15 Best Bollywood Family Films You Must Watch

Indian cinema for years has explored the emotions and themes of family. DESIblitz lists 15 best Bollywood family films you need to watch.

15 Best Bollywood Family Films You Must Watch - f

"Bollywood is terrific for family movies."

Audiences on a global level happily watch Bollywood family films. Infused with eye-catching dances, music, and energy, many can be rewatched.

Indian cinema is filled with movies that are pure escapism.

In such movies romantic love is idealised, actions scenes defy gravity and events can be far removed from real life.

On the other side of the coin, Bollywood family films can touch on themes and issues that are relatable.

Bollywood family films explore how family ties can bring joy and support, but also tension, pain and sorrow.

Such movies show the significance Desi communities and people place on family.

These Bollywood family films also show the tensions that can emerge when family expectations clash with a member’s desires and feelings.

Here is a list of 15 Bollywood family films that you won’t want to miss.

Do Raaste (1969)

Director: Raj Khosla
Stars: Rajesh Khanna, Mumtaz, Balraj Sahni, Prem Chopra, Bindu, Veena, Kumud Bole

In Desi communities, it was once the norm for extended families to live together. In South Asia and the Asian diaspora, this still occurs to some extent.

However, past and present, a joint family living together can bring tension and come under threat. Do Raaste highlights this fact wonderfully.

Highly idealist Navendu Gupta (Balraj Sahni) works hard to support his family.

Navendu’s family consists of his wife Madhavi Gupta (Kamini Kaushal), two children Raju Gupta (Jr. Mehmood) and Guddi.

He also has a stepmother Mrs Gupta (Veena), two stepbrothers Birju Gupta (Prem Chopra) and Satyen Gupta (Rajesh Khanna) as well as a stepsister Geeta (Kumud Bole).

The family are exceptionally close and live in harmony.

However, their familial bond is threatened when Satyen marries Reena (Mumtaz), and Birju marries Neela (Bindu)— Reena’s sister.

Neela and Reena’s feuding parents Alopee Prasad (Asit Sen) and Bhagwanti (Leela Mishra) are wealthy but unhappy.

Before the wedding, Bhagwanti advises Neela not to live with her husband’s relatives.

This leads to great tension, as the daughter-in-law (Neela) wishes to move out, have separate homes.

Hence, Neela is the focal point of the family disintegrating. It is here that the story changes from light-hearted romance to family drama.

This film looks at the struggles between old traditions and new ideas within a family. It also explores the important status of the mother.

The ending is a little abrupt, but the story and actors make this a family film that still stands out.

Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani (1970)

Director: T. Prakash Rao
Stars: Balraj Sahni, Nirupa Roy, Om Prakash, Neetu Singh, Jalal Agha, Rakesh Roshan, Mahesh Kumar 

Actor Rakesh Roshan made his debut in Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani, a film, which remains an engaging watch.

This Bollywood family movie is about two neighbouring families – one is crooked and greedy, and the other honest and hardworking.

It is a poignant tale of morality, respecting parents, and family values. Shankarnath (Balraj Sahni) is an honest government employee.

Whilst, on the other hand, his subordinate Sadhuram (Om Prakash) is a corrupt employee.

Despite having a good salary, Shankarnath struggles to meet the demands of having three children.

When the trio declares a hunger-fast until their demands are met, Shankarnath decides to let them run the household expenses.

Thus, he gives his son Ravi (Mahesh Kumar) his entire salary. Ravi thinks that he can save a lot of money and get everything for himself and his siblings.

However, it always looks easier from the other side.

Money is lost through gambling, relatives descending on them during Diwali, and their mother Padma (Nirupa Roy) becoming gravely ill.

Rozina Begum* a 52-year-old Bangladeshi stay-at-home mum in Birmingham highlights how difficult it is to run a house:

“The film is good at showing how unaware children are of the hard work and penny-pinching needed by parents.

“I know my children had similar moments, demanding things, not understanding the concept of money.”

Initially for Ravi and his siblings, the dishonest and crooked way seems desirable, especially with it often equalling to quick cash.

Though, the children soon learn that honesty is the best policy, along with the importance of hard work.

Zindagi (1976)

15 Best Bollywood Family Films You Must Watch - Zindagi

Director: Ravi Tandon
Stars: Vinod Mehra, Mala Sinha, Sanjeev Kumar, Moushumi Chatterjee, Padmini Kolhapure, Deven Varma

Zindagi is a family drama that tries to portray a darker slice of reality, particularly about what happens to some parents when children grow up.

Watching this film will remind the audience of the 2003 movie Baghban. The film looks at how parents give their all to support and raise their children.

Yet, such parents can face heartbreak when they become old. This is due to the neglect they face from their adult children.

Raghu Shukla (Sanjeev Kumar) lives with his wife Sarojini (Mala Sinha), sons Naresh (Anil Dhawan) and Ramesh (Rakesh Pandey).

An unmarried daughter Seema (Moushumi Chatterjee) and a nephew Prabhu (Deven Verma) are also living in the house.

When Raghu retires, the family are ecstatic as they visualise spending his retirement benefits.

So, they are horrified when Raghu informs them that he has used his retirement funds to clear his debts. After years of supporting everyone, he plans to be dependent on his sons.

Hence, the brothers split their parents. Naresh says he can accommodate his mother in Bombay. Ramesh takes in his father to live with him.

Both Raghu and Sarojini suffer, facing sorrow at the treatment they receive.

When their daughter Seema comes to visit she is more than a little displeased at how her parents are being treated.

Seema takes loving but unexpected action to ensure her parents are happy. An action that goes against cultural expectations and has her brothers double blinking in surprise.

The film may be from the 70s but it has themes that remain relevant. The film addresses issues and challenges that appear in Desi families across the modern world.

Avtaar (1983)

Director: Mohan Kumar 
Stars: Rajesh Khanna, Shabana Azmi, AK Hangal, Gulshan Grover, Sachin, Shashi Puri

Avtaar is another Bollywood film that looks at the grim side of family life and relationships. The movie focuses on the abandonment of two elderly parents by their adult children.

Avtaar Kishan (Rajesh Khanna) lives a poor lifestyle with his wife, Radha Kishan (Shabana Azim), and two sons, Ramesh Kishan (Shashi Puri) and Chander Kishan (Gulshan Grover).

Avtaar works hard in a factory so that his sons can get an education, and live better lives. He is truly happy with his wife and life.

When Avtaar’s sons grow up, they are successful and financially independent.

Yet, rather than support and help the parents who never turned them away, the two sons mistreat and then abandon them.

With the help of his servant, Sewak (Sachin), Avtaar succeeds in business and funds a home for those abandoned by their children.

Unlike many Bollywood films, this movie ends with a touch of bitterness.

The film perhaps has a more realistic ending than if the sons had been forgiven and welcomed with open arms. The climax of the film is quite tragic.

This film is a jarring reminder that ideals and reality can be horribly different.

In Desi and other communities, there is an expectation that elderly parents will be well looked after by their sons, but this does not always happen.

Masoom (1983)

Director: Shekhar Kapur
Stars: Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Urmila Matondkar, Aradhana, Jugal Hansraj, Supriya Pathak

Masoom was Shekhar Kapur’s directorial debut. It is an adaptation of the novel, Man, Woman and Child by Erich Segal.

Masoom reflects on some striking issues, which many will hide under the carpet in real life. This was true in the 80s and across later decades.

The movie focuses on a man’s discovery of an illegitimate son from a past extramarital affair.

The cheating husband is DK Malhotra (Naseeruddin Shah), a successful and seemingly happily married architect.

He lives in Delhi with his loving wife, Indu Malhotra (Shabana Azmi), and their two cute daughters, Pinky Malhotra (Urmila Matondkar) and Minni (Aradhana).

Overall, they’re a happy, cosy family that are the envy of their friends.

However, the discovery of DK’s son Rahul Malhotra (Jugal Hansraj) and the revelation of a past affair turns his family upside-down.

DK brings his son home to his wife and two daughters, following the sad demise of Rahul’s mother, Bhavana (Supriya Pathak).

Every time Indu sees Rahul, DK’s infidelity is a slap on her face. So, whenever Rahul’s actions touch her deeply, she finds herself torn.

In a 2020 review, Samira Sodd writes about how this movie was very ground-breaking:

“Rewatching this movie that’s almost 40 years old, one is struck by just how ahead of its time it was, not just in subject matter, but also in treatment.”

Masoom is all about untangling complex relationships. Looking at families without rose-tinted glasses, this film remains timeless.

Trikal (1985)

15 Best Bollywood Family Films

Director: Shyam Benegal
Stars: Naseeruddin Shah, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Lucky Ali, Leela Naidu, Neena Gupta, Anita Kanwar, Soni Razdan, Dalip Tahil

The setting for Trikal is 1961 Goa. It is a film about a wealthy and prominent Christian Goan family. They see the city move from a Portuguese colony to an Indian district.

The family is a symbol of class delusion and tension. A close family friend, Ruiz Pereira (Naseeruddin Shah), the narrator, arrives in Goa after more than twenty years.

Ruiz’s role as a narrator sees a flashback that shows the complexity of interpersonal bonds between family members.

When the family patriarch Erasmo (Lucky Ali) dies, his widow Dona Maria Souza-Soares (Leela Naidu) refuses to face reality.

Instead, Dona listens to loud music in her room, while her family and acquaintances bustle about in confusion.

Dona’s daughter Sylvia (Anita Kanwar) is verging on a nervous breakdown. Sylvia’s daughter, Anna (Sushma Prakash), has a dilemma of her own.

Her engagement may fall through because of the mourning period.

Watching all this quietly from the sidelines is Milagrenia (Neena Gupta), the illegitimate child of Erasmo. By this time, Milagrenia is working as a maid for Dona.

Soon after the funeral, the beautiful but immature Anna begins a secret relationship with a fugitive named Leon Gonsalves (Dalip Tahil).

Leon is a Goan freedom fighter who has escaped from a Portuguese prison and hides in the family’s cellar. Anna’s grandmother Dona fiercely clings to the past, yet never makes her peace with it.

In the film, we see clashes and divisions between the generations as class tensions rise to the surface.

Donna is traditional, refusing to accept new ways that Anna and her generation try to embrace.

Trikal was an official selection for the 1986 Indian Panorama at Filmotsav and the 1986 Indian Film Retrospective in Lisbon.

Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993)

15 Best Bollywood Family Films

Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Stars: Aamir Khan, Juhi Chawla, Master Sharokh, Kunal Khemu, Baby Ashrafa, Navneet Nishan, Dalip Tahil

Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke is a real family fun film, with an impressive star lineup.

Rahul Malhotra (Aamir Khan) is the manager of the heavily in debt family business, which he has guardianship over.

Rahul is also the guardian of his late sister’s mischievous kids, Sunny Chopra (Kunal Khemu), Vicky Chopra (Master Sharokh) and Munni (Baby Ashrafa).

The kids have frightened away all their former nannies. Rahul also initially struggles to bond with the kids, who are missing their parents.

Then Rahul shockingly finds Vaijayanti Iyer (Juhi Chawla) hiding in his home. The kids persuade him to let her be their live-in nanny.

Vaijayanti is a runaway from home. She does not want to marry the man chosen by her orthodox family. As Vaijayanti gently coaxes Rahul and the children to bond, she and Rahul fall in love.

However, to save a failing business Rahul is meant to marry old college friend Maya (Navneet Nishan).

Maya is a rich girl who wishes to marry Rahul. And what Maya wants daddy Bijilani (Dalip Tahil) gets for her. But, what no one counts on is the kids and Vaijayanti ruining their engagement party.

Rahul finally decides he cannot go through such a sham of a marriage. This forces a determined Maya and her dad to punish Rahul and his family.

Simran Kapoor* a 24-year-old Indian undergraduate student in Birmingham reflects on the challenging family aspects that a responsible Rahul has to deal with:

“Bollywood is terrific for family movies. Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke is one of my favourite movies. You can watch it with anyone.

“It’s one of few movies that gives a small glimpse into the challenges of creating a new family when there is a loss.”

A film with a blend of humour, romance, action, and songs, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke is a great film for the whole family.

Hum Aapke Hai Koun..! (1994)

Director: Sooraj Barjatya
Stars: Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Mohnish Bahl, Renuka Shahane, Anupam Kher, Alok Nath, Reema Lagoo

More than two decades after its release, Hum Aapke Hai Hai Koun..! (HAHK) remains a hit Bollywood family film. The movie revolves around two families who come together through marriage.

Brothers Rajesh Nath (Mohnish Bahl) and Prem Nath (Salman Khan) live with their uncle Kailash Nath (Alok Nath).

Rajesh is a successful businessman whose family is keen to see him married.

Old family friends, Professor Siddharth Choudhury (Anupam Kher) and Madhukala Choudhury (Reema Lagoo) agree to a rishta between their daughter Pooja Choudhury (Renuka Shahane) and Rajesh.

Everyone is ecstatic with the agreement of this marriage proposal.

This brings Siddharth’s youngest daughter Nisha Choudhury (Madhuri Dixit) and Prem together, with the two eventually falling in love.

Prem is drawn to the energetic and charming Nisha almost instantly. In contrast, the older siblings of the two are quiet and more reserved.

Pooja and Rajesh have a son, and everyone is happy before tragedy suddenly strikes. Pooja falls down the stairs of her maternal home and sadly dies.

As a result, Nisha begins looking after her nephew. The elders feel the baby needs a mother. Seeing how much care Nisha gives her nephew, it is suggested that she marries Rajesh.

Both Nisha and Prem love their family and decide to sacrifice their love. However, as the wedding day looms, luckily young love is saved by the family dog.

The audience through the years can relate to the family values and the spirit of sacrifice, as shown abundantly in the film.

Additionally, the film highlights the importance put on the mother when it comes to Desi childrearing and family.

This classic Bollywood family film has the right blend of family interactions, romance, humour, and sadness. With great songs and colourful visuals, HAHK is pure family entertainment.

Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1999)

15 Best Bollywood Family Films

Director:  Sooraj R. Barjatya
Stars: Salman Khan, Tabu, Saif Ali Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Sonali Bendre, Mohnish Bahl, Neelam Kothari, Mahesh Thakur, Alok Nak, Reema Lagoo

When it comes to Bollywood family films, Hum Saath-Saath Hain (HSSH) is a classic that examines values and relationships.

Ramkishan Chaturvedi (Alok Nath) and his wife Mamta (Reema Lagoo) live with their three sons.

They are Vivek Chaturvedi (Mohnish Behl), Prem Chaturvedi (Salman Khan), and Vinod Chaturvedi (Saif Ali Khan).

Prem and Vinod adore their kind older brother Vivek. Mamata is technically Vivek’s stepmom but he sees her as his mother and nothing less.

Vivek has an impaired hand and feels it is a barrier to him marrying. The family meets Adarsh Sharma (Rajeev Verma) and his daughter Sadhana Sharma Chaturvedi (Tabu).

Adarsh wants his daughter to be married into a happy tight-knit family. The Chaturvedi family is exactly that as Ramkishan says in the film:

“The family that prays together, eats together; stays together.”

These are words that the family follows as Vivek ties the knot with Sadhana. The bond between the family members are strong and filled with deep affection.

Prem and Vinod have their very own sweethearts in Dr Preeti Shukla Chaturvedi (Sonali Bendre) and Sapna Bajpai Chaturvedi (Karisma Kapoor).

Both adore their older brother, and no one cares that they are half-siblings.

When Mamta’s daughter Sangita Chaturvedi Pandey (Neelam Kothari) and son-in-law are betrayed by a family member, Mamta’s friends begin whispering in her ear.

The words of her friends poison her thoughts. Mamta is fearful that Vivek as a half-brother to Prem and Vinod may one day take away their inheritance.

Consequently, the family is hurt and furious, as Mamta wishes for Vivek to leave. However, Vivek loves Mamta and concedes to her wishes, despite the pleading of his brothers.

Vivek leaving divides the family. A family once shining with joy is bruised and torn. Thankfully, the movie does have a happy ending though.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001)

15 Indian Family Movies to Watch during Lockdown - Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…

Director: Karan Johar
Stars: Kajol, Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… is one of those Bollywood family films that remains etched in the memory of the audience.

Rahul Raichand (Shah Rukh Khan) is the adoptive son of business magnate, Yash Raichand (Amitabh Bachchan) and his wife, Nandini Chandran Raichand (Jaya Bachchan).

Their family is a joyous one, with Rahul feeling eternal gratitude to his parents for taking him in.

Rahul follows every word of his father. But what no one expects is for Rahul falling in love to trigger a rift that will dismantle the family’s happiness.

When Yash forbids Rahul from marrying Anjali Sharma Raichand (Kajol), whom he feels is unsuitable, Rahul accepts.

However, when he goes to tell his love, he finds Anjali mourning the death of her father. Seeing Anjali’s pain, he is unable to leave her. So, Rahul marries Anjali, much to the outrage of his father.

As a result of the marriage, Yash says Rahul has proven he is not his real son. Hence, Rahul, Anjali, and her young sister, Pooja ‘Poo’ Sharma Raichand (Kareena Kapoor) move to London.

Rahul’s leaving breaks his mother’s heart. A home once filled with joy is shrouded in loss and pain.

Ten years later, Rahul’s younger brother, Rohan Rachand (Hrithik Roshan) comes to London intent on bringing his family back together.

Maya Hadait*, a 24-year-old Pakistani storeworker in Birmingham, speaks about the conflicting views within a respectable Indian family:

“It’s still an awesome film. The conflict between traditional family expectations – Yash wanting his children to marry who he decides and marrying for love is shown well.

“Yeah, it’s all dramatised, but it’s something that happens in plenty of families.”

It’s a film that sensitively touches on adoption, marriage, family expectations, as well as relationships between parents and children.

Overall, the emotionally charged scenes and excellent acting keep the audience entertained and invested.

Baghban (2003)

15 Best Bollywood Family Films You Must Watch - Baghban

Director: Ravi Chopra
Stars: Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Salman Khan, Mahima Chaudhry, Ajay Malhotra, Samir Soni, Rimi Sen, Paresh Rawal

Baghban is a Bollywood family movie that scans the relationship between parents and their adult children.

Raj Malhotra (Amitabh Bachchan), a banker, has done his best to raise his four sons, supporting them in all their endeavours.

So, he hopes that when he and their mother, Pooja Malhotra (Hema Malini), retire, their sons will be happy to take good care of them.

However, things do not work out that way. When Raj retires, the sons are upset at having to support their parents.

Therefore, with the encouragement of their wives, they decide to split their parents.

Raj goes to live with the eldest son, Aman Verma (Ajay Malhotra), while the second-oldest, Sanjay Malhotra (Samir Soni) takes in Pooja.

The youngest two children, in turn, will each take a parent six months later.

Raj and Pooja are treated like burdens. They are not shown the care and respect expected by their sons and daughters-in-law.

Though, it is wonderful to see their two grandchildren show affection and kindness to their grandparents.

Their granddaughter is initially a little rude, but a beautiful bond forms as she sees how amazing her grandmother is.

Her grandmother coming to her rescue is a big turning point for Payal Malhotra (Rimi Sen).

All the ill-treatment the parents face at their children’s hands will have the audience engaged, with many eyes watering.

Raj and Pooja also have an adopted son Alok Raj (Salman Khan) who adores his parents for taking him in. Alok’s treatment of his parents is a complete contrast to their biological sons.

Alok also has a caring wife in Arpita Raj (Mahima Chaudhry).

When Raj and Pooja are meant to be going to their younger sons’ homes, they decide to meet, aching to see each other. Luckily they also run into Alok.

During the separation from Pooja, Raj also writes a story about what is happening to him and his wife. The book reaches a publisher, courtesy of close friends.

The book is a success, something that has the biological sons and their wives running to Raj. This is one hell of an emotional family movie that will have your heart-aching.

It has similarities to the film Avtaar but with a more powerful ending for Raj and Pooja.

Do Dooni Chaar (2010)

15 Best Bollywood Family Films You Must Watch - Do Dooni Chaar

Director: Habib Faisal
Stars: Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Aditi Vasudev, Archit Krishna, Supriya Shukla

Looking at families, this movie focuses on the Duggal’s, who are a typical middle-class Delhi family with two children.

The Duggal’s struggle between wanting to buy what they desire and the reality of a limited paycheck is relatable.

But their financial limitations and struggles come to the forefront when they receive a wedding invitation.

Delhi-based maths teacher Santosh Duggal (Rishi Kapoor) drives a scooter and lives in a small apartment.

Santosh lives with his wife, Kusum Duggal (Neetu Singh), a daughter, Payal Duggal (Aditi Vasudev), and a school-aged son, Sandeep ‘Sandy/Deepu Duggal (Archit Krishna).

When Santosh’s Meerut-based sister Urmi ‘Fuppu’ (Supriya Shukla) invites them over to a wedding, she insists they come in a car.

Consequently, the family faces a series of mishaps and temptations that turn their family life upside down.

For the wedding, Santosh borrows a car from a neighbour and is forced to compensate him as the car gets damaged.

Santosh finds the taunts he receives for not being able to afford a car unbearable.

“I am not a loser”, Santosh insists midway into the film, after announcing to his neighbours that he will buy a car.

The decision to purchase a car forces Payal to seek employment in a call centre.

Santosh also faces a moral conflict. Should he take money in exchange for marks from a student who is willing to pass with a payment?

The simple story of a family buying a car turns into an adventure. Do Dooni Chaar is an honest film that looks at the financial strains many families face and must navigate.

We Are Family (2010)

15 Best Bollywood Family Films

Director: Siddharth P. Malhotra
Stars: Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Aanchal Munjal, Nominath Ginsburg, Diya Sonecha

An official remake of the Hollywood movie Stepmom (1998), We Are Family pulls at the heartstrings.

The film shows the complexities that arise when family dynamics change. Here this means the parents divorcing and a stepmom entering the picture.

Maya (Kajol) is the ideal mother. Maya’s entire life is built around her three children, Aaliya (Aanchal Munjal), Ankush (Nominath Ginsburg), and Anjali (Diya Sonecha).

Divorced from the children’s father, Aman (Arjun Rampal), she ensures the children still have a happy family life.

Though, things soon take a turn when Aman finds a new woman; career-orientated Shreya Arora (Kareena Kapoor).

Despite Shreya’s attempts, the kids give her the cold shoulder. And Maya is less than happy with Shreya interacting with her kids.

However, when Maya finds herself diagnosed with terminal cancer, everything changes.

Sick and wanting to ensure the best for her children, Maya makes some unconventional choices for her family.

In this film, we see the determination of a mother who wants to ensure that her children have a foundation to be happy once she dies.

Maya’s decisions mean she and Shreya slowly develop an unexpected bond. Thus, Shreya learns the importance of family and sees her perspective on life shift.

We are Family is one of those Bollywood family films that show families can come in all shapes. It is also a tearjerker that will have some reaching for the tissues.

English Vinglish (2012)

10 Top Feel Good Bollywood Films to Watch - English Vinglish

Director: Gauri Shinde
Stars: Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Mehdi Nebbou, Priya Anand, Sapna Godbole, Navika Kotia, Sujata Kumar

English Vinglish is a mighty movie that follows a quiet, sweet-tempered housewife, Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) who as the movie progresses grows in confidence.

Shashi endures small slights from her well-educated husband, Satish Godbole (Adil Hussain), and daughter Sapna Godbole (Navika Kotia).

They criticise and mock Shashi due to her inability to speak and understand English.

Shashi’s family and society judge her for this inability. Shashi is resourceful and open-minded but these traits don’t get noticed by her family.

Moreover, Shashi’s husband and daughter are so used to all she does. Instead of appreciating Shahshi, they judge her on something that should not matter.

One day on a trip to visit her sister Manu (Sujata Kumar), Shashi decides to enroll in an English learners class.

During these classes, Shashi meets a host of new people who teach her to value herself  This is beyond the narrow perspective of her family.

The late Sridevi shines in this film, effortlessly conveying confidence, pain, hopefulness, anger, attraction, and much more.

The growth of Shashi as a character in this film is wonderful to see.

This is a film that conveys how easily family members can undermine a loved one. The movie also shows how societal attitudes and values can harmfully manifest through family bonds.

This is a lovely Bollywood family film of empowerment that many audiences can easily relate to.

English Vinglish is a good reminder for everyone to not underappreciate family members and not to judge them based on surface-level skills or traits.

Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921) (2016)

10 Bollywood Movies Looking at Families

Director: Shakun Batra
Stars: Rishi Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor

Kapoor & Sons is a movie celebrated for its representation of the dysfunctional middle-class Kapoor family.

The dialogues are realistic and heartfelt, letting the Kapoor family feel all too real in their messiness.

The movie begins with brothers Arjun Kapoor (Sidharth Malhotra) and Rahul Kapoor (Fawad Khan) returning home to visit their ailing ‘daddu’ (paternal grandfather), Amarjeet Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor).

The two brothers have been living two drastically different lives. Rahul is a successful writer, but Arjun still struggles to find his true calling.

Back home in Coonoor, their family has three key members: Daddu, father Harsh Kapoor (Rajat Kapoor), and mother Sunita Kapoor (Ratna Pathak Shah).

The relationship between the parents is delicate due to Harsh having an affair – one he lies about coming to a finish.

The fraught bond between the brothers is tested further by the arrival of Tia Malik (Alia Bhatt).

The Kapoors who do not operate normally as a family don’t think twice before yelling or throwing an angry cookie jar at each other.

Amarjeet’s final wish is to have a family photo. But quarrels, inner desires, and secrets mean his wish may not come true.

After Amarjeet dies, the family finally comes together for the family photo. Using a cut-out-off Amarjeet, they ensure he gets his family photo.

Kapoor & Sons is a movie where the ending feels honest.

There is no magical transformation of the family bonds becoming perfect. But, instead, truthful conversations occur, and the characters develop greater self-awareness.

Bollywood family films and their popularity demonstrate the importance placed on the idea of family within Desi communities.

Such films are also influential in the way that families celebrate events like weddings in real life.

These Bollywood family films consist of great songs, energy, and emotion, capturing the imagination and hearts of the audience.

Somia is completing her thesis exploring racialised beauty and shadeism. She enjoys exploring controversial topics. Her motto is: "It's better to regret what you have done than what you haven't."

Images courtesy of AVIS Viswanathan, IMDb, Hindustan Times,

*Names have been changed for anonymity.

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