Aditya Chopra Week! Rank Aditya’s Heroes in Terms of Originality of Character!

Albie Dog has decided his new morning routine is to have breakfast, and then pee on the floor. The first time it happened was absolutely my fault, I skipped a walk and he was desperate. But I think his doggie brain then went “hey, this is a good system, I should keep doing this”. Anyway, I had an unpleasant start to the day and now want to think about pleasant things as a distraction. So, Aditya Chopra’s Heroes!

I’m looking at all his heroes, directed and also just written. And I am pre-selecting the ones that I think are most interesting. And then you can pick the ones you think are top interesting.

Raj Malhotra

Young, rich, male, and privileged all around. But with a basic instinct of concern for others, wanting to please his father, trying to take care of a young woman he is traveling with, able to empathize across gender lines. He isn’t quite grown up yet, but he is trying and getting better day by day.

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Surinder Sahni

Set in his ways and afraid of change, but also aware of the things about himself he truly cannot change. Old enough to know what he is and what he can and cannot do. Confronted for the first time in years with wanting something he cannot have, and suddenly thrown into a sea of self-hatred because of that. Before finally regaining his sense of self, his triumph is in learning to love himself just as he is.

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Tiger

Brave and adventurous and heroic, but also a workaholic. Not the spy of fantasy, but one who is like anyone else that has a demanding job. No time for friends or love, a lonely little life in his little house, and when he falls in love for the first time, he is as shy and inexperienced as a schoolboy. Again, like any workaholic. The first half of his life was all work, and then love came like a hurricane and that was the second half of his life. Only, his job happened to be SuperSpy instead of Banker.

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Samar

Young Samar is simple, the pure evocation of youth. He is fearless, confident, ready to try anything, no worry about the future. But Old Samar is a fascinating character, the still-young man who has lost touch with his youth. He killed his Young self so completely that now, when he wants to get in touch with it, it is gone. The surface is dry, empty, contained. And when he tries to reach down deep and find his young self, it is so deep down he can barely find it.

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Sahir/Samar

Twins! Equally interesting. One a perfectionist obsessed with honoring his stupid stupid father. The other slightly on the spectrum, all heart and love and forgiveness. But when it gets down to it, they are the same. The perfectionist will give up his dreams to save his brother, and the brother will give up his love to be with his brother. Fascinating Folie a Duex (sp?).

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Dharam

This is one of my favorite heroes! Cocky, confident, charming and smart and able to get what he wants easily. But he gets ahead of himself, he isn’t able to see what he really wants. He gets the sexy European girlfriend, and then blows it up because he wants more than just a sexy relationship and can’t figure out how to get there. Gets the friendship with the girlfriend, then blows that up too, because he can’t admit he wants more than friendship. Finally gets the ideal sexy white girl, and realizes he wants the complicated ex-girlfriend/best friend situation instead. Most of all, it’s a hero who has real emotional problems with sex. The guy who thinks all he wants is sex, and then gets confused between sex and love. Until he is with enough other people to see “no, wait, that wasn’t just sexy fun times, that was love, this now is just sexy fun times”. Such an original journey!

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Major Kabir/Captain Khalid

Such a unique couple! Kabir is the typical cool hero type, sure of himself and sure no one can surprise him. And then he changes complete not because he falls in love, or loses a loved one, but because he is confronted with the human cost of his actions (the death of Vaani) and decides he needs to balance his life and give back on a one on one basis by caring for her daughter. Any other movie, this cool hero would have a character about grief and vengeance, or romantic love, but instead it is about finding a “family” and balancing his life.

And then Captain Khalid, again seemingly an effortless action hero. Until we learn that what drives him is not simple patriotism, but a desire for a father figure, a need to please. This is an action hero that is in a supporting role, he is a follower not a leader, how often do we have a protagonist like that, male or female?

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My favorite in terms of writing is Dharam, I’ll tell you that right now. The journey from “horny young man who thinks what he is feeling is just sex when it is really love” to “mature man who acknowledges he was a bad boyfriend and apologizes for it” is so great, and so unique.

What’s your favorite? The most original and complexly written?

6 thoughts on “Aditya Chopra Week! Rank Aditya’s Heroes in Terms of Originality of Character!

  1. So I’m not sure about this, but is Dharam’s story similar to Saif Ali Khan’s in Love Aaj Kal? They’re not exactly the same (e.g. the sexual hangups aren’t part of Saif’s journey), but they are both stories of men not realizing that they can’t just be cool and casual with the woman they’re with and that substitute women aren’t really working out.

    Like

    • Yes! I agree completely!!!! Both of them are confronting the over-correction of the young international modern Indian man, I think. And the over-correction of the films. In the past, your first love would be the woman you married. And “love” would mean seeing from a distance and never touching kind of thing. Now we have the possibility of sexual casual relationships, how do you know when it is “love” now? Should you treat everything casually? Both Saif and Dharam start out thinking they should (as men) enjoy having this casual relationship, not necessarily want more than that. But they end realizing romantic love still exists.

      What makes the movies special to me is that it isn’t about the woman trying to convince them that is the case. She is in a similar position, she believes their relationship started casually and so must end casually. The man has to come to his own realization that it was something more, and she has to have her journey of “I thought as a good girl, I couldn’t love the guy I slept with, I had to love and marry the guy I had the romantic relationship with”.

      Like

  2. Suri has to be the most interesting just for the fact that I can’t think of any similar character. I do have problems with how rigidly he is written though. Sure the idea to be loved as oneself is great. But his whole thing was that he won’t say or show his love for her as Suri, he has to become Raj to express all that. Is she expected to read Suri’s mind? Even after going through this whole journey as Raj, he’s back to exactly where he was before with not showing his feelings, so no character growth? That bothers me, I choose to believe has to have imbibed something of Raj and learnt to express himself.

    Like

    • It is a weird test, for Anushka to have to admit her commitment first. But at least in the end, he does fully show his feelings as Suri. Maybe if we think of it as Anushka drawing the line and needing to be the one who erases it too? She said at the start of their marriage that she would never love him, so Suri never tried to make her love him. Once he got a hint that she no longer felt that way, that’s when he went all in and revealed himself.

      On Thu, May 21, 2020 at 3:36 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

    • He wasn’t my favorite character, but I haven’t seen a character like Surinder Sahni played as the hero in other films. So he definitely gets points for originality.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have seen many more Indian movies than you, and I also have not seen a character like him. He really is unique.

        On Thu, May 21, 2020 at 9:18 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        Liked by 1 person

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