Breaking the stereotypes: Female writers who gave us emotionally available and vulnerable male characters
Mumbai: Over the years, the definition of a man has changed its course, and with time the represention of the
modern man has also changed in Indian Cinema. Gone are the times when men were just macho heroes rescuing women. This is the era of vulnerable, compassionate and sensitive men. Men who can cry, who are not shy about seeking help when they need it and acknowledging the worth of the women in their lives. Men who can express their feelings and not hide them. Many Bollywood male characters written by women have played a big role in breaking the mould of a stereotypical hero.
This change has been a product of increasing number of female writers. Women writers have actually played a big role in breaking the stereotypes around masculinity, by creating male characters who are sensitive, understanding and would cheer for women. It is important to write wholesome men for cinema because when the general public sees women through the lens of these men a lot of their mindsets, and impressions get realigned.
Here’s a look at the women who have greatly contributed to the shift of male representation in Indian Cinema:
• Gauri Shinde- Dr Jug in Dear Zindagi:
Dr Jug is simply the ideal therapist for every woman. Beaming with sensitivity, Jug played by Shah
Rukh Khan has an irresistible charm owing to his non-judgemental portrayal. Ditching the orthodox
mentality, Dr Jug not only embraces but also propagates the modern, feminist rationale making us
fall in love with the character.
• Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti – Sunny Gill in Dil Dhadakne Do
One simply can’t forget the scene in the film where Sunny played by Farhan Akhtar calls out Aisha’s husband (played by Rahul Bose) for passing a sexist comment very casually. Emphasising on not letting go the “small-things”, Sunny portrayed the male feminist, proving instrumental in the journey of self empowerment for Aisha (played by Priyanka Chopra). Sunny struck a chord with every woman and served as an idealistic example for the men to follow.
• Kanika Dhillon- Robbie in Manmarziyaan
Robbie from Manmarziyaan is the epitome of the ideal man every woman craves for. Played by Abhishek Bachchan, Robbie is not only emotionally available, but he also ticks all the boxes for a perfect partner. From being understanding, caring to being non-judgemental, Robbie is every girl’s dream man. In the world of immature and misogynistic MCPs, Robbie never character assassinated Rumi (played by Taapsee Pannu), in fact, the way he dealt with the Rumi-Vicky situation with utmost maturity and sensitivity, had every girl rooting for him.
• Meghna Gulzar and Bhavani Iyer- Iqbal in Raazi
Iqbal played by Vicky Kaushal is all heart! Despite being an army officer, Iqbal is extremely calm and poised in his demeanour. He is empathetic towards his new bride Sehmat (played by Alia Bhatt) who not only leaves her family but also her nation when she gets married. From respecting his wife’s interest, understanding the concept of consent to supporting her find her own ground, Iqbal had been the perfect husband.