Rakhi Special: Sisters Of Bollywood

Karishma Kapoor and Hritik Roshan play siblings in ‘Fiza’

(By Aastha-Mukta) One of the many relationships which Bollywood depicts in its movies is the bond between a brother and sister. There were times when brother-sister relationship had only one connotation, an overprotective brother playing bodyguard for his sister. Times changed but poor sister did not get much of leverage in our Bollywood movies. There were film makers who insisted on a sister’s role but their sole purpose to keep her in the script was to get her raped from a villain so that the hero could take revenge. Post liberalization everything changed and brother-sister relationship became immaterial in the highly materialized world.

Although we do not have many high points for brother-sister relationships in Bollywood certain movies are known as ‘landmarks’ for showcasing sibling love. In the 70’s film ‘Hare ram hare Krishna’ had Dev Anand who devotes his life in bringing back his sister (played by Zeenat Aman) from the dark world of Drugs. He found his sister wildly gyrating to the tunes of ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ and to bring her back to the family fold he takes an emotional course. Dev saab’s onscreen song ‘Poollon ka taro ka sabka kahana hai’ is even today is patented for occasions like ‘Raksha Bandhan’ or ‘Bhai Dooj’.

The 80s were the ‘dark ages’ when it comes to portrayal of  bro-sis love as the sister character was constantly raped and the revenge drama followed.  It was only in the 21st century the film makers could found new perspective. Karishma Kapoor played a memorable sister role in ‘Fiza’. She was a strong headed and brave character, ready to sacrifice anything and determined in bringing back his brother from the quagmire of terrorism.

Karishma’s attempt to play sister onscreen was appreciated by the critics because for an A lister to player a sister was a risk which no other actress would take.  She was followed by Juhi Chawla  who played the character of a loving  yet strong women in ‘Nikhil My Brother’ by helping her brother and taking the responsibility  in every possible way who suffers from AIDS .  In another movie ‘Iqbal’ the sister goes a step further as she becomes her brother’s voice in ‘Iqbal’. She helps him in realising his cricketing dreams.

Recently in ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ the sibling relationship looks real. The siblings (played by Jenelia D’souza and Pratiek) are seen having pillow fights, screaming and running around the house all the time. But yes when the time comes they share their emotions and the brother tries to protect her sister by warning about the wrong choice she is about to make in choosing her partner.

Bollywood continues to believe that sister-brother relationship does not offer much room to male character-dominated screen plays.  Nearly four years since ‘Janne Tu’ release the audience has not witnessed bro-sis bonding on screen. With the promises of Zoya Akhtar who is planning to cast the cousins Kareena and Ranbir Kapoor together, we hope to experience the magic of the relationship sometime soon again.

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