"Bollywood’s treatment of mental health is abysmal"
Akshay Kumar, Sara Ali Khan, and Dhanush’s much-awaited Atrangi Re has been streaming online on Disney+ Hotstar since December 24, 2021.
Since its release, the film has received mixed reviews.
Many social media users have called out the film, directed by Aanand L Rai, for romanticising the topic of mental health.
In the film, Rinku, played by Sara Ali Khan, deals with a childhood trauma that continues to affect her as an adult.
As a result of the trauma, Rinku starts living in her imaginary world and struggles to distinguish between her daydreams and reality.
Rinku’s hallucinations are used as the main plot throughout Atrangi Re to keep the viewers entertained.
There are many scenes in the recently-released film that social media users are not pleased with.
In one scene, a psychiatrist suggests that Rinku should be kept in a museum rather than be allowed to roam the streets of Delhi.
As a result, social media users took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
Many are angry and have bashed the makers of the film for not dealing with the subject sensitively.
One user wrote: “It’s 2022 and Bollywood’s treatment of mental health is abysmal, cruel, and ignorant as ever.
“Do the world a huge favour and don’t watch #AtrangiRe.”
Another added: “The way they have trivialised a serious mental health issue is what is disturbing. Especially that whole ‘magic pill’ business.
“Recovery and rehabilitation from mental illness don’t happen like that. But then it’s a Bollywood film where entertainment is more important.”
A third commented: “I have a big problem with how mental health is portrayed in #AtrangiRe. Trivialised and dismissed.
“Surprised how this considerably problematic movie came to being when people are advocating for and starting conversations on mental health awareness.”
Many of Sara Ali Khan‘s fans have also expressed their disappointment in the actress for taking up a role in Atrangi Re.
After Coolie No.1 failed to captivate viewers, Sara’s fans had high expectations of the actress going forward.
However, Sara views Atrangi Re as a curse-breaker.
She said: “After Kedarnath and Simmba releasing back to back there was a certain expectation from me and I apologise that I have not been able to deliver in my third and fourth film.
“So after Kedarnath, there was dealing of success that I had to go through and after Love Aaj Kal there was dealing of failure that I had to go through. It is all part and parcel of life.”
Sara added: “I started shooting for Atrangi just a week or 10 days after Love Aaj Kal was declared a flop. I think how you deal with your failure immediately is very important.
“This film matters to me the most because I get to play Aanand L Rai’s leading heroine and I know now after having watched the film, having done his film, and having done other films what the value and what the importance of this film in my life is.
“I also know that Aanand on a personal level uplifted me and gave me love and confidence at a time that I lost it for myself.”