Filmy Fathers We Love, Hate And Everything In Between

Father’s day 2020 is here and with all that is going on, let’s make this year even more special by simply sitting at home. Interesting, huh? Since we can’t go out to celebrate our hard working heroes and have fun we thought why not look back at Bollywood’s contribution on fatherhood, with the variety of father figures films have given us over the years. 

We’ve got Bolly-dads who’ve inspired our fathers to be as cool as them and sometimes even made us thank our old men for turning out not as terrible as some! But whatever it is, Bollywood *and Karan Johar*, made sure to entertain us with on-screen dads full of drama and dhamaka! As they say: every family is different and without a crazy father your life can be as dull as ditchwater. June 21, 2020, can be a day to wish both, off-screen and on-screen fathers for helping us understand what goes through a father’s mind and how they become different people when it comes to protecting their kids.

Today, we take a moment to cherish a few father figures for their outstanding acts that made us fall in love with them, some we absolutely hate and some that lie in the grey area between love and hate…

Our true on-screen heroes

Sachin Sandhu – Kumud Mishra in Thappad (2020) 

Kumud Mishra in Thappad

Bollywood has come a long way from showcasing how daughters were born to make a man’s house a home and to suffer domestic violence even if it just happened once or a few times to now documenting movies like Thappad that not only explains the difference between legality and morality but also sets a great example of an ideal father-daughter relationship. Kumud Mishra’s character in the film is of a supporting and empathetic father to Amrita (Tapsee Pannu) who’s dealing with her divorce. I consider him to be too good for never labelling or treating his daughter like “paraya dhan.”

Raj Batra – Irrfan in Hindi Medium (2017)

Irrfan in Hindi Medium

When has one not been able to trust Irrfan with performances! In Hindi Medium, he showed how a father would go to any extent even if he completely has to change his personality or the principles he stands for, for the dream of always giving his child the best life. He leaves no stone unturned for the right kind of education he wants his daughter to have, the one that he never got!

Sanjay Thapar – Farooq Sheikh in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)

Farooq Sheikh in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

In Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Kabir Thapar’s (Ranbir Kapoor) dad is played by the late Farooq Sheikh who is the kind of dad every kid admires. He understands how important it is for a child to grow and live life on his terms and to make their own mistakes. He sure is worried about his child’s carefree nature but that does not stop him to tell his child to follow his heart and take the adventures life has planned for him.

Mahavir Singh Phogat – Aamir Khan in Dangal (2016)

Aamir Khan in Dangal

Films like Dangal break stereotypes and prove that daughters are no less than sons. But the movie also revolves around a former wrestler played by Amir Khan who hopes to have a son who can follow his footsteps and fulfil a father’s incomplete dream of becoming a wrestler but rather he ends up with four daughters. He did take time to understand “ki chora lave ya chori, gold toh gold hota hai.” And then he invests his life to train his daughters to become India’s first world-class female wrestlers.

Fathers who changed with time for the best!

Kamal Mehra – Anil Kapoor in Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)

Anil Kapoor in Dil Dhadakne Do

Anil Kapoor plays the role of a patriarchal dad who builds an enormous business for his son (Ranveer Singh) and finds an enormously egoistic, male chauvinist husband for his daughter (Priyanka Chopra) while his marriage is not so great itself. When his daughter wants a divorce and his son talks of becoming a pilot, he becomes dreadful. Everything seems to be falling apart and as a typical old-school father, he tries to push everything under the rug just to stop people from talking. After spending days with his family he eventually realises how miserable his kids are, he finally stands to support them and stops caring about “log kya sochenge.”

Jaswinder Singh – Saif Ali Khan in Jawaani Jaaneman (2020)

Saif Ali Khan in Jawaani Jaaneman

Jazz, a 40-year-old property broker lives his life on his terms with no responsibilities. He parties, fools around, and has no worries and then suddenly everything changes when his 21-year-old, pregnant daughter (Alaya F) arrives at his freedom’s doorstep. He is seen denying the situation mostly because of his scare of having an unusual mid-life crisis. He is cold towards his pregnant daughter but eventually accepts the truth that not only is he a father now but a soon to be grandfather as well. He asks Tia to move in, becomes a friend more than a father and both of them fill each other’s empty spaces in their hearts.

Gurtej Singh Kahlon – Rishi Kapoor in Patiala House (2011)

Rishi Kapoor in Patiala House

Patiala House revolves around a big family who cannot go against the head of the house, Gurtej Kahlon, played by the late Rishi Kapoor. He plays the role of a kind of father who always puts his life learned lessons on his child’s face and thinks he is right. We are all that way sometimes! So his son promises to live the way his bauji wants until he realizes that times have changed and he has a big opportunity ahead. On the other hand, he knows ‘bauji kabhi nahi maanenge’ (His father will never allow it) so he hides the truth to follow his dream. But fathers being fathers, they will get to know the truth someday! So when Rishi Kapoor learns the truth after a lot of drama he gives in and supports his son. 

Fathers we don’t hate but also don’t appreciate 

Nandkishore Awasthi – Vipin Sharma in Taare Zameen Par (2007)

Vipin Sharma in Taare Zameen Par

Awasthi’s role played by Vipin Sharma is the father of a young, creative boy who suffers from a condition, not so well aware in the country: dyslexia. Well, it wasn’t so widely spoken about in 2007. Awasthi thinks that his son is just lazy and does not want to study and we don’t blame him or the way he reacted. Since talking about the disorder was so uncommon in our country before the release of this film that very few people had even heard of it. When he is told about what his son goes through, he is in denial like every other brown parent. *coughs* Typical!

Pundit Darbar – Vikram Gokhale in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

Vikram Gokhale in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Pundit Darbar (Vikram Gokhale), a renowned proponent of Indian classical music is an overprotective father who believes in the problematic idea of the Vedas that say that women are property of ,first, a father and then a husband. She is not allowed to have her dreams and aspirations. Well, they say nobody can understand love better than an artist but what if the artist is rigidly stuck to “Indian values.” When his naïve daughter chooses her father’s choice over her own by the end of the movie, it becomes even more problematic. 

Narayan Shankar – Amitabh Bachchan in Mohabbatein (2000)

Amitabh Bachchan in Mohabattein

And finally, we have Mr. Bachchan from Mohabattein who also plays a similar role in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. In the movie, he is a strict Headmaster of Gurukul, an all-boys school. Soon after his daughter (Aishwarya Rai) breaks his anushasan and falls in love with a studentpapa does not agree and she died by suicide. Although he realises his mistake much later after he loses his daughter, he becomes a changed man with different ideologies. But it was already too late!

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