9 Toxic Parent-Child Relationships In Bollywood Movies That Prove Parenthood Isn’t For Everyone

By Indrani Karmakar

Have you watched a movie in your childhood, liked it, and then watched it again recently and absolutely could not connect with it? You think it’s your changing preferences, but that is not the case. We grew up in a generation where patriarchy was idolized, and men screaming ‘khamosh’ abruptly in the middle of your speech was the order of the day. Bollywood has showcased toxic parenting traits for the longest time, and we have gone with the flow as mere spectators. Here is a list of popular movies with substantial parental toxicity that we would like to discuss. Read on to see which ones you have noticed.

P.S. Although these movies are pretty old, if you haven’t seen them already, spoiler alert!

1. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge

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We know there was a time you loved this movie. (We all did). But there is nothing to be guilty about as that was the society we lived in. So approval from your ‘Babuji’ was necessary no matter what you did. And, according to reel logic, if your father tries to get you married to a toxic person, it is absolutely fine. So except for the ‘Ja Simran Ja, jee le apni Zindagi,’ everything else Chaudhry Baldev Singh (Amrish Puri) did for his family was absolutely controlling and unacceptable.

2. 3 Idiots

3 Idiots

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When Farhan Qureshi said, ‘Abba nahi maanenge,’ we all felt that! No one wants to hurt their parents, especially after being reminded that the only A.C. they could afford was fitted in their room. However, blackmailing and forcing a child to kill their ambitions just so they can fulfill the unrealistic ideals of their parents is never okay. Sadly this is still common in recent times and needs to be eliminated for the best.

3. Dil Dhadakne Do

Dil Dhadakne Do

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The movie is all about parental red flags! The parents, Kamal (Anil Kapoor) and Neelam Mehra (Shefali Shah), have a strained relationship where the wife is targeted with sexist jokes. They go on a cruise where they hope to get their son married so they can uplift their financial status again. Imagine the horror!

4. Mohabbatein

Mohabbatein

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Big B has serious control issues when it comes to being a reel dad! He robbed his daughter the freedom of choosing a life partner, and even though it is not uncommon, we sure are happy it is not something that is encouraged in recent times.

5. 2 States

2 States

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In the movie, Vikram Malhotra (Ronit Roy) is in a toxic relationship with his wife (Amrita Singh), which affects their son. This is probably why he was doing something different from his passion. The father is seen as an alcoholic who is abusive towards his family. Even though the mother was a better parent, she had controlling issues, and the casual jokes on south Indian complexion are far from cool.

6. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

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This movie will make you question, what were the scriptwriters thinking? Sadly it was pretty realistic 2-3 decades ago because getting your daughter married off like cattle to preserve the family honor was pretty standard. The father (Vikram Gokhale) controls the girl’s life and trades her in marriage.

7. Taare Zameen Par

Taare Zameen Par

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If you haven’t bawled like a baby after seeing this movie, then, well, find a heart! The film is an eye-opener to the lack of sensitivity towards mental illness and disability. While it is evident that the son Darsheel Safary cannot do the things kids his age do with ease. His parents refrain from giving him the care and nurture he needs. He is surely lucky to find a teacher who saves his life!

8. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

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Big B has always been the angry young man, and his ‘keh diya na, bas keh diya, is a conversation killer for everyone. Yash Raichand was self-righteous, but his love for his children was downright conditional. So basically, if the child wants to live life on their terms, you cut them off from the family. What kind of parenting is that!

9. Dum Laga Ke Haisha

Taare Zameen Par

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Dum Laga Ke Haisha was no doubt an entertaining movie. It is a complete eye-opener to toxic societal norms, casual sexism, and body shaming. While the movie’s highlight is about accepting one’s insecurities, it also shows how the daughter (Bhumi Pednekar) is forced to stay in the marriage by her mother (Seema Pahwa), even when she is constantly bullied for her body.

Even though movies are a great way of educating society, some tell you precisely what not to do. The list mainly comprises movies that were and are popular among the masses. While some might make you cringe, others send a powerful message of how times have changed for the best. So, which of these movies did you find the most toxic regarding parent-children relationships? Let us know in the comments section!

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Indrani is a writer and artist who likes to add a dash of humor to everything she does. After graduating... more

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