Masoom to 102 Not Out: Bollywood films that changed our perception of fatherhood

This Father’s Day takes a look at the Hindi films that changed our perception about fatherhood

102 Not Out (2018)

Fathers and sons are always complicated relationships; add cantankerous and grumpy into the mix, it becomes so much more. The film is about how even at 102, a father Dattatraya Vakharai (Amitabh Bachchan) is trying to teach his 75-year-old son Babu (Rishi Kapoor) a life lesson by sending him to an old age home. Fathers will always care for their children—even be cruel to them for their own good.

Dangal (2017)

Critically acclaimed, commercially successful and a movie with a social impact, ‘Dangal’ took everyone by surprise. A father’s commitment to see the success of his daughters in a male-dominated sport is worth a repeat look. The movie is loosely based on Phogat family where Mahavir Singh (played by Aamir Khan) trains and coaches his daughters to become world class wrestlers, despite objections from his friends and relatives.

Piku (2015)

A hypochondriac father, an exasperated daughter, a harried cab driver who gets mixed in the family drama of the two. Then there is this insane amount of talk about bowel movements or lack thereof. Shoojit Sircar’s comedy-drama presents a modern-day father-daughter relationship, without any criticism, just a lot of love and care on both parts. Deepika Padukone plays daughter to a very difficult father played by Amitabh Bachchan.

Vicky Donor (2012)

This film was probably the one that made Indian audience see beyond the Bollywood masala formula. It was a hit, despite a risqué topic of sperm donation and infertility. Fatherhood does not come in a cup, and how it takes people to have relationships, is what this comedy-drama directed by Shoojit Sircar is all about. Ayushmann Khurana, Yami Gautam and Anu Kapoor deliver some memorable performances.

Udaan (2010)

While there are loving fathers, there are selfish ones too. Vikramaditya Motwane’s cult classic is a coming-of-age film about an abusive father and his relationships, or lack thereof, with his two sons. Ronit Roy brings a finesse to a role that many would shudder to do—what fatherhood is definitely not: abusive, aloof and disheartening. As a critic wrote: “A film that doesn’t need to be explained. It needs to be experienced.”

Paa (2009)

R. Balki’s film is all about Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan. The only difference is, Amitabh plays Abhishek’s son Auro who suffers from a rare genetic disorder, progeria. With power-packed performances by all three leads—Vidya Balan plays Auro’s mother—this film right up there with all the ups and lows of a family, especially how a father bonds with his dying son, without knowing that there is a blood tie.

Chachi 420 (1997)

In the Indian adaptation of Mrs Doubtfire, Kamal Haasan dons the role of chachi Lakshmi Godbole. The film is a comic caper, but the underlying message is that a father would go to any lengths to stay close to his child. Chachi 420 is filled with top-calibre actors: Amrish Puri, Om Puri, Tabu, Paresh Rawal and Nassar. This was also the last memorable role of yesteryears comedian Johnny Walker.

Tamanna (1997)

Pooja Bhatt produced and acted in this National Award-winning film where Paresh Rawal portrayed a eunuch (hijra). The story goes of how Rawal’s character, Tikku, finds a baby girl in a dump and how he decides to bring her up as his own. A must-watch film, it explores the pointlessness of gender-assignations especially if you want to be a parent. Being a father is nothing but being there.

Masoom (1983)

In this cult classic, Jugal Hansraj plays the nine-year-old son to Naseeruddin Shah’s guilt-ridden character. After his mother passed away, the son who was born of an extra-marital affair, is brought into Shah’s ‘legitimate’ family. Directed by Shekhar Kapur, and screenplay, dialogues and lyrics by Gulzar puts this film that explores forgiveness, innocence, guilt and love on the all-time must-watch list.

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