For Hollywood this season seems to be the season for introspection. It is after a long time that Hollywood has started focusing on the issue of unwanted pregnancies arising out of the escapades of the youth. Hollywood has been rather reluctant to address this issue in detail for quite a long time, but with the social values changing, and the after effects of the unwanted pregnancies becoming a major political issue Hollywood had to turn its focus. Consequently there are five films, which are releasing this fall trying to address this theme.
Were one to compare this situation with Hindi film industry, the industry has been very candid and forth coming on this issue and series of films have been made which have tried to address the issue in the proper perspective. It all started when B R Chopra made DHARM PUTRA and its famous song, Tu Hindu Banega Na Musalman banega emerged as a song espousing the cause of the humanity, the film being directed by none other than Yash Chopra, his younger brother. This film brought into relief for the first time the trauma and the travails that a child has to face when he is born out of wedlock. It was followed by DHOOL KA PHOOL, which again had become a raging hit as it tried to portray the dilemma, which a child faces when he has to choose between a biological father and a surrogate father.
In most of the films where a child was borne out of wedlock, the surrogate father has been able to garner the support and Balraj Sahni emerged as a shinning beacon excelling in these kinds of films. In all these films it also happened that youth was positioned against the experience and it was youth that was sacrificed at the altar i.e. adhering to the social norms a heroine never walked along with her lover after he resurfaced. So in the end, it was the lover boy who had to die. Uncannily enough, Sadhna featured in a number of films of these varieties. One deviation from the norm of this variety was in ARADHANA where the hero died and the heroine had to bring the child on her own facing the ostracisation of the society.
The scene changed when Kundan Shah interpreted the theme in a different manner and came out with his own version of this issue with KYA KEHNA. It indeed is a benchmark film as far as addressing the issue is concerned as for the first time it was consciously shown that the girl also was responsible for a life growing inside her and was ready to take on the world for the sake of her child and even make the father of the child accept his mistake. After this film Preity Zinta emerged as an actor of conscience who had the guts to address unsavory issues by taking them by horns, Saif Ali Khan being at the receiving end. An encore of the same theme was attempted in SALAAM NAMASTE, the lead players again being the same.
How would Hollywood address this issue would be interesting to watch once the films are released, but going from the experience of India for Hollywood as well there should not be a problem to accept the issue and work out ways to avoid it.