movie focuses on Kaira, a cinematographer who suffers from deep rooted psychological and abandonment issues that stem from her childhood. She realises this and seeks therapy from Jug, an unconventional therapist played by Shah Rukh Khan. The movie narrates her self development and recovery. It broke barriers because it was relatable and it normalised therapy. This Gauri Shinde movie is remarkable and should NOT be missed out on.

5 / 6

Bhool Bhulaiyaa

Priyadarshan’s Bhool Bhulaiyaa is remembered for being one of the funniest movies in Bollywood (honestly, the comedy is ICONIC), but it also shed considerable light on mental illness. Aditya and Avni (Shiney Ahuja and Vidya Balan) return to their ancestral palace, only to find it is haunted by a vengeful ghost. Strange occurrences take place throughout and Dr Shrivastav, a psychiatrist played by Akshay Kumar is called to investigate, who by digging into Avni’s past and studying her traits deduces she has dissociative identity disorder. The movie, despite being a comedy, never makes fun of Avni’s mental disorder, but in fact underlines how serious it really is. This movie is a must watch, just maybe not late at night…

6 / 6

woh lamhe

Yes, there was more to this Mohit Suri film than the steamy scenes and catchy soundtrack. Woh Lamhe is about the rocky love story between Aditya and Sana, played by Shiney Ahuja and Kangana Ranaut respectively. Sana is a schizophrenic and this affects her relationships and even makes her suicidal. Woh Lamhe was ahead of its times in many ways, and realistically depicting mental illness was one of them. The movie is loosely based on Parveen Babi and her mental illnesses. Woh Lamhe is genuinely a great movie, and deserves all the recognition it can get.

Bollywood has come a long way when it comes to portraying mental health and illness. It is no longer ridiculed, laughed off as ‘pagalpan’ or ignored. And we are happy about that. Mental Illnesses are very real illnesses, and if you or someone you know is suffering from it, please get help. Bottling it inside will not do you any good.

If there was a movie you think we missed out on, let us know!

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