Bollywood movies are commercial extravaganzas in most cases and more often than not have a romantic tale at their heart. Some narratives take a detour away from the formula and talk about different forms of love. The bond between siblings has been explored in quite a few films and we bring you a list of what we think best represent this sub-genre in recent times.
Karan Arjun (1995)
Director: Rakesh Roshan
Star Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Rakhee, Kajol, Mamta Kulkarni, Amrish Puri and Aashif Sheikh.
Karan Arjun is a revenge drama based on the theory of reincarnation. When Durga’s (Rakhee) husband speaks against the tyrannical rule of Durjan Singh (Amrish Puri), he is mercilessly killed. Durga is left alone with her two sons, Karan (Salman Khan) and Arjun (Shah Rukh Khan) who she manages to raise on her own. When Durjan finds out about Durga, he decides to kill her as well. But, her two sons manage to stop him and end up getting killed themselves. Distraught and devastated, Durga prays to god to bring her sons back so they can avenge her humiliation, and the death of their father. Twenty years later, her two sons come looking exactly the same as they did before they were killed and successfully manage to take revenge from Durjan Singh by killing him and fulfilling the promise made by their mother. Probably the biggest attraction in this film was the rare sight of Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan bonding as brothers. During an interview with a media, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan were asked about the possibility of the two reuniting for a sequel of Karan Arjun. While the actors did not comment on this specific project, they did say they are open to working together. Shah Rukh Khan responded saying, “That will also happen (Karan Arjun). We are here. Someone will bring a film, we will do something.” Salman added, “It will happen. If some good, knowledgeable writer comes up with something, we will definitely do it.”
Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)
Director: Zoya Akhtar
Star Cast: Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar and Rahul Bose.
Dil Dhadakne Do’s story revolved around the Mehra family which included Kamal Mehra (Anil Kapoor), his wife Neelam (Shefali Shah) and their two children Ayesha (Priyanka Chopra) and Kabir (Ranveer Singh). While Ayesha owns a successful business, she is unhappy in her marriage to Manav Sangha (Rahul Bose), a controlling, narcissistic husband who along with his mother Smita, hates Ayesha’s family. Although Kabir wants to become a pilot, he is pressured into joining the family business. Their company is on the verge of bankruptcy and hence Kamal decides to take his family on a 10 day cruise trip along with some close friends. The guests also include the Sood family, consisting of businessman Lalit Sood and their daughter Noori. Kamal and Neelam plan to get Kabir married to Noori in exchange for Lalit investing in Ayka. During the cruise, Kabir falls for Farah (Anushka Sharma), who works as a dancer on the cruise. Kabir is fed up with his parents always forcing things on him and his sister confronts them saying that he is not interested in the family business and actually loves Farah. He also tells them that they should consider Ayesha to manage their business instead of him since she was actually capable and interested. He also tries to convince them about Ayesha’s divorce since she wasn’t happy in her marriage. But, his parents refuse, as they believe that marriage is a lifelong commitment. In a sudden turn of events, Kabir tells Kamal that the whole family know about his adultery. Kamal realises he has been a hypocrite and decides to make up for it by agreeing to for his daughter’s divorce and letting Kabir marry someone who he actually loves rather than someone who could save the business. Dil Dhadakne Do showed us that no matter what happens our siblings always have our back. Kabir knew that his sister Ayesha was struggling in her relationship with her husband but didn’t end her marriage because of the pressure from their parents. So, he decided to take a stand for her and managed to make their parents realise they were wrong.
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)
Director: Mansoor Khan
Star Cast: Aamir Khan, Ayesha Jhulka, Deepak Tijori, Mamik Singh, Pooja Bedi and Kulbhushan Kharbanda.
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar is a movie that taught the importance of hard work and integrity and the value of family. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar was set in a place near Dehradun. The annual cycling race was the biggest sporting event of the year. Students from all nearby schools participated to win the title. The race had been won for two consecutive years by Shekhar Malhotra (Deepak Tijori) an arrogant and rich brat belonging to the Rajput College. Sanju (Aamir Khan) and Ratan (Mamik) are brothers who attend Model School and also run a small café with their father. Their father (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) is obsessed by the desire to see his elder son, Ratan become the cycling champion. The brothers are poles apart in terms of their personality. While Ratan is the perfect son, Sanju on the other hand is a prankster and lacks ambition. Shekhar plays dirty and injures Ratan before the race. Ratan is absolutely shattered because he can’t fulfil his dad’s dream. Seeing his brother in such a condition, Sanju decides to avenge the humiliation by beating Shekhar in the race. Throughout the film, Aamir Khan is seen as a selfish person. But when he sees his brother in pain, he goes about changing his ways. The film was inspiring because it spoke of the power of determination and mind over matter. And also the fact that love between siblings remains strong no matter what.
Kapoor & Sons (2016)
Director: Shakun Batra
Star Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan, Alia Bhatt, Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah and Rajat Kapoor
Kapoor & Sons was a story of a dysfunctional family which consists of two brothers, their parents and their 90 year old grandfather. Rahul (Fawad Khan) and Arjun (Sidharth Malhotra) come back home to be with their grandfather during his last few days after he has a heart attack at the age of 90. Rahul, for his age, seems to have built a pretty good life for himself; a good looking man, doing very well professionally, living in a swanky apartment in London, and also planning to pursue architecture along with writing. On the other hand is his younger brother- Arjun. Arjun is also an aspiring writer, living in New Jersey, clearly struggling to make ends meet. The interesting part about this films is that it showcased the flawed side of a siblings relationship. The bond between the brothers is fragile and not the everlasting thing we see in our films. They both have a lot of angst built up against each other, which is visible in their interactions. Their parents no longer sleep in the same room and their father seems to have developed a relationship with a long time family friend, which is making their mom uncomfortable. Furthermore, the family is going through a severe financial crunch as well. It seems like nobody is satisfied in the house. Their parents are always arguing over thing or another and the two brothers have battles of their own.
As the story unfolds, we realise that all the characters have had their fair share of mistakes and bad decisions. The illusion of perfection gets shattered and the belief that it’s okay to make mistakes gets reaffirmed. ‘Kapoor & Sons’ boasts fabulous performances from its ensemble cast. Rishi Kapoor is adorable as the naughty grandpa, while Rajat Kapoor and Ratna Pathak Shah too shine as the father and mother. Fawad and Sidharth too feel like real brothers. The film leaves you with the message that when you really need them, your siblings will always bail you out.
Director: Mansoor Khan
Star Cast : Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sharad Kapoor and Chandrachur Singh.
Josh is a film set in a fictional town of Vasco in Goa. Vasco is divided into two areas and each area is dominated by a separate street gang who are sworn enemies. The first one is Bichoo’s whose leader is Prakash Sharma (Sharad Kapoor) and then there are Eagles led by Max Dias (Shah Rukh Khan). Prakash’s younger brother Rahul (Chandrachur Singh) comes back to the town after two years and immediately falls in love with Shirley (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), who is the twin sister of Max. Obviously, because of the gangwar the two could not make their relationship open. When Prakash finds out that Max and Shirley are the descendants of Alberto Vasco, the founder of the town, he decides to kill Max and take all his money. Max accidentally kills Prakash in the fight and is arrested. This causes a rift between Shirley and Rahul. Max is about to go to the gallows, but is saved when Rahul reveals Prakash’s mistake. Josh gave a glimpse of how a typical brother and sister relationship functions. Max is crazy protective about his baby sister, and Shirley dotes on her big brother almost in a motherly way.
Director: Vikramaditya Motwane
Star Cast: Rajat Barmecha, Ronit Roy, Aayan Boradia, Ram Kapoor and Manjot Singh
The story of Udaan revolves around 17 year old boy called Rohan (Rajat Barmecha), who is expelled from the reputed Bishop Cotton School, Shimla along with three of his friends after they were caught watching an adult film by their warden. Rohan returns home to an abusive and an alcoholic father named Bhairav (Ronit Roy) and a 6 year old half brother named Arjun. Once he’s back, his father takes complete charge of his life. He is forced to wake up every morning for a run and later work at his father’s metal factory and attend engineering class at the local university.In the film, Bhairav treats both his kids like “projects”. He wants them to stay out of his life and he feels being a father means just to provide for their basic needs and ensure that his sons are disciplined. Tired of the constant verbal and physical abuse on him and his half brother, Rohan eventually decides to run away and takes Arjun along with him. In a way, had the older brother not been subjected to his father’s behaviour he may not have turned out to be the man he became at the end of the movie. Although Rohan and Arjun played step brothers in the film, it was visible the bond that the two shared was very real. When Rohan finds out that his brother too was a victim of physical violence from his father, he decides to take the responsibility the latter’s well being upon himself.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)
Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Star Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Pawan Malhotra
This was the biopic of the Flying Sikh – world champion runner and Olympian Milkha Singh, who overcame the massacre of his family, the horrors of Partition and subsequent homelessness to become one of India’s most iconic athletes. He infamously lost the biggest race of his life at the 1960 Rome Olympics. But through the darkness he finds the light of redemption. Milkha Singh was not only portrayed as a man of steel in the movie but it also showed his fears, vulnerabilities, desires in full.. This film shows an extremely beautiful bond between a brother and sister as well. Milkha Singh definitely went through a lot in life to get where he is today. And the biggest source of motivation for him was his sister Isri Kaur who is played by Divya Dutta in the film. She supports her brother like a sheet anchor through all thick and thin and was crucial reason behind his staggering achievements. Farhan Akhtar was an interesting choice to portray the sports star. Farhan underwent a complete transformation – both physical and mental – to look convincing as an athlete. His transformation took 13 months of hard work and dedication towards fitness. In an interview with a leading daily, Farhan had said, “I had changed my lifestyle completely for the film. I had changed my diet as well as my sleeping pattern. A lot of friends felt that I was ignoring them, as I had to sleep by 10pm.” The film was inspirational because it spoke of dignity, dedication and discipline, which brought Milkha Singh eventual triumph.