Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994) – The Epitome of a Traditional Family Film

The title of this movie means “What am I to you?” and that sums up this movie well. It’s about relationships, both familial and romantic. Becoming a blockbuster when it premiered both in India and overseas with its hit cast, 14 songs and all around family friendly feeling.

Summary:

The Nath’s family is eager to have their eldest son Rajesh married and they find the perfect one in Pooja Choudhury, the daughter of Professor Siddharth Choudhury. Pooja’s little sister Nisha and Rajesh’s little brother Prem form an instant bond. With the two families uniting for the wedding ceremonies and all the events coming after it with their two families now being connected in each others lives.

 

RMH20137140329373Madhuri_DixitMadhuri Dixit Salman Khan

This is film is very pleasant and comforting. Yes, it stays to the status quo of traditional North Indian family values, but it is shown in a way that it’s hard to be mad at it. Baradwaj Rangan in his review of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015) – the newest Sooraj Barjaytra movie – says that his films go for his sweet tooth and in a way they go for that same sweetness in all of us; the part that wants happy people just living their lives, with solvable problems and where the family dog is as much part of the proceedings as anyone else. Conflict is non-existent until the end, and even then its solved with a smile and a literal Dog-Ex-Machina.

Madhuri Dixit as Nisha and Salman Khan as Prem are the leads in this and they have impeccable chemistry, the warm kind that simmers beneath the surface of one upping each other until they are forced to confront it. Its all very pure the romantic/sexual tension between them is one of the best parts of a film with a lot of good parts in it that make a satisfying whole.

The songs are plentiful, showing the events of a North Indian Hindu wedding and the celebrations when a baby comes in to the family. They showcase the family unit, the women’s power in it and of course Madhuri Dixit’s talent and beauty as a dancer.  Many of the songs have since then been used at weddings because they cemented the epitome of what they should look like, along with Yash Chopra’s films and his love for weddings.

 

The film is very traditional yet progressive (see the song above with a crossdressing woman): The women are shown most of the time in the house, the place where they have power and the men have work to do outside of it; Nisha studies computers, but will still be the traditional wife if that is what is expected of her; The elder women are either virtuous mothers or complaining Aunties. But from all the celebrations shown the women are given a prime place and focus as its their time to be together, to mock the men and not to have to worry about duties or the like. The men can only watch in secret or to submit themselves to the women’s side to take part, otherwise they are not welcome.

For all this movie’s blatant embrace of sentimentality and family values it is a good movie. It takes a lot of talent to make a basic story come alive and entertaining. After what you see the two families go through they become almost like a part of your family – even with their ideal life – and you enjoy those moments spent together.

 

 

Thank you for reading! 

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