What exactly is love? It has different forms. When it comes to romantic love, it gets a little complicated. That fussy warm feeling two people have for each other is often mixed with the feelings of jealousy, control, obsession, and deceit.
The one that couples in Bollywood films portray, either the perfect love story or the unrealistic love expectations they set. However, in addition to unrealistic love expectations, these couples depict toxic relationships, and as consumers, we tend to believe them and believe that’s how a relationship should be.
Here are a few Hindi films on toxic couples that left their mark in one way or the other:
Kabir Singh is nothing more than a misogynist film that represents patriarchal views on women and their place in society. The story revolves around the lead character, Kabir Singh, who was a sexist and violent bully who used every trick in the book to get his way. He despised all women and had no regard for anyone. He was also promiscuous, a drug addict, and an alcoholic.
Aside from being a terrible person, Kabir treated Preeti as if she were his property, even declaring in their first meeting that she belonged to him. Preeti, of course, had nothing to say about it because that was her entire personality: submissive, indecisive, and naïve.
It was ‘toxic’ on multiple levels. The film gives you an adrenaline rush every time Kabir Singh’s arrogant, sexist, and patriarchal character charges himself up due to constant external stimuli in the film – anything and everything related to his love interest (Preeti), whom he single-handedly and forcibly makes fall in love with him.
Furthermore, it gives younger audiences a false impression of courtship in an already overly male-dominated society because the film simply depicts the female lead as a wallflower, giving us one of those rare cinematic products in rom com that show how certain abusive relationships are born and extended without any influence from the barking society at large or the silent participants themselves.
The film takes the audience on a journey through the intricate complexities of modern human toxic relationships. Despite the fact that it was marketed as a film about adult/mature relationships, it was simply a horrifying film with major flaws. This much-anticipated film, titled Gehraiyaan (Depths), doesn’t delve much below the surface for a work titled Gehraiyaan (Depths). It skims across some ostensibly choppy waters like a pretty skipping stone, only to submerge with a gentle plop at a distance.
Alisha Khanna(Deepika Padukone) is a yoga teacher who is attempting to sell an app. Karan (Dhairya Karwa), an advertising copywriter who quit his job to write a book, is her boyfriend. She’s been estranged from her wealthy cousin Tia (Ananya Panday) for many years, particularly since Tia grew up in the United States. Tia has returned to Mumbai. Because Karan, Alisha, and Tia are childhood friends, they agree to meet up at the Khanna family beach house in Alibaug for a reunion. Alisha and Karan meet Tia’s fiancé Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi), a want to be real estate mogul, on this trip.
Tensions simmering beneath the surface slowly rise. Secrets from the family are revealed. No one is surprised when Alisha and Zain get together. The plot then becomes twisted and convoluted, with shell companies, evaluation schemes, and increasingly tangled relationships.
Almost all of the characters in Gehraiyaan have flaws. The film depicts people attempting to keep the romance alive while failing miserably to be loyal to their significant other. It is described as a “mirror into modern adult relationships,” which is a contradiction in terms because “adult relationships” should not be toxic, unfaithful, or complicated.
We all adore Aditya Roy Kapoor, but his character in this film was simply messed up. Rahul loved Aarohi, but only when it was convenient for him; as soon as the focus shifted from him to her, he began sabotaging their lives. This was a relationship that should not have lasted as long as it did.
He became a slave to his own alcoholism and is on a never-ending path of self-destruction, decides everything from his side for the heroine without giving a single thought to her desires and liking. It is his desire to see the heroine on top of the world but it is by no means her desire. She finds fulfilment in loving and caring for him. When she realises that her progress in her singing career has lost meaning for her.
She would have been pleased if the hero had improved himself and his outlook on life. In the final reels, he promises her that he will join a gym, live a disciplined life, and, most importantly, stop drinking. However, it is due to his inner weakness that he is unable to fulfil that promise and flees from life. In the end, the heroine correctly labels him a coward and a self-centered individual.
This film is supposed to be about love, but it isn’t, and it’s more of a master class on male-dominance and alcohol garnished with songs.
It is true that the message movie portrays and delivers is powerful but the relationship between the couple is very complicated and pretentious.
Tara (Deepika Padukone) and Dev (Ranbir Kapoor) are young and carefree when they meet by chance in Corsica and spend a week together before vowing never to see each other again. They do, however, and start dating. Only to discover that their relationship is boring and mundane. Dev was a damaged man, and Tara was fool enough to be insistent on “fixing him” and wait for him even when he showed her aggression unnecessarily, shouted at her and didn’t treated her right but eventually Tara stands up for herself and breaks free from the relationship.
Films are supposed to portray the practicalities of the real life but this one here depicts unrealistic sketch of a relationship in which women are expected to wait and tolerate every toxic masculine behaviour, despite the fact that this is the reality of our patriarchal society. Thus, it’s an irregular love story, with a lot of drama. It’s daringly different and it leaves a lasting impression too.
Suggested Reading: Love In Bollywood Films Over Seven Decades, Has It Changed?
5)Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Our all-time favourite rom-com showcases how flimsy men’s perceptions of love are. It depicts sexism, misogyny, and a forced dressing culture on women. Throughout the film, Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) publicly insulted his best friend Anjali (Kajol) and did not respect her clothing choices. In the film, he constantly mocked her for dressing the way she did and felt comfortable in. Her character is portrayed as unworthy of love and attention simply because she does not conform to traditional feminine norms.
As a tomboy, Anjali gets along well with Rahul and the other boys. Rahul and Anjali are best friends as well. Tina (Ranee Mukherjee), the Principal’s daughter, then entered their lives. Tina was a third member of Anjali’s gang, but Rahul’s life was never the same after meeting her.
Tina sparked his interest. Anjali was finally starting to fall in love with Rahul, and when she finally musters the courage to tell Rahul about her feelings, Rahul tells her, in his usual friendly manner, that he is falling in love with Tina. Anjali, who is heartbroken, decides to leave college in the middle of the semester and fabricates an excuse. Tina’s suspicions are confirmed at this point.
Rahul and his wife Tina have a baby girl. Tina dies quickly as a result of organ bleeding. Anjali (Tina’s and Rahul’s daughter)reads a letter her mother left for her eight years later.
The letter tells her daughter about Rahul’s best female college friend, Anjali. Rahul’s daughter is now tasked with reuniting Rahul and his old best friend. Later, they meet, and Rahul falls in love with Anjali after she undergoes a makeover and becomes feminine.
Thus, many questions arise, such as why can’t men accept women as they are? Is it really necessary for her to dress up in a certain way in order to attract male attention? Is male attention the only reason why women should dress up?
Views expressed are author’s own.