While it’s undeniable that Bollywood, back in those days, did create some of the most belligerent characters of men on screen, it would be a lie to say that it didn’t evolve with time. From the role of an angry young man to a much more feminine and understanding character, portrayal of men on screen has gotten more and more realistic. Bollywood, over the time, has made us believe that there exist men who are not threatened by strong women.
Here’s a list of stereotypes Bollywood shattered with these new characters.
‘Ki & Ka’ and ‘Chef’ sure did break this one with its role breaking characters played by Arjun Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan respectively. These movies exude the idea of men being actively involved in day-to-day housework, consequently dismantling gender roles. Performing household chores is not a thing one should associate only with women because it is everyone’s responsibility.
Sure, we have seen macho men who always need to have their guard up at all times, because masculinity supposedly came from being ‘strong’ or it is at least what we believe. But with changing times, we have seen that image fizzled down to something much more believable. Like Ranbir Kapoor in ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’.
“Men never admit that they’re wrong”, you’d come across such a statement every now and then. But there are a bunch of Bollywood movies which portray men owning their mistakes. Ayushmann Khurrana in ‘Vicky Donor’ is a great example of a man admitting his mistakes openly.
There are a dozens of movies where women needed no hero to save them. The age-old notion of men providing for women has been shattered several times. In ‘Piku’, we see
Deepika Padukone playing a modern woman, who is financially independent. In the movie ‘Ki & Ka’, we see Kareena Kapoor providing for Arjun Kapoor, which is a complete shift in the man-woman paradigm.
The definition of masculinity is flawed; men can be vulnerable and insecure too. While they may not pour their hearts out to you, it would be wrong to say that they cannot express themselves at all. In ‘Tanu weds Manu’ and ‘Raazi’, the male characters expressed themselves and were still comfortable with their masculinity. Madhavan in ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ series is an example of how men express themselves without being toxic. Vicky Kaushal in ‘Raazi’ plays an understanding husband who is brazen about his nervousness after marriage.