4. Daman (2001)
Image: The Week
Directed by Kalpana Lajmi, Daman tells the story of Durga Saikia, a poor lower caste girl married to a wealthy family in Assam. Raveena Tandon returned a career-best performance as the battered wife that won her a national award. In the film, Durga is subjected to mental and physical torture in the hands of her husband. Adding insult to injury, Durga’s husband spends the wedding night with a prostitute. She is abused daily and suffers marital rape in the hands of her husband.
5. Provoked (2006)
Perhaps one of the best films to highlight the issue with all the importance it deserved, Provoked, directed by Jag Mundhra, would be remembered for the stirring performance of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The film was based on the real life story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, who killed her husband after a decade of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse. Provoked had Nandita Das, Miranda Richardson, Naveen Andrews, and Robbie Coltrane in major roles.
6. Videsh (2008)
This Canadian film directed by Deepa Mehta, released worldwide as Heaven on Earth. It tells the story of Indian girls married to rich NRI husbands abroad, and the suffering they face. Preity Zinta as the beaten and bruised Chand, in one of her later films, was a revelation. The film shocked the audience world over with its honest portrayal of domestic violence, but was not well received in India, largely because of the unpleasant subject. Preity Zinta won the best actress award at the Chicago International Film Festival for her performance.