Popular Indian cinema usually portrays heroes in larger-than-life roles but there are also films that show you that men can mentor, nurture and express gentleness. Here is our pick of a few such Bollywood films on the occasion of Father’s Day, that remind us of the lasting impact that a father figure can have on our life.
This story is about a father who goes to extreme lengths to make sure that his girls are second to none. This multi-award-winning, biographical sports drama, is based on a true story about former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat who decided to train his daughters to win the accolades that he could not for India. Aamir Khan steers the film with remarkable gravitas while Geeta Phogat is played by Fatima Sana Shaikh and Babita Kumari is portrayed by Sanya Malhotra. Initially, Mahavir faces sarcasm and taunts from society and resistance even from his daughters and wife but then his determination, grit, and faith in his daughters, lead them to conquer international arenas. Geeta in fact brings home India’s first-ever Commonwealth gold medal in wrestling. Directed by Nitesh Tiwari, the film was produced by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao and is streaming on Netflix.
This 2020 sequel to the 2017 hit, ‘Hindi Medium’, was the final film of legendary actor Irrfan and portrays the depth of a father-daughter relationship. It movingly depicts how far a father can go to support his daughter’s dream of studying abroad even though his ambitions have never grown beyond his small sweet shop in Udaipur. Irrfan plays the widower Champak Ghasiteram Bansal while his daughter Tarika is played by Radhika Madan. Tarika gets a scholarship to study at a London university but fate intervenes and Champak must find a way to fund her education. The relationship between the father and daughter is also tested in this journey full of twists and turns but finally, they realise how to hold on to what matters most to them. A sense of home and each other. The Maddock Films production was directed by Homi Adajania and is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
This 2015 Shoojit Sarkar film portrays a not-so amicable and yet enduring relationship between a father and a daughter. This slice-of-the-life story revolves around a cantankerous and controlling patriarch, 70-year-old Bhashkor Banerjee and his wilful daughter Piku (Deepika Padukone) who loves him but finds it difficult to deal with his eccentricities which include constant discussions about his bowel movements. They fight often over big and small things but are inseparable even though Bhashkor often interferes in Piku’s love life and doesn’t want her to marry any of her suitors. He even introduces her to a prospective partner as a financially, emotionally, and a sexually independent 30-year-old woman. Then during a long road trip, Piku bonds tenuously with Rana (Irrfan) the owner of a taxi service and this creates even more stress between the father and daughter. The heart-warming film was produced by N P Singh, Ronnie Lahiri, and Sneha Rajani and can be seen on SonyLiv.
With superlative production quality and a well-woven storyline, Yoodlee’s ‘Hamid’, is the adaptation of an Urdu play, ‘Phone No. 786’ and is set against the backdrop of Kashmir. After the tragic disappearance of his father (Sumit Kaul), the little hero of the movie Hamid (Talha Arshad Reshi) dials random combinations of numbers to call God and ask about his whereabouts. One day, a CRPF Jawan (Vikas Kumar) answers the call and an emotional bond develops between the two. The soldier is longing to be with his eight-month-old daughter and even in the absence of any tangible reason to connect, the two begin to bring healing and solace to each other. ‘Hamid’ won the National Award for the Best Feature film in Urdu and is streaming on Netflix.
In this Yoodlee production, a 70-year-old man and an eight-year-old boy are not bonded by blood, but by love. The 2019 Tamil comedy is set in a village in Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu. The protagonist Karuppu Durai (Mu Ramaswamy) lies in a coma and his relatives including his children decide that euthanasia is the best option under the circumstances. The old man regains consciousness and runs away from his family only to meet an orphan, Kutty (Naga Vishal) -a child full of energy and zest. They develop a special bond and Kutty begins to call him KD and then goes on to tick all the wishes on the old man’s list. The grandfather rediscovers the child in him through Kutty and also becomes a father figure Kutty never had. The poignant visual treat delves deeply into human emotions and shows us the beauty of relationships that are not driven by selfishness but by mutual concern and care. The Madhumita directorial won a Jury Award at Singapore South Asian Film Festival and is available on Amazon Prime.