Growing up, the idea of love and acceptance was something that we learned from films. And, Bollywood has never shied away from showing its obsession with superficiality, specifically when it comes to women. So clearly, not all Bollywood romances have been about falling in love with the person for who they are. It all comes down to, finding a person, changing them and then realising that you love them – only because they look a certain way or ‘fit’ into the mould that you’ve created for them.
Here are five such times, women changed themselves for men:
1. Main Hoon Na
The film definitely gave us some memorable dialogues. And there are definitely moments that take us back to our college days. But, we do not exactly love the makeover sequence and wrapping it in a song doesn’t help. Sanjana was a loved character and she deserved a better storyline than changing for a man-child.
We couldn’t help but think that Cocktail was the coolest film at the time. And, now that we actually look back, it didn’t have the best plot. For starters, Veronica and Meera were amazing friends, but as usual it turned into a contest as soon as a guy entered the scenario. Gautam, who’s full of himself, passes misogynistic remarks and cheats on Veronica, gets to ‘choose’ between the two. He clearly didn’t deserve either of them.
3. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Pyaar dosti hai – I know I was flattered with Rahul’s love lesson. But clearly, it came with its terms. You can fall in love with a friend only when she looks and dresses up a certain way. Rahul wasn’t the best guy around and Anjali transformed into someone else (literally, another person) over time. I fell in love with her character, which is why I really think that she deserved better.
4. Chalte Chalte
Chalte Chalte, for me has always been a more real take on love, it doesn’t end with the guy and the girl getting together. The film also explores what happens when two people have a different way to see life and come from different places. Something, that has always been a little off-putting for me is the treatment that Priya’s character goes through. She gives away her lifestyle by choice, but that doesn’t lessen the toxicity that Raj brings in the relationship.
5. English Vinglish
Sridevi’s performance in English Vinglish was so raw and important. A mother, who’s demeaned by her children and husband just because she’s not efficient in spoken English is as real as it can get. Watching her find herself was everything we wished for her. I even love the fact that she studies the language and finds a circle of her own. That’s something she did for herself. But, she also deserved a better partner and her husband wasn’t one. Putting down a person, just because they’re unable to converse in a particular language is not an excuse to treat them badly. It just means that you’re superficial.
Maybe, our male characters need the transformation. You know, into better people?