We have had amazing chemistry and camaraderie between the father and the son scores of times on the silver screen, but when was the last time that a father danced with his daughter on a screen with gay abandon? One does not remember this feat being emulated on the silver screen before ‘Oye boy Oye boy Charlie’ in MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA where Pankaj Kapoor and Anushka Sharma do an amazing tango.
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Vishal Bhardwaj needs to be complemented for breaking an image of a motherless daughter being brought up by a father and he pleading and underlining it, a status that symptomatic with Naseer Hussain, to a Pankaj Kapoor who dances with her daughter and on her day of marriage, after making all the arrangements decides that her daughter would marry where she wants to marry.
Of course there was such a situation in DIL HAI KI MANTA NAHIN, where an Anupam Kher implored upon Pooja Bhatt to run away from her marriage, but throughout DHKMN the father and daughter were at loggerheads with each other. As a matter of fact, the patriarchal stream that dominates the world of Hindi cinema has rarely allowed the relationships between a daughter and a father to be enjoyed and savored, as it is in the real life.
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It does not mean that Hindi cinema has not projected this relationship, that between a father and a daughter, but it’s rather linear, i.e. the relationship has been amazing till the childhood, but when the girl grows to be an adult woman, it is the patriarchy that comes into play, the prestige of the family becomes an overpowering motif, under which the aspirations of the daughter are trampled. There was an exception in the form of Ashok Kumar, who enacted some of the amazing roles between a father and a daughter, KHUBSOORAT being the acme of such performances, and of course MILI, but as he belonged to the era where the father was a benevolent person, he had roles where daughters enjoyed under him, but they never danced or let their hair down. There was a Laskhman Rekha, and within that the relationship between the father and the daughter oscillated and prospered.
But Vishal Bhardwaj has tried to change the benchmark and the parameters and one hopes that this relationship, which still is unexplored in the world of Hindi cinema would be experimented with. Of course, to be able to do that, the prevalent belief of daughter being a ‘Paraya Dhan’ has to change, and this could be a big ask, as Hindi cinema is still patriarchal. But what the heck, ‘Oye Boy Charlie’ kindles hope.