Right from the time we could comprehend films, Bollywood has been a champion for passing off toxic couples as goals. I mean, they blatantly lie to us in the most charming way possible and we’re left with no saner practices of love in mainstream cinema.
Despite the brickbats, some filmmakers just do not learn and continue spewing toxic love stories that go down in history, thanks to the vocab-heavy dialogues and goosebumps-inducing background scores. Today, we bring to you the recent Bollywood movies that err the same way Kabir Singh did, but with different aesthetics.
This Sunny Kaushal and Radhika Madan starrer has a happy-go-lucky alpha male who clicks non consensual pictures of a girl at a summer camp and presumes that he’s her ‘number 1’. She evidently despises the guy right from the first frame, btw. The plot apparently intensifies when he attempts to ‘swim’ across the English Channel to stop the girl’s wedding happening in the UK and replace her groom because he thinks he’s an ‘upgrade’. The fact that his stunts cause the girl to fall in love with him and later celebrate his ‘shiddat’ for chasing her is precisely why this film tops our list.
2. Haseen Dillruba
Rani realises that she’s chosen the wrong guy when she couldn’t have a moment of intimacy with her seedha-saadha husband Rishu and cheats on him with his oh-so-haseen cousin Neel. When Rishu goes behind Neel to avenge the infidelity AND attempts to murder his wife twice, Rani begins to fall for him! If this isn’t problematic, IDK what is.
The protagonists of this star-studded film are hounded by their difficulties but they somehow also manage to be toxic in each other’s lives. Amidst many things problematic in this male dominated storyline, we have Alia Bhatt’s Roop, who is a broken soul. Soon she is mentally bullied by two people into a loveless union with a married man with whom she never connects. NGL, the extravagance of this film couldn’t help its toxicity sink in.
Unlike Kabir Singh, the guy doesn’t tug the girl into romance, in fact it’s the girl who initiates. But he turns into a lunatic when his love story shatters which gives him the licence to smash windows, break bones, and later, compel his love to stay with him. Yet another film that asks us to feel sorry for a guy whose love is so intense that his aggression is valid, ok?
5. Motichoor Chaknachoor
With a samosa-jalebi joke tossed in for cheap chuckles, a girl who is aspiring to be a lawyer is not regarded as good enough since she is overweight. In a thoughtless line, the guy tells her future bride that she is a woman and he is a man, and that is enough for them to marry. Certainly a plot that even Nawazuddin Siddique couldn’t salvage.
6. Housefull 4
Keeping up with the Housefull tradition of marrying-girls-to-seize-their-property, the problematic males of this 4th part too fall love with the girls, but none of it matters as in the next hour the object of their love is swapped among sisters to complete the past-life incomplete love affairs. In the climax scene when Kriti Sanon tries to knock out the villain, Akshay Kumar stops her saying “Tumhara kaam nahin hai.”
7. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
This film is a tutorial on how gorgeous cast and award-winning songs can’t save the meat of the film- its content. Karan Johar creates a lot of couples in this film, each one more toxic than the last. Ranbir-Anushka, Anushka-Fawad, Ranbir-Aishwarya and Aishwarya-Shahrukh, a love rectangle (it goes way beyond a triangle) fuelled with venom. It’s interesting to see how successful adults act like immature teens, just uttering vocab-heavy dialogues.
Special mention to Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui which did a decent job at representing a trans-inclusive love story but Ayushman’s character was a human version of a glaring red flag.