Before Angrezi Medium, here are some memorable father-daughter stories we saw in Bollywood!
What does it take to create a father-daughter story on the big screen? Before we see the dynamics between Irrfan Khan and Radhika Madan in Angrezi Medium, here are some memorable father-daughter stories we saw in Bollywood!
Hindi cinema has truly come a long way in the last many decades, especially when it comes to the portrayal of a father-daughter relationship. It's impossible to count the number of films where the father was the staunch opposition in his daughter's impassioned romance with the hero, and how his death or repentance was possibly the only way to resolve the story.
There have been some surprising revelations that showed how the dynamics of this tender relationship can be explored more widely, and why it's unfair to reduce the drama between their bond to their characters' conflict. It may have worked for and in certain films, backfired in many. Homi Adajania is now coming up with Angrezi Medium, with Irrfan Khan and Radhika Madan in the lead.
For all those who have seen the trailer, this is the story of a daughter's dreams, her hopes and aspirations, and a father's tireless attempts to fulfil them. This is a story that promises to be filled with pain and pathos, humour and emotions, and some wonderful writing and compelling performances. This was pretty much the driving force of Khan's own Hindi Medium that came out in 2017, and with Angrezi Medium, his miseries have been elevated to make the narrative more dramatic.
The film is all set to release on March 13, but before we see Khan and Madan as the father and daughter, there are some other stories that nicely captured the warmth and magic of this relationship. Here we go:
1. Anupam Kher and Pooja Bhatt - Daddy (1989) and Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991)
The one common factor that drives the two films together is Mahesh Bhatt. The one factor that draws them apart is the way the relationship unfolded in the stories. Daddy was a gutting take on longing and loneliness. Anupam Kher played an alcoholic father and Pooja Bhatt played the daughter in search of him. He was a singer whose failure forced him to become an alcoholic and this was a jolting story of how a father reunites with his daughter. And two years later, we saw the same pair of actors turn to froth and frolic, and to an extent, even farce to play the same roles.
In Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, Kher showed one of his early signs of comedy, both physical and situational, and Bhatt played a spoilt and stubborn damsel who falls in love with a stranger. In a funny finale, Kher asks his daughter to run away from her own wedding to reunite with the man she loves. This was one of the first love stories of Hindi Cinema where both the girl and her father disliked the man she was about to get married to. The conflict in this story was the turmoil within the actors and not the people around them.
2. Amrish Puri and Kajol - Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
The powerful baritone and persona of Amrish Puri were enough to create a domineering character and put it in any genre. We saw him as the villain in films like Meri Jung, Ram Lakhan, and Mr India. In Aditya Chopra's directorial debut, he played Baldev Singh Chaudhary, a man who's driven by his adherence to protocol. Simran, a role that has acquired cult stature, stammered before him while confessing her feelings. She's engaged but hides from him that she has fallen for someone else; she wishes to elope with Raj, the man in question, but he refuses.
In what is arguably one of the most iconic climaxes of all time, Puri finally reciprocates to Raj and Simran's romance and says those golden words - "Jaa Simran Jaa, Jee Le Apni Zindagi." Nobody could play both stiff and soft as seamlessly as Puri.
3. Shah Rukh Khan and Sana Saeed - Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
Was this the first time when a daughter vows to unite her father with a suitor? Maybe! Sana Saeed played Anjali, who wishes to see her father Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) remarry. This time, to his former friend from college, also named Anjali (Kajol). Unlike in DDLJ, there were no parental squabbles in this Karan Johar directorial debut. Saeed was a precocious character, but her scenes with Khan were written and performed with such likability that it was nearly impossible not to root for them, even if the premise was nearly impossible and implausible. But that's what cinema is sometimes supposed to be!
4. Rishi Kapoor and Katrina Kaif - Namastey London (2007)
More than the love story of Jasmeet, or as she prefers being referred to - Jazz - and Arjun, this was the story of Jasmeet Malhotra and Manmohan Malhotra. Rishi Kapoor is another actor who can infuse charm and warmth into such characters that are supposed to be empathetic towards their children. Manmohan is grieved at his daughter's propensity towards the Western culture and wishes to remind her of her Indian roots. Arjun, played by Akshay Kumar, was merely a byproduct of Manmohan's desires. This was the first time we peeped at Katrina Kaif's ability to perform, and her scenes with Kapoor could be reflective of a lot of Indian homes outside India. And in the end, Jazz's transformation back to Jasmeet wasn't just the victory of love, it was also the triumph of a father.
5. Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone - Piku (2015)
Shoojit Sircar's fantastic Piku was both a charming and cantankerous take on the role reversal that happens once the parent begins to age. Both Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone played unlovable and unlikeable characters that were put in a heartfelt story about constipation. Yes! But given how Sircar has always staged his narratives, Piku was powered by two giant heroes, and what made it even more admirable is the way Bachchan and Padukone played their parts. The film's success lied in the fact that we loved their performances, and hated their characters.
6. Aamir Khan and his four daughters - Dangal (2016)
Few people observed Nitesh Tiwari's forced patriarchy at the hands of his central character to be problematic. But then there was a scene in the film where a character says to Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat at least their father isn't forcing them to get married and handle the household chores. Dangal was inspired by the real-life story of former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and how he dreams of bringing glory to the nation via the sport of wrestling and sees the dream getting fulfilled through his daughters' triumph. Despite striking all the predictable notes, this sports drama packed all the right punches.
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