The ’90s Bollywood classics may be a total cringe-fest for some and a dose of nostalgic memories for others. Regardless of how we feel after revising them now, the decade of Hindi cinema, like every other, had a major impact on the generation that lived through it.
At one point, most of us tried to recreate the unique styles, from Rahul’s ‘Cool’ pendant to Tina’s mini skirts. Although there were some iconic movies that were released during the era, romantic dramas were indeed a smashing success.
While Bollywood is notorious for romanticising almost everything, how could the introduction of its heroines not be glamorised?
During that period, most filmmakers used their heroines only to add an ‘oomph’ factor to the movie. While the male characters were introduced as macho heartthrobs or creative geniuses who couldn’t care less, the female characters were merely props for the protagonists. And because of this point of view on the female leads, the introduction sequences were curiously similar.
Interestingly, if you watch popular films from the ’90s, you’ll notice that almost all the heroines had similar intros.
Let’s begin with the OG of intros, Kareena Kapoor Khan, who had eerily identical scenes in her flicks that unveiled the first look of her character.
So we all remember her incredibly popular character, Poo, from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, right?
She is a diva, and we know this because she wakes up dancing to pop music and applying the perfect eyeliner, in one attempt (that proves she is fictional). Despite the fact that this is the most talked-about scene, Kareena has been presented in the same way for years.
Characters essayed by her are always seen dancing, whether it’s at a college festival, besides a waterfall, or even on a basketball court. Movies like Khushi, Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, Mujhse Dosti Karoge, and others appeared to have nearly identical shots, with extreme close-ups, hip-shaking, and hair flips.
Not just Kareena though, most female leads in films like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge to Taal are these girls clad in white, who twirl in the rain while wondering about their lover.
Keep in mind, these are all free-spirited girls who can dance wherever and whenever they want. I mean, how else do we clearly show free-spiritedness?
She is either showcased as a daydreamer, like Mili in Rangeela, or a gorgeous-looking lady a man would fantasise about, like Maya in Dil Toh Pagal Hai. But whatever it may be dance karna zaruri hai.
I mean just look at Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s roles as Nandini in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Paro in Devdas, respectively. While unveiling Nandini in the film, Bhansali dedicated an entire song to the male gaze on her persona.
I swear only Aishwarya can look that good in kadakti dhoop or tez baarish.
Again, Preity Zinta’s character Preeti in Soldier is presented as a young, bubbly girl who most likely glams up while crooning about her sajaan.
That is unrelatable on so many levels, but first and foremost, only someone without a job can wake up that joyful.
It seems Bollywood in the ’90s imagined women waking up looking absolutely stunning in the morning, dancing their way through every place, and basically being chirpy all the time.
Among other unrealistic expectations, Bollywood is solely responsible for brainwashing us that we can ever imitate the ‘main character vibes’ from these songs. But, no matter how cliched these scenes are, we’ll still be glued to the screen the next time we watch these old movies.