The Great Indian Family

The Great Indian Family
The Great Indian Family
Home » The Great Indian Family

Dharmputra (1961), produced by BR Chopra and directed by Yash Chopra, was the first Hindi film to depict the perils of Hindu fundamentalism. The film dealt with issues of religious bigotry, fanaticism and communalism amidst the backdrop of the Partition. A child born from Muslim parents is brought up as a Hindu by family friends but grows up to be a religious extremist who hates Muslims and does not know his own roots. It is therefore fitting that Yash Raj Productions has continued the tradition of making socially relevant films by investing in The Great Indian Family six decades later. Herein, a newborn whose Mulsim parents are killed during riots is adopted by a Hindu priest as his son. Unknown to anyone in his family, it came out through situations that he actually belonged to another parentage. How this changes his equation with those around him and whether the changed circumstances are able to break their bond, forms the crux of this social comedy.

The marvel is that director Vijay Krishna Acharya chose the path where he’s managed to say it lightly for what it was worth. The movie starts off as real comedy but then turns serious halfway through. We see Ved Vyas Tripathi/Bhajan Kumar/Billu (Vicky Kaushal) being called King Of Bhajans in Balrampur because he is such a small town boy. So there you have it: His father (Kumud Mishra) happens to be one of most respected pandits in the neighborhood whereas on other hand; rival Pandit Mishra (Yashpal Sharma) wants his position at any price. Bhajan Kumar lives in a dysfunctional family which seems like “snakes” always putting obstacle whenever he tries climbing an imaginary ladder symbolizing life as ‘a game of snakes and ladders.’ Despite continuous bickering among them all this while however; they truly love each other. Bhajan Kumar’s father goes on a pilgrimage and in his absence, the family learns that he might be an adopted child and worse, his biological parents might be Muslims. This news somehow gets leaked into society. As a result of societal pressure, Bhajan’s uncle (Manoj Pahwa) advises him to keep quiet till the things cool down. Frustrated with a lack of support from his family, Bhajan leaves home angrily and starts living with one of his Muslim friends. The tragedy is such that he even begins contemplating conversion to Islam…

The film has a message which brings the idea that all religions are one; humanity is the largest religion. The reason why Bhajan is alive and well is because he was accepted by a Hindu priest and his wife. A Muslim family helps him in his time of need and his girlfriend, who is Sikh (Manushi Chhillar), does not mind to which religion he belongs. And it says this without being jingoistic. This means that today our society is increasingly becoming one based on blind hatred. We’re closing doors to each other instead of integrating and learning from each other as we used to be in times past. We forget we are great Indian family together as a nation. Every family unit has its flaws, which cannot be avoided but love and respect between members should always remain intact. These films are very much needed at the moment and it’s gratifying that Yash Raj Productions have taken up the mantle on this. Hats off to director Vijay Krishna Acharya (known for his masala flicks like Thugs of Hindostan and Dhoom 3) leading from the front for communal harmony.

Kumud Mishra speaks more through his silence and expressions than anything else he says in words only. He represents goodness personified in society, something that life needs badly now, people like him who truly care about others’ wellbeing Manoj Pahwa plays an everyday man you would meet on the streets who basically is good at heart but easily swayed by others into doing wrong things such as following social media forwards blindly. There isn’t anything Vicky Kaushal can’t do; he excels at everything you put him in; comedy or tragedy… He stands out both in comic moments as well as tragic ones too. For instance, he embodies India’s untainted spirit that risks being polluted by communalism’ venomous fangs’. His existential pain, his impotence feel true however clichéd it may sound. Manushi Chhillar is easy on the eyes and competent enough in her brief role. There was hardly any scope for her in the movie.

One has to see this film for its important message. The time calls for religious harmony which must always be upheld.

Watch free movies on Fmovies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top