Indian cinema has come a long way. Gone are the days when movies in India were notoriously known for stereotypes.
Even though still now there are movies in India, where different sections of the society have been made fun of, there are some movies that have explored different sections responsibly.
In the case of representation of the transgender community or LGBTQ, Indian cinema has been lacking, but there are some movies that explore the different aspects of the transgender community’s lives quite well. Many renowned actors have played transgender characters with finesse.
Let us explore some famous Indian movies that are globally recognized for representing the lives of transgenders effectively.
Indian films about Transgenders
The following movies were well recognized in the entirety of India. They have proved to be the landmark for critical cinema in India.
Starring Arjun Yajath in the titular role, Arddhanaari is an exciting story about the life of a man who fights injustice in his surroundings by taking the disguise of a transgender person.
This Bhanushanker Chowdary directed movie might not be a movie on the transgender community, but it provides the much-needed representation about the people from the said community pretty well.
Due to the immense popularity of this film, it was dubbed in the Hindi language as well. Originally this film in the Telugu language. The movie got good reviews from different audiences and is still popular among viewers.
Also read: Best Telugu Romantic movies of all Time
Many of you might not even have heard about the 1996-movie, Daaryaa. One of the main reasons behind this movie’s unpopularity is its sensitive nature.
This film’s plot revolves around the love story between an abducted young woman who has to forcibly dress up like a man and a transvestite dancer. Veteran actor Amol Palekar created this phenomenal film. Starring Nirmal Pandey and Sonali Kulkarni, Daayraa received great critical acclaim.
This story reflects the romantic and social life of a transgender person so vividly that it is now one of the most acclaimed movies in the world. One of the best things about this film is that, despite dealing with so many sensitive issues, this film is a lot entertaining.
Darmiyaan: In Between (1997)
Directed by Kalpana Lajmi, Darmiyaan: In Between might be one of the boldest movies to have ever made in India. Set in the 1940’s Darmiyaan’s story revolves around the life of a narcissist actress and her transgender son.
This Kiron Kher, Arif Zakaria, and Tabu starrer movie is an excellent representation that allows you to get a glimpse into the lives of the transgender community. Some scenes in the movie are so excruciatingly painful that you might have difficulty watching the entire thing.
The best part about this film is that it does not sugar-coat the tough lives of the transvestite people in India. It deals with the hardships faced by them in a straightforward manner.
Naanu Avanalla Avalu (2015)
Naanu Avanalla Avalu is a 2015 Kannada movie that deals with the life of a transgender woman who has to face a mountain of obstacles to lead a normal and simple life. The story of this film is at the same time compelling and engaging that you will not be able to stop watching it.
Sanchari Vijay plays the main protagonist of this film and for her excellent performance in the movie, he won the 62nd National film award. Directed by B.S. Lingadevaru, this film got recognition from critics all over India due to its fantastic story. If you want to know about the life of transgender people in India, this movie is a must-watch for you.
Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani-starring Laxmii is the latest major Hindi Horror Comedy Movie that reflects the lives of the transgender community in India to some extent. It was named Laxmii Bomb but after the protests, it was renamed Laxmii.
Even though this film received a negative critical review, this movie was viewed by millions of viewers all around the world. Due to the global pandemic, Laxmii was viewable on the online platform only. Although the major star of the film is Akshay Kumar, yet it was Sharad Kelkar who genuinely garnered the audience’s attention.
His portrayal of the titular transgender character will remain in people’s minds for a long time. The movie does not do a great justice at removing the stereotypes in our society regarding transgender people, but at least it deals with their lives that most Indian movies do not.
Super Deluxe (2019)
Super Deluxe is one of the most popular Tamil movies of recent time that deals with a lot of different aspects of Indian society, one of them being the transgender community.
Although there are different subplots in the movie, the plot with the transvestite community garnered people’s attention towards it. Playing the said character, Vijay Setupathi did a great job in portraying the life of a transgender woman in India.
Thiagarajan Kumararaja is the director of the film and he acquired a lot of fame after directing it. Although many critics pointed out that this movie stereotyped some aspects of the transgender community, but nevertheless it is a milestone in the portrayal of the people from the said community.
Njan Marykutty (2018)
NjanMarykutty is a 2018 Malayalam movie that was applauded by critics and viewers all around India for its compelling story.
The movie’s plot revolves around the struggles faced by a transgender woman named Marykutty. By seeing this film, you will get to know how many obstacles and hurdles a transgender person has to go through to change their genders.
Starring Jayasurya in the titular role, NjanMarukutty got the acclamation from the LGBTQ community. Director Ranjith Sankar got a lot of praise for directing such an excellent piece of cinema.
Directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starred by Paresh Rawal, Sharad Kapoor, and Puja Bhatt, Tamanna is one of the most compelling movies made in India that deals with a transgender character.
Paresh Rawal plays the character of Tikky, a transgender woman. The plot of the movie is so engaging that it got praise from both critics and the general public. Tamanna’s story revolves around Tiku who brings up an abandoned girl child as her own despite the obstruction from Indian society. The beautiful story of this film touched the hearts of several viewers and is still a relevant movie in the country.
Shabnam Mausi (2005)
Shabnam Mausi is a 1998 Hindi movie that starred Ashutosh Rana. This movie is based on the real-life politician Shabnam Bano, who fought for the rights of the transgender community.
The plot of the movie revolves around her life as a member of the transvestite community and the hardships faced by her. This inspiring story will put a smile on your face.
You will be surprised to know that the person this movie is based on developed a political party named, “JeetiJitayi Politics.” Ashutosh Rana got a lot of acclaim for this amazing movie.
Also Read: Best Bollywood comedy Movies of All Time
The movies about transgenders included in this blog are all quite prominent to the transgender community of India. Not only are they educational but they are quite gripping and compelling also.