Bollywood's latest film will tackle one of India's biggest but rarely discussed problems: its lack of toilets.
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (Toilet: A Love Story) is inspired by the true-life tale of one man's battle to build toilets in his village, after his wife refuses to live in a home without a functioning lavatory.
The idea behind the film – which is out in UK cinemas right now – is to inspire more toilets to be built in the country, with the government pledging to make building more toilets a priority in years to come.
Currently, it's thought around 550 million people in India have to defecate in the open, and Bollywood is leading the charge to drastically reduce this number alongside Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has made promises that building more toilets will be a key priority over future years.
Campaigners estimate that nearly 200,000 infants die every year due to infections spread through open defecation, which they say also puts women at risk of sexual assault.
So, yes. It's a pretty serious issue and one that has drawn praise from pundits on Twitter, who have credited Bollywood for tackling the contentious political issue head on.
"Campaigners estimate that nearly 200,000 infants [in India] die every year due to infections spread through open defecation" https://t.co/OfaMpK9Ejh- Steve Lookner (@lookner) August 11, 2017
What's most significant about #ToiletEkPremKatha is the fact that it boldly n progressively questions certain age old customs n practices- Faridoon Shahryar (@iFaridoon) August 11, 2017
What's more, the film has been praised for also being pretty good:
#ToiletEkPremKatha mirrors a reality, shuns superstition, hits where it hurts through brilliant dialogue. Deft direction and skilful writing- taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) August 11, 2017
#ToiletEkPremKatha | The film touches upon an important issue & delivers a strong message, with the right mix of entertainment.- Priya Adivarekar (@priyaadivarekar) August 11, 2017
#ToiletEkPremKatha | Dialogues are pretty good. Writing is crisp. Glad to see age old practices, superstitions being questioned in the film!- Priya Adivarekar (@priyaadivarekar) August 11, 2017
But, of course, someone had to make a toilet-related pun or two:
Toilet Ek Prem Katha first review out! Akshay Kumar's brilliant act killed by a constipated second half https://t.co/OVzbfc9fcr- BollywoodLife (@bollywood_life) August 10, 2017
Akshay Kumar : Don't pee anywhere, pee only when you see a toilet- Bollywood Gandu (@BollywoodGandu) August 8, 2017
Citizens : As you wish pic.twitter.com/hD1lPMKdwn
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is out in UK cinemas now.
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