Filmi Fathers Breaking Stereotypes: With new-age writers storming into Bollywood, changes in father’s character in films is refreshing. No longer are fathers having creases on their forehead worrying about the dowry to be paid at the daughter’s wedding like in Vivaah. They are slowly changing with time and gender politics. They are becoming more like Gunjan Saxena’s father in Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl and supporting their daughter’s career choice.
This change was long waiting to be witnessed on the silver screen and specifically commercial or mainstream Bollywood films, which caters to a larger audience base consisting of all age groups. In an interview with Silverscreen India, Gajraj Rao, who has played father characters in films like Badhaai Ho, said that the changing character traits for fathers are because of the young scriptwriters, who are bringing reality to a fictional character.
Here is a list of such five filmi fathers who broke the stereotypes and made the world see a different side of a harsh and sanskari character:
Mohinder Brar From Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui
In the film directed by Abhishek Kapoor, Vaani Kapoor plays the role of Maanvi Brar, who is a transwoman. She leans on her father Mohinder Brar, played by Kanwaljit Singh, for support as her mother refuses to acknowledge her transformation. The film got backlash for its casting as Kapoor, a cis woman, plays the role of a transwoman. But the film showed this beautiful relation between Maanvi and her father. He broke the stereotype by being an ally to his child.
Suggested Reading: 5 Reasons Why Children Need Feminist Fathers
Sachin Sandhu From Thappad
The film starred by Taapsee Pannu talked about domestic violence in India and how women endure it due to various factors like the society looking down upon women divorcees, amongst other issues. Sachin Sandhu is Pannu’s father in the film. The character is played by Kumud Mishra. He stands by Pannu and reflects on his own gender. In one scene, she asks him if she is not doing the wrong thing and the character Sachin Sandhu replies, “Hum toh humesha sahi sochke karte hai beta (We do things thinking it is correct). Galat ka toh baad mein paata chalta hai…kai bar sahi karne ka result happy nahi hota (We get to know if it was wrong later…at times doing the right thing does not result in happiness). Toh theek hai (It is okay)!”
Narottam Mishra From Bareilly Ki Barfi
Narottam Mishra is not very enthusiastic to find boys for his daughter to marry, unlike his wife in the film. He talks and advises his daughter but does not expect her to abide by it. He knows that his daughter is responsible and can take care of herself. Narottam Mishra is played by Pankaj Tripathi in the film, which also includes Kriti Sanon, Seema Pahwa, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao.
Anup Saxena From Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl
It is unusual for a girl to become a pilot in Air Force, people filled Gunjan’s ear but her father stood like a wall behind her and her career choice. Not only does he take “the right side” but he also helps her daughter to prepare for the job by going with her on morning jogs and workout sessions, and maintaining the diet. Anup Saxena supports Gunjan at a time when her mother and brother are against the decision. Anup Saxena is played by Pankaj Tripathi. The film also stars Jhanvi Kapoor, Angad Bedi, Neena Gupta, amongst others.
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui Maanvi Father & Other Filmi Dads Who Supported Daughters
Champak Bansal From Angrezi Medium
Champak Bansal does not stop at selling his shop and committing fraud till he gets to fulfil his daughter’s dream. His daughter dreams of visiting London and Bansal played by the late actor Irrfan Khan makes it happen. He does not understand her dream but that does not stop him from supporting her. Bansal is a single parent, who is actively trying to learn from the mistakes he committed with his late wife.