It's International Families Day today. As everybody appreciates their family, let's also acknowledge that families are not perfect, how they're portrayed on the norm in Bollywood films. The big Indian happy family is a common stereotype. We've seen all the hunky-dory films that give us a complex about our own families.
So here's a list of 5 films where Bollywood abandoned the Sooraj Barjatya version of a family which has become a tired stereotype, for the slightly crazy, not-so-perfect family portrait. Families are filled with emotional bonds and love in varying shades and that's a reality for us.
5 Bollywood films that moved away from the Hum Saath Saath Hain family
As much as we appreciate our family, there are times when it's not all good vibes. Problems arise, fights, disagreements, that's all part of the package. But, Bollywood has somehow always stuck to happy and unhappy as two polar extremes, and everything in the middle just doesn't seem possible.
For all the diverse families in India, Bollywood is hardly representative in that seen. We've seen Hum Saath Saath Hain's all smiles version of family, the Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham brand of parental disapproval of love. We've seen Baghban which told us to love our parents. But we need to acknowledge the moments of strife, irritation, complex relationships beyond love and hate.
1. Kapoor & Sons (2016)
Kapoor and Sons didn't try to show families as more than they are, instead, it showed them just as they are. The confusion, the angst in the film, and strained relationships between brothers played by Fawad Khan and Siddharth Malhotra, or the broken relationship between Rajat Kapoor and Ratna Pathak Shah's characters. All centred on Rishi Kapoor's desire for a celebration, this one is all heart. Moreover, isn't it the strangest and seemingly irrelevant things that bring a family together?
2. Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)
Dil Dhadakne Do showed us that all that shines isn't gold. Perfect families are a myth in every stratum of society. So when you look at Dil Dhadakne Do, how the whole family is stuck together on a ship, until an inevitable crescendo, it makes you wonder if isolation can drive a family to delve into their problems?
3. Udaan (2010)
Udaan was a complex essay on a parent-child relationship and the dark, abusive side of parental control. Don't we all struggle for freedom with our parents? Let Ronit Roy show you what too much control can do to a family. This one is an ode to families born out of oppression, how independence can bring two unlikely siblings together.
4. Titli (2014)
Titli is a neo-noir film on another kid on a quest for independence but not quite. With some crime, some dark themes and a boy was thrown into a marriage he didn't quite sign up for. This one shows a dysfunctional family that has clearly lost the plot.
5. Piku (2015)
Piku is simply a story on an unlikely father-daughter duo marvellously played by Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan. Surely, you can watch and rewatch this film numerous times and still find something new every time. What's more relatable than a nagging father, and a highly-irritable daughter who is forced to go on a road trip and the drama that ensues. Piku is an ode to the trials and tribulations of a Daddy's little girl.
These films on OTT platforms will hopefully bring you much-needed relief from the confines of the stifling stereotype of a 'perfect' family during the lockdown. Or, you can always opt for the classic, ABCDEFGI...JKLM...brand of films that may awaken in you no more love than Diabetes.