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International Family Day: Types of Families in Bollywood Films

·4-min read

The Great Indian Family has been Hindi cinema's pet subject right from its early days. The tales of familial duty, drama, and discord have resulted in some of the industry's biggest hits. On the occasion of the International Day of Families, here's a compilation of all sorts of filmi families Bollywood has familiarized us with.

Waqt (1965)
Waqt (1965)

The lost and found family

A happy and close-knit family that gets tragically separated. Causes can vary from natural calamities to errant villains to simple misunderstanding. The good thing is they always manage to get reunited in the end.

Notable films: Waqt (1965), Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)

Avtaar (1983)
Avtaar (1983)

The selfish gharwaale family

Bollywood has taught us when you fall on bad days, everyone you thought was family turns their back on you – ungrateful children, self-centred siblings, and opportunistic relatives.

Notable films: Mehrban (1967), Avtaar (1983), Swarg (1990), Baghban (2003)

Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999)
Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999)

The sanskaari family

It could mean only one thing: the saccharine sweet, song and dance loving families of the Sooraj Barjatya movies. The average routine for the members includes swaying to a medley of songs, feasting on a lavish meal together, and planning the next family function.

Notable films: Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994), Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999)

Bawarchi (1972)
Bawarchi (1972)

The bickering family

Not all parivaars are connected by pyaar. Some are driven apart by pointless arguments and petty jealousy. And when things go out of hand, help appears in the most unlikely way.

Notable films: Bawarchi (1972), Hero No. 1 (1997)

Khatta Meetha (1978)
Khatta Meetha (1978)

The why-are-we family

Here we have diverse, unwilling parties who are made to stick it out with each other and they end up finding love, affection and support with one another.

Notable films: Khatta Meetha (1978), Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993), Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006)

Teen Batti Char Raasta (1953)
Teen Batti Char Raasta (1953)

The national integration family

Keeping up with the motto: unity in diversity, these families have a mini India residing in them.

Notable films: Teen Batti Char Raasta (1953), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)

Sau Din Saas Ke (1980)
Sau Din Saas Ke (1980)

The hellish family

Pretty much every other film of the Eighties Bollywood told the tale of a family where the evil in-laws mistreated a doormat daughter-in-law until a daring one comes along cracking a whip.

Notable films: Sau Din Saas Ke (1980), Ek Din Bahu Ka (1983), Ghar Ho To Aisa (1990)

Khubsoorat (1980)
Khubsoorat (1980)

The Mommy Rules family

The matriarch runs the household with an iron grip often leading to tiny, harmless mutinies.

Notable films: Gharana (1961), Khubsoorat (1980), Jamai Raja (1990)

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)

The dour daddy family

A patriarch with ego the size of an elephant waxing eloquent about khaandaan ki izzat and alienating his family in the process.

Notable films: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)

Brahmachari (1968)
Brahmachari (1968)

The house-is-overrun-by-kids family

A Good Samaritan raises a bunch of orphans as their own and we have a big, beautiful, and unconventional family where these boisterous kids may lack the luxuries of the world but certainly not love.

Notable films: Brahmachari (1968), Dream Girl (1977), Mr. India (1987)

Sansar (1987)
Sansar (1987)

The 'ghar ka batwara' family

The harmony of a big, happy unit goes for a toss due to an inflexible family member or money matters causing the ignominious ghar ka batwara.

Notable films: Khandan (1965), Do Raaste (1969), Anokha Bandhan (1982), Sansar (1987)

Anand (1971)
Anand (1971)

The friends waala family

Not bound by blood but love, camaraderie, and loyalty — friends are family we choose and Bollywood agrees.

Notable films: Dosti (1964), Anand (1971), Rang De Basanti (2006)

Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994)
Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994)

The pet-saves-the-day family

Solving mysteries, averting family crisis or reuniting lovebirds — the furry or feathered member of the family are sometimes (no, always) the smartest and most resourceful ones.

Notable films: Sachaa Jhutha (1970), Coolie (1983), Betaab (1983), Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994)

Chupke Chupke (1975)
Chupke Chupke (1975)

The sweet, easygoing family

The middle-cinema specialized in slice-of-life stories centred around Indian families that enjoyed a sweet, uncomplicated existence. The most dramatic thing happening in their lives was either a practical joke gone too far or assuming a disguise to land a job.

Notable films: Piya Ka Ghar (1972), Chupke Chupke (1975), Baton Baton Mein (1979), Gol Maal (1979)

Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)
Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)

The modern-day family

Grudges are nursed, quirks are managed, and interventions are called — contemporary Hindi cinema's handling of modern familial relationships is both refreshing and realistic.

Notable films: Dil Dhadakne Do (2015), Kapoor & Sons (2016), Badhaai Ho (2018)

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