Father’s Day is here and it’s surprising that it’s not being celebrated with the same gusto as Mother’s Day. Even when it comes to Hindi films, the mother-child bond has been beautifully and sensitively explored a lot than the father-child bond. In such a scenario, the master director Rajkumar Hirani stands out. All his 4 films till now and even his upcoming flick Sanju has an important angle with regards to a father’s complicated relationship with his child. And not just Mr Hirani, this effect seems to have rubbed off on his protégé as well!
Munnabhai MBBS (2003):
Rajkumar Hirani’s directorial debut featured a Mumbai goon, essayed by Sanjay Dutt, masquerading as a doctor whenever his father would visit him. Interestingly, Sanjay Dutt’s real life father, the late Sunil Dutt, played his dad on screen and the chemistry between the two is brilliant. One of the most heartbreaking scenes is when the father learns that his son is not a doctor and in the process also gets humiliated by Munna’s arch nemesis (Boman Irani). This prompts Munna to become a doctor in real. Eventually, he doesn’t get a formal medical degree but his radical and humane ways of treatment melts his father’s heart who urges him to give him a ‘jadoo ki jhappi’ in the finale.
Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006):
This time, the lead protagonist Munna’s (Sanjay Dutt) family isn’t shown at all. But a sub-plot involves a young Victor (Jimmy Sheirgill) who has lost his father’s Rs 7 lakhs in the world of stocks. He is afraid to confess to his father about this humongous loss and hence, calls Munna, who by then has turned into a guest RJ. Munna’s guidance (and also Mahatma Gandhi’s intervention) helps Victor to gather courage and tell the truth to his father. Munna also advises his father not to slap his child in anger. In a heartbreaking scene, the father thanks Munna for getting him on the right path. While persuading Victor, Munna explains how he had so much to say to his father but now he can’t since he’s no more. It was also as if the real Sanjay Dutt was speaking, since by then, Sunil Dutt had passed away. Nevertheless, despite being a brief sequence, it turned out to be one of the most memorable parts of this great film!
3 Idiots (2009):
3 Idiots had multiple fathers playing havoc. There was Shamaldas Chanchad (Arun Bali) who sends Phunsukh Wangdu (Aamir Khan) to a reputed engineering college but he’s admitted under the name of Shamaldas’s son Ranchoddas (Jaaved Jaaferi). Then, there is Viru Sahastrabuddhe (Boman Irani) who pressurizes his son into getting an engineering seat in such a way that the latter kills himself. But, the most memorable was the track of Farhan (R Madhavan) and his father Mr Qureshi (Parikshit Sahni). Mr Qureshi has dreamt of his son getting an engineering degree since the time he’s born. Farhan is keener on becoming a wildlife photographer but due to his father’s insistence, he opts for engineering. The scene in the second half where Farhan convinces his father for choosing a career he loves takes the film to another level. Not many noticed that at this juncture, Parikshit Sahni does an Amrish Puri and tells Madhavan, “Jee le apni zindagi”!
Pariskhit Sahni plays the disgruntled father yet again in Hirani’s 4th film PK. Here, he essays Jayprakash Sahni, a god-fearing person and a devotee of the corrupt Tapasvi Maharaj (Saurabh Shukla). Jayprakash’s relationship with his daughter Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) deteriorates when she attempts to expose Tapasvi and also question those who have religion into a business. The film ends on a great note when Jayprakash couldn’t stop clapping at his daughter Jaggu’s book launch and even whistles loudly!
Rajkumar Hirani’s upcoming release Sanju is all set to release on June 29 and the buzz around the film is massive. After all, it’s a biopic on none other than Sanjay Dutt, an actor who has had a roller-coaster life. The film promises to touch upon various episodes of his life from his drug addiction to allegations of being a terrorist to his relationship with his mother. And by now, it’s understandable that if it’s Rajkumar Hirani at the helm, it’s not possible that he won’t focus on Sanjay Dutt’s tumultuous relationship with his father Sunil Dutt. While Ranbir plays Sanjay Dutt, it’s Paresh Rawal who plays the father. There’s been a brief glimpse of this aspect in the trailer and a poster has been out. And it looks like this track will be something to watch out for!
And that’s not all. Rajkumar Hirani’s loyal assistant Rajesh Mapuskar turned director and has made two lovely films. Interestingly, both these films also touched on the father-son relations. Hence, it won’t be wrong to assume that Hirani in a way influenced Rajesh heavily.
Ferrari Ki Sawaari (2012):
In his first directorial venture, Rajesh Mapuskar tells the story of an honest and morally right middle-class clerk Rusy (Sharman Joshi) who performs his first act of dishonesty – stealing Sachin Tendulkar’s Ferrari for a day – just for the sake of his son (Ritvik Sahore). Rusy is a single parent and the love that he has for his child makes for a great watch. Besides, there’s also an angle of Rusy’s dynamics with his father (Boman Irani) and this also adds a nice touch to the film.
Rajesh Mapuskar’s next was a Marathi film, produced by Priyanka Chopra, which won universal acclaim and also three National Awards. In this film, that has an ensemble cast of 100 actors, numerous sub plots are running simultaneously. But, the track of the dysfunctional relationship between Raja (Ashutosh Gowariker) and his father (Satish Alekar) and that of Prasanna (Jitendra Joshi) and his hospitalized father stands out. The issues raised are very relatable while the pre-climax will leave even the hardened viewers moist-eyed. Finally, the all’s-well-that-ends-well finale makes the whole experience even better.