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International Men’s Day: Bollywood Films That Shaped A New Narrative Of A Man

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November 19th is celebrated as International Men’s Day. It is celebrated a global awareness day for many issues that men face, including parental alienation, abuse, homelessness, suicide, and violence.

But for long there has been this notion about men, do they struggle with emotions, with mental health? The answer might have been a staright no few years back, because that’s not how men were supposed to be, that’s not the definition of masculinity, that was considered weakness.

The portrayal of masculinity in Bollywood was also on the same line. However, the industry has undergone a transformative change in past few years. Earlier it was all about machismo, stoicism, and dominance, but now the concept has changed. Several movies have emerged, reshaping the definition of what it means to be a man, breaking stereotypes, and celebrating diverse expressions of masculinity.

1. Dil Chahta Hai (2001): Directed by Farhan Akhtar, this film marked a shift in portraying male friendships in Indian cinema. It depicted vulnerability, emotional depth, and the complexities of friendships among men, challenging the notion that masculinity hinges solely on toughness and bravado.

2. Fashion (2008): Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Fashion” explored the fashion industry and the struggles faced by male models. It highlighted the pressure to conform to societal standards, breaking the stereotype that masculinity doesn’t come with its own set of expectations and challenges.

3. My Name is Khan (2010): Starring Shah Rukh Khan, this film tackled themes of diversity, acceptance, and resilience. It depicted a man with Asperger’s syndrome navigating life’s challenges, showcasing that masculinity encompasses empathy, compassion, and determination beyond physical strength.

4. Kapoor & Sons (2016): This film delved into the complexities of family dynamics and relationships. It portrayed the vulnerability and emotional struggles of male characters, challenging the notion that strength means suppressing emotions.

5. Gully Boy (2019): A portrayal of the underground rap scene in Mumbai, this film showcased the journey of a street rapper, emphasizing that masculinity isn’t confined to physical prowess but encompasses passion, talent, and determination to break societal barriers.

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