Friendship, a topic that Bollywood has for years limited to people of the same sex. While male friendships are glorified, read Jai and Veeru. Healthy female friendships, though limited – are making their way into mainstream cinema. But what about people of the opposite genders? Are they even allowed to be friends?
“Ek ladka aur ek ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte” to “Pyar dosti hai.”
These dialogues defined how Bollywood portrayed friendship between a boy and a girl over the years. Every Aditi will fall for her Jai like in Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na and every Geet will make heart eyes at Aditya like in Jab We Met.
Why do Aman and Rohit always fall in love with Naina? (Kal Ho Na Ho) and why couldn’t they just be by her side as she puts her life back together.
Though they all begin as great examples of friendship with a song dedicated to how well they get along – cue Kabhi Kabhi Aditi. These movies usually end up leaning towards a love story in the first 30 minutes – their eyes suddenly meet or they get jealous and realise they’ve loved each other all along. Way to butcher something you made us believe was genuine friendship.
Why can’t we have a film centred around the hilarious yet beautiful friendship Shaleen and Jigy shared instead? Those two wanted nothing in return, helped each other date other people and were basically every healthy friendship ever. Shaleen even helped Jigy plan his own surprise birthday party!
Instead we got an Aditi and Avi, who were best friends but Aditi was secretly in love with Avi and that set the foundation of their entire relationship. Seriously, is nothing sacred?
There are very few movies that portrayed friendships between different sexes right. And no, I don’t mean Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Ayan needs to be schooled in what friendship actually means.
Films like Rang De Basanti, where Sonia was loved by all her friends and her relationship with her fiancé in no way hindered her equation with them – definitely got it right.
The Lunchbox is another example of a beautiful bond between two sexes that is in no way romanticised for the screen.
Platonic friendships, which are driven by affection but not in a sexual way are the reality of our generation. And to watch Bollywood blatantly ignore it and turn every story into a sweet boy-meets-girl rom-com is exhausting.
Next time, please don’t make Anjali fall in love with Rahul, don’t have Aditi chase Avi and don’t ruin a beautiful friendship like Naina and Aman’s by making her the reason behind his unsuccessful love life. We don’t need unrequited love in real life, no one-sided love and no ‘friends’ who can’t seem to take no for an answer. We’re happy with being ‘just friends’ with people of the opposite sexes!