The Hindi film industry has become more socially aware these days. Consider the recent surge in movies themed on social issues. The credit for the change mostly goes to the growing popularity of content-driven films that have made numerous socially relevant subjects part of our larger public discourse. But what has really made these high content-heavy films popular in India?

Firstly, our exposure to global cinema has played a significant role in creating a conscious and aware audience, which appreciates cinema as an art form. And secondly, Bollywood seems to have finally found a way of creating content that is neither too commercial and nor too preachy.

The Hindi film industry really seems to have cracked the formula to make a perfect issue-based film that both stirs the audiences’ consciousness and is able to entertain them.  Some recent examples of these socially relevant films that have been a blockbuster hit are Article 15, Pad Man, Toilet: EK Prem Katha and Hindi Medium among many others.

Director Manoj Tiwari’s upcoming project, P Se Pyaar F Se Faraar, is another such film. It is based on a true incident of honour killing in Mathura, and revolves around the life of a national level sportsman who falls in love with an “upper caste” girl. What happens next is a hard-hitting tale of young lovers and newlyweds being subjected to ostracisation and acts of violence.

The film depicts this brazen violation of the Indian Constitution’s Article 19, which guarantees all citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression. The film highlights the many caste-and religion-centric disparities that are still prevalent in our society.

Tiwari spoke to Guardian 20 about what inspired him to take up this subject and create a film on it: “In recent times we have seen that honour killing incidents have grown at an exponential rate. And this makes me question where we are headed to. Are we progressing or are we moving backwards and being regressive in our thought process?”

According to Tiwari, prejudices based on caste and religion continue to hinder our country on its road to progress. He said, “We have a lot of talent in this country but we are still considered as a third-world nation. We are not able to progress and develop, and one of the major reasons for that is that we think too much about caste and religion. Even in 2019, casteism is a hindrance in the development of this nation. I know it is hard to believe so, sitting in an air-conditioned room. But this is the ground reality.”

Actors Jimmy Shergill, Sanjay Mishra, Kumud Mishra, Girish Kulkarni and debutant Bhavesh Kumar are all playing impactful roles in P Se Pyaar F Se Faraar. Talking about the casting and the characters, Tiwari said, “The role played by everyone is very different from what they have done in the past. We will see Jimmy Shergill in a completely new role. It was very challenging for him to play this role. Kumud Mishra, too, has played a role that was completely out of his comfort zone. Girish Kulkarni will be playing a North Indian guy for the first time.”

Tiwari was all praises for the newcomer Bhavesh Kumar, who plays the lead role in the film. “He was perfect for the role.  Apart from being a sportsperson, he is an amazing actor.  He has the innocence I was looking for in that character,” Tiwari said.

The film has been written by Vishal Vijay Kumar and produced by Dr Jogender Singh under the banner of Ok Movies Production. The film is slated to be released on 18 October.