Bollywood has touched upon the sensitive dimensions of many different forms of relationships that are at the centre of the lives of Indians. With Rakhsha Bandhan being celebrated all over the country, sisters are praying for the well-being and long lives of their brothers who are making the promises to take care of and protect their sisters from all odds. With this adorable relationship’s charms floating in the air, the hard-core movie-buffs can’t help but wonder: what are some of the best Bollywood movies that sensitively and beautifully portray the pure and chaste relationship?
Bollywood oldies include some iconic films exploring this sacred relationship, including Bahen (1941), Boot Polish (1954) or Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971). Contemporary movies seem to concentrate less on the relationship between a brother and a sister, probably because of the commercial profitability that risqué brings. However, a few films in the last fifteen years have definitely left a mark in the hearts of Bollywood fans with the beautiful portrayal brother-sister relationships.
Let’s look at some of these remarkable brother-sister relationships in Bollywood movies (recent).
1. Fiza (2000)
One of the most powerful contemporary movies revolving around the central plot of a brother-sister relationship, the movie shows how Fiza, played by Karisma Kapoor, desperately looks for her brother, Aman, played by Hrithik Roshan. After getting separated from his mother and sister in the Bombay Riots, Aman joins a terrorist group under the leadership of a pseudo-Muslim with no real religious values. Fiza, after six years of waiting for her brother to return, braves the cruelty of the world to find her little brother, only to find, later, about his terrorist allegiance.
On one hand, Fiza is resolute to bring her brother back to a safe life, while, on the other hand, Aman reveals the truth about himself to keep his sister from being harassed. As the brother-sister duo escape the terrorist group that wants to kill Aman, the police close in on them. Fiza, who spends years to find her brother, kills him to give him an honourable end. The film captures how far siblings can go for each other, even to save each other’s honour.
2. My Brother… Nikhil (2005)
This movie explored queer issues when it had not still reached Bollywood, and reviled around AIDS when it was still a hush-hush subject. But, what it also captured with finesse is the chaste relationship between a brother and a sister. Nikhil, the dynamic and talented swimmer, played by Sanjay Suri, has a doting big sister, Anamika, played by Juhi Chawla. Nikhil is diagnosed with AIDS and is boycotted by her family and the society.
Apart from his partner, Nigel, played by Purab Kohli, the only person who stands by him is Anamika, who ignores all threats from the society and law, and continues to fight for her brother’s release from the law-imposed isolation. Anamika fights on for her brother’s happiness and rights. She also develops a beautiful relationship with Nigel as they together start an AIDS assistance organization. Based on the real-life story of Dominic d’Souza, the film couldn’t have portrayed the love and support that siblings can provide for each other any better.
3. Iqbal (2005)
Iqbal is the dream-like success story of a deaf-and-mute boy who struggles to secure a position in the Indian cricket team, with no one by his side to support him, but his little sister, who stands by him, encourages him, fights for him and is ready to go any length to turn her brother’s dream into reality. The poor siblings are banned to watch matches or even listen to commentaries on the radio. But, Khadija, played by Shweta Prasad, knows of the dreams of her elder brother, Iqbal, played by Shreyas Talpade. She helps him practise fielding with their cows and takes him to a camp by a famous cricketer. She helps convince the local drunkard, Mohit, played by Nasiruddin Shah, who was once a great cricketer, but, had fallen off his glorious position.
Khadija is a responsible little girl who hides her brother’s secret and is there with him at every step, giving words to his gestures and signs, and filling in where he is incapable to express. She fights fiercely for him, she begs for him, she is her brother’s partner in crime. She is like a big sister, protecting and mothering Iqbal on his way to success.
4. Chup Chup Ke (2006)
Shruti, played by Kareena Kapoor, is the little, pampered cousin of Mangal Singh Chauhan, the strict and monarchical member of the family who is responsible for taking care of the family business. Mangal is a dependable, scary and strong man, with just one weakness: his baby cousin, Shruti, who is a sweet and innocent girl with a handicap. She is deaf-and-mute.
Shetty portrays Mangal’s rough and strong side well, and at the same time, his deep love for his darling sister, and his desperation to do anything to give her a normal and happy life is beautiful. Shruti, too, has great love and respect for her elder brother who is like a father to her. The sanctity of the relationship between the protective brother and the loving sister has left a mark in the hearts of those who watched the movie, even the film failed to do well.
5. Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na (2008)
The the love-hate relationship that Aditi Mohant, played by Genelia D’Souza, shares with her brother, Amit, played by Prateik Babbar, occupies quite a small part in the film, but, has its own significance to the story, and leaves a lasting effect in the minds of the viewers. Amit, an otherwise reclusive person, irritates Aditi and tries to embarrass her and her best friend, Jai Singh Rathore, played by Imran Khan.
This wouldn’t be any different from every scenario of violence between siblings, except, when, within a short conversation, the dimension of their relationship gets changed for the viewers when Amit reveals why he behaves the way he does. He talks about how, while Aditi has made new friends, he himself has been able to make none at all, and has resorted to bickering to get the attention of his sister, the only friend he has ever had.
He also explains that his hatred for Jai is because he has taken Amit’s place in Aditi’s life and helps her realize that she is in love with Jai. He even turns out to be an insightful person who warns her sister against the apparently chivalrous man she was planning to marry. The short portrayal of this brother-sister relationship is a sweet and realistic reminder of the camaraderie that siblings share since childhood.
6. Bumm Bumm Bole (2010)
A remake of the Iranian film, Children of Heaven, this movie is about Pinu, played by Darsheel Safary and Rimzim, played by Ziyah Vastani. Pinu and Rimzim are two kids born to a poor family in a terrorist-infested area, who struggle every day to match up to the standards of the other students at their schools. The two kids fight, and yet, hide each other’s secrets and help each other out. At one point, Pinu loses Rimzim’s shoes, but, she hides it from their mother.
They work out a scheme to share a common pair of shoes, which they exchange midway to school, until Pinu finds out about a school marathon where he decides to participate, aiming for the third prize, i.e. a pair of sneakers which he can exchange for a pair of girl’s shoes for her sister. When he accidentally wins the first prize and wins himself a scholarship, he cries his heart out for not being able to win shoes for her sister. Rimzim, too, gets, upset on hearing the news. The innocence of the two children is heart-warming, and the love and care they share is, indeed, pure.
7. Agneepath (2012)
The 2012 rendition of the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer original of 1990 revisits and redefines the brother-sister relationship in the original movie. In the newer version, Vijay Deenanath Chauhan, played by Hrithik Roshan (adult) and Arish Bhiwandiwala (child) has been separated from his little sister at a young age by their mother, who has also disowned him for resorting to violence in search of revenge.
As he grows up working for an underworld lord delving in girl trafficking and drugs, he never really forgets about his little sister, Shiksha. Even in her absence from his life, he runs philanthropic and help organizations in his sister’s name, and celebrates her birthday. The way Vijay pines for just a glance of his little sister is heart-wrenching. His life transforms when Shiksha, played by Kanika Tiwari, walks into his life with an abundance of innocence, and the brooding man finds a reason to smile and cry. He risks his life to protect and save her. It is one of the most notable brother-sister relationships shown in recent movies.
8. Kai Po Che! (2013)
Brother Ishaan Bhatt, played by Sushant Singh Rajput, is extremely possessive about his little sister, Vidya, played by Amrita Puri. Although they are always fighting and bickering, the affection is quite an eyeful for the viewers. Ishaan is obviously a doting brother who wants to protect his sister, while Vidya is respectful towards his brother and a little scared of him, too. Ishaan does not hesitate to beat up his best friend when he comes to know that he is in a relationship with his baby sister.
After Ishaan’s death in a communal war, Vidya names her first-born son Ishaan after her loving brother to keep alive his memories. The magically woven relationship between the brother and sister in the movie contributes largely to the shaping of the tale.
9. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Although the relationship between Isri Kaur, played by Divya Dutta, and her younger brother, Milkha Singh, played by Farhan Akhtar (adult) and Japtej Singh (child) does not take the centre-stage in the movie, it is definitely an important part of the story. The plot revolves around the traumatic childhood memories of athlete Milkha Singh during the Partition of India in 1947. For a child lost in a foreign land in a refugee camp, his reunion with his indulgent and proud elder sister, Isri, was the best thing he could hope for. Isri is portrayed as a woman, constantly beaten, who only stands up to her oppressive husband when he abuses her little brother, Milkha.
Little Milkha, on the other hand, nurses deep hatred for the man because of how he tortures his sister and doesn’t hesitate to jump at his throat, even though as a little boy, he is half his size and strength. The motherly warmth that Isri gives him in absence of his mother. Milkha remembers her every struggle, her every loss, and gifts Isri a pair of gold rings, hidden in the pockets of the Indian team’s official suit. The affection definitely warms the heart.
10. Other sibling films
Apart from the brother-sister relationships in these films, there are some very notable relationships in some contemporary films. For instance, No One Killed Jessica (2011) is about the struggle and fight of Sabrina Lal, played by Vidya Balan, who is on a quest to seek revenge and justice for the death of her sister, Jessica Lal, and makes this quest the sole mission of her life.
Udaan (2010) shows how 17-year old Rohan, played by Rajat Barmecha, slowly develops affection, care and the need to protect his 6-year old half-brother, Arjun, played by Aayan Boradia, from the clutches of their despotic father. He runs away with Arjun, with the dream to provide the little boy a life of freedom and comfort, away from the confinements of restrictive rules and regulations.
Dhoom 3 shows how the twins, Sahir and Samar Khan, played by Aamir Khan (adult) and Siddharth Nigam (child) are magicians and criminal mastermind, who, to the world, have the single identity of Sahir, despite being two individuals. While Sahir is ready to face death to save his twin, Samar decides to not leave his brother’s side, even in death.
Many other fun and light-hearted movies have portrayed sibling-relationships with great sweetness and have explored the chaste relationship between siblings. This rare and heavenly relationship is, indeed, one that lasts a lifetime, and Bollywood sure has given us some memorable duos. Here, some other great lists, you may also like these; 10 women oriented Bollywood movies, 10 highly inspired Bollywood music composers.