Though there have been tons of Bollywood films on friendship, these Bollywood friendships changed the entire narrative for good!
Dharam Paaji and Amitabh Ji sitting on a bike with a side attached to it singing 'Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi Todenge' was the picture-perfect poster of friendship. This changed to Saif, Aamir, and Akshay sitting on a fort in Goa, Hrithik, Farhan, and Abhay sitting in a car in Spain, and finally Ranbir, Deepika, Aditya, and Kalki on a trip to Manali. Over the years, just as friendship has gone through a whole change of letter writing, phone calls to texting, and DMs now, the same way, Bollywood friendships aka friendships shown in Bollywood movies have also changed. And some films have played a huge role in changing the narrative of friendship in cinema.
While there are many friendships dating back to before Jai-Veeru from Sholay, this one was and still is the most influential image in our heads. Their friendship was based more on male bravados of fighting, riding a bike, flirting with girls, and having a comedic gala time rather than deep emotional talks. Given the era the film came in, the relationship between the two was still an enjoyable and memorable one but not eternal. As times changed, there was a need for different types of storylines hence we had films like Maine Pyaar Kia, DDLJ, Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander, Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and many more that depicted two people kickstarting their relationship with being friends.
But on the brink of a century turnover, we needed a story on friendship that didn't turn into a relationship or was just about 'a friend in need is a friend indeed'. And hence came Farhan Akhtar's Dil Chahta Hai which explored the changing dynamics of friendship as we come of age. It was a film that had fun and gave us a deeply emotional aspect too. Akash, Sameer, and Sid, three men who are completely poles apart from each other realize that friendship goes through its own ups and downs and takes effort and hard work. It was a film on friendship and its changing dynamics with time rather than any of the boys playing a supporting character in the other's story. What DCH started by breaking the stereotyped narrative on male friendship, Zoya Akhtar's ZNMD- Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara took it further almost a decade later. Arjun, Kabir, and Imran are distant friends that go on a journey to Spain to re-discover themselves as well as their friendship. The film brought vulnerability and emotions to an otherwise stereotyped world of male friendship which is often based on talks about women, politics, or sports.
Also Read: What is it in ZNMD- Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara that makes it a movie that goes beyond time?
While DCH and ZNMD brought a renewed chapter in the depiction of male friendships there were many films like 3 idiots, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Kai Po Che, Rock On, and more that worked on bringing a fresher approach to showcasing friends onscreen. 3 idiots not only changed the perspective of a rat race in engineering but also depicted how true lifelong friends are made in college. While this film depicted friendships being formed in engineering colleges, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na changed the narrative of a woman and a man falling in love after being best friends first. While Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na had a refreshing take on a cliche, Ayan Mukerjee's Wake Up Sid, with its cool look and relatable coming-of-age narrative quite beautifully and poetically depicted how a woman and a man can be best friends first and easily fall in love later.
Ayan Mukherjee and Ranbir Kapoor came up with yet another timeless piece, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani which is considered to be another feather in the cap of Bollywood friendships. Sure it was a romantic film but adding a female to the dynamic trio of friendships was an approach that was bold and done quite well. Bunny, Avi, and Aditi, the three backbenchers are school friends who are growing up and hence growing apart but that's the thing with school friends, you can grow as apart as you want but you will always find your back!
Also Read: These onscreen friendships were so refreshing that they made us want to be a part of them!
From Jai and Veeru, Akash, Sameer, and Sid to Bunny, Avi, and Aditi, we have all grown up and so have our friendships. We don't tie friendship bands anymore but that doesn't mean we don't know how to be friends anymore! Yes, there can be faults or flaws in these films but for the era that they were released in, they became the first of their kind and changed the way we look at friendship onscreen! They became the pulse of that generation and paved the way for the future which comprises Kota Factory, Aspirants, and more!
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