Surrogacy is much in the news these days, as the Government intends to put serious restrictions on the practice of renting a womb. There have been significant films on the theme of surrogate parenthood. Here's looking at the ones that mattered.
2. Filhaal (2002): The story of two friends Rewa (Tabu) and Siya (Sushmita) best remembered today for Sushmita completely out-performing Tabu, Filhaal was a film that boldly addresses the theme of surrogacy. When Tabu's married character was unable to have a baby her best friend Sushmita stepped into lend her womb. Complications in their sex life ensued. Says Meghna's proud father Gulzar, "I don't think I could have made Filhaal. The sensibility, mood, dialogues and even the subject reflected a young aesthetic sense. Me, as a filmmaker would have been very shy to talk about surrogate motherhood. But Bosky drew a fine line between the sensitive theme and a sturdy storytelling. I don't think I could have handled Filhaal. The relationships were handled in a way that's not my style. I'd have been so shy of talking about so many things that Bosky discusses in the film. Essentially men in our society fight shy of discussing such issues. Even women are inhibited about such matters. Bosky dealt with the sensitive issue with such gentle honesty. The film communicated itself to younger viewers. Though it touched on sensitive issues, Bosky never allowed any awkwardness to creep into the narrative."
3. I Am Afiaa: Filmmaker Onir made a sensitive film I Am Afiaa on sperm donation. The story was part of Onir's 4-tier omnibus. Nandita Das played a woman awaiting her turn to be impregnated at a fertility clinic. Onir researched extensively on the subject of surrogate motherhood. Says Onir, "Surrogacy is science's gift to humanity. A wonderful possibility for parents who cannot have a baby because of complications. They can bear children that another woman can harbour and nurture, thereby making parenthood possible to many who otherwise might not have been able to experience it." During the course of his research Onir discovered many anomalies and irregularities in the clinics that deal with alternative parenthood. Says Onir, "Information on sperm donation and the identity of the surrogate mother are supposed to be unconditionally confidential. Yet doctors give these away. In my film there was doctor played by director Anurag Basu who squeals on the identity of a sperm donor. Not done!"
5. Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (2001): A cheesy no-brainer about a couple Salman Khan and Rani Mukherjee who bring home a prostitute played by Preity Zinta to bear their child. This was more Pretty Woman than Doosri Dulhan.