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Sisters seem to have walked into the horizon in the films
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
While Sanjay Dutt may be exultant that he has returned home to celebrate the Rakhi along with his sister, and the police may have allowed Salman Khan to be with her sister, as far as the on screen affection between the brother and the sister are concerned there seems to have been a sense of deja vu. Were one to surf through the films that have been made during the last decade, and the films that have gained a cult status it would be a difficult choice to find a sister having a prominent role in the film.
The songs that are played on this auspicious day in various play stations, in their list do not seem to include any songs that belong to the modern era. There may not be in fact a song worth remembering from the present times. In the present crop of heroes but for a Ajay Devgun, and a Bobby Deol and one or two it is difficult to find any other major actor having an on screen sister to demonstrate the sisterly love on the screen.
Is it symptomatic of the fact that in the present times the affection between the brothers and sisters has become so ephemeral that it does not find a reflection on the screen? Has this relationship traveled so far that there are no roles being written about them, or is it that the roles have attained the status of diminishing marginal utility for the heroines so they are not inclined to enact them?
The example of BADE MIYAN CHOTTE MIAN could illustrate the point where though Raveena Tandon played the role of a sister, the affection in this relationship did not have an over powering presence over the love between Raveena and Govinda. The story lines do not seem to accommodate a heroine who on the one hand can play the role of a sister but also would like to have a role along with the hero as well, so that the tag of a sister does not stick to a heroine. A decade ago same had happened in NASEEB where though a Reena Roy had played the role of a sister to Amitabh Bachchan, she also was the love interest of Shatrughan Sinha. The dacoit films that emerged as a significant watershed in the Hindi films had a sister in prominence be it CHAMBAL KI KASAM or DACOIT and other such films.
During the olden times there were permanent sisters, and the likes of Farida Jalal excelled in such roles. The career graph of a heroine during the old times was characterized in fact by three stages, first as a heroine, then as a sister, and subsequently graduating to the role of the mother. Dharmendra in his second avatar emerged as a super brother and Sunny Deol to an extent when he acquired machismo had a sister but none of these heroines who played this role were from the mainstream.
Amitabh Bachchan's super duper hit ADALAAT had a sister looming large in the background. The dynamic shift that evolved whereby the sisters went out of the orbit can be found in the way the films evolved, moving from the rather semi-urban milieu to a modern nuclear milieu, but without imbibing the modern urban nuclear construct of the family, i.e. one brother and one sister in a family. While there are many a siblings who are working in the present times in the entertainment industry, may be this relationship needs a re-look in the modern context.