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International Family Day: A tapestry of Hindi cinema's best loved families & their stories

Vineeta Kumar | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST

Hindi cinema is a treasure trove of films that depict families.

But Bollywood has also thankfully realised that films can be much more than just using the families just as a metaphor in order to build up artificial drama to lure the audiences to the theatres.

What's more, the industry boasts of films that range from Mother India (1957) to Karan Arjun (1995) to Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001) and Titli (2015).

Chupke Chupke film poster (A film poster)

So when filmmaker Manmohan Desai told the viewers he would fool them - from the very first scene of his 1977 film, Amar Akbar Anthony - no one stopped him. His story, a simple tale about the importance of secularism based on three children who are separated on Independence Day and are raised in separate religious environments to be reunited again, is a cult classic.

But few can weave tales about families the way Hrishikesh Mukherjee could. Families in his movies weren't always related. He showcased the great bond between Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra in Chupke Chupke and again, with Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna in Aanand. He had the viewers rooting for the 'extended families.'

Hum Aapke Hain Koun movie (A film still)

The evolution

Amitabh Bachchan will vouch for the evolution of the portrayal of families in Bollywood. A look at his filmography will reveal the sheer number of roles he has played in a bouquet of stories based on families.

From his famous argument with brother Shashi Kapoor over 'mere paas maa hai' in Deewar (1975) to playing a father to Shah Rukh Khan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Big B has been played a crucial part of the evolving on screen families in Hindi cinema.

Hum Saath Saath Hain movie (A film still)

Satte Pe Satta, Hum, Agneepath, Parvarish, Aakhiri Raasta, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Namak Halal, Baghban, Waqt, Mohabbatein, Paa and the most recent Piku, most of Big B's choice of Bollywood films are based on families.

While the older ones remain more or less on the same canvas of painting families with the colours of poverty and dramatic realities, the new ones like Paa and Piku experiment with unconventional settings.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (A film poster)

The opulence

But when it comes to showcasing privileged families, few can beat the filmmaking style of Sooraj Barjatya, Yash Chopra and Karan Johar.

The stunning larger-than-life families who spin three-hour long tales about a mix of celebrations, festivities, colour and all kinds of extravagance, while chasing a thin plot all along.

Titli movie (A film still)

Take a look at the films on families in Bollywood: Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Hum Sath Sath Hain, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayege, Kabhie Kabhie, Chandni, Veer Zaara, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, My Name Is Khan, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Sansaar, Jamai Raja, Ghar Ho Toh Aisa, Biwi Ho Toh Aisi, Swarg, Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharni, Jai Ho, 2 States, Dilwale.

Kapoor And Sons movie (A film poster)

That list doesn't even begin to cut it. But well Bollywood will never get bored of depicting the family on screen. Because as Salman Khan put it in the recent Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, "Har family mein problem hai... par woh khush naseeb hai jinki family hoti hai".

First published: 15 May 2016, 3:21 IST
Vineeta Kumar @VineetaKumar_09

Vineeta brings Bollywood fun and intricate showbiz details to Catch/Speed News. She has worked with IndiaTV, Zee News, and is here to provide Catch readers with the best of 'quality entertainment'. A Delhi girl, Vineeta pursued BMMMC from I P College for Women, Delhi University, and craves to know more all the time. When she is not indulging in a serious cinematic discussion over a film she just watched, Vineeta is either reading a fantasy book or polishing her artistic skills.