Throwback Thursday: Hum Saath Saath Hain Is About Women With Too Much Sanskaar And No Sexual Desires. They Take The Entire Fam On Their Honeymoon, FFS
When I was a child, I used to love Sooraj Barjatya’s movies and after growing up, I am appalled I thought this was decent cinema. Maine Pyaar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Hum Saath Saath Hain and Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon are four of his movies that I could watch any time. That’s the first four out of the seven movies he made. Then I watched Vivaah and I was seriously appalled by that movie. Not like any of those four movies were nice but I was young and naïve. And then I grew up and figured that all of these films promote a patriarchal mindset. Sooraj Barjatya brings in A-listers but none of his movies aim to be reformative.
Every Thursday, I revisit a movie from the past that we millennials loved back then but if you watch them now, you understand that these movies with so much wrong, it’s painful. This Thursday, I decided to attack the sickness in Hum Saath Saath Hain…a movie that I have watched at least over 10 times.
If you think Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is the ultimate drama then you’ve probably forgotten all about this film. It even has a song dedicated to worshipping your parents and I am just like, really we all love our parents but who the fuck sings a bhajan for them? But that’s not even the biggest icky aspect of this audio-visual horror.
Meet the women of the film. Sadhana (Tabu) is an independent woman who has returned from abroad but she happens to be present during that bhajan sequence and ends up getting converted into a desi version of The Stepford Wives. She falls for the eldest brother Vivek (Mohnish Behl). Then we have another smart woman, Dr. Preeti (Sonali Bendre) who may be saving lives and shit but gets with Prem (Salman Khan) and gives up everything to make bowls of gajar ka halwa. Her only job is to cook and serve food and blush every time she is in the vicinity of her love interest. Sapna (Karisma Kapoor) is the only normal character except that she has no ambitions and is just seen hopping around and being chirpy. Her love interest is Vinod (Saif Ali Khan), who is as disinterested in working, as her.
The film desperately tries to assert the skewed sense of sanskaars in our society and comes doused in poojas, sacrifice and of course, sexism. Sangeeta (Neelam) who is the daughter of the house wears jeans and western clothes. But the bahus of the family will always appear in traditional clothing. In fact, there’s a scene where the men are sitting on the dining table devouring their food, while the women of the house are serving them. And one of those sexist men comment saying that this is the real sanskaari shit – a house where women cook and serve. I mean, was that supposed to be a compliment? Of course, women are born to serve men. If you go by the principles of this film, we aren’t supposed to have ambitions, opinions or the right to sit at the dinner table and eat before the men of the house.
By the way, that’s again, is not the worst part of the movie. The most pathetic part of the movie that I can literally never wrap my head around is when Sadhana picks Rampur of all places, for her honeymoon. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she insists to take the entire family on her honeymoon. Why would anyone do that? Why are Indians pretending to have nothing to do with sexual desires and romance? Like dude, it’s your honeymoon and you should be spending alone time with your husband, alone being the keyword here. I seriously feel no millennial will ever do that. Like ever. How she gets pregnant after such a crappy honeymoon is beyond me.
I can still get a little entertained with all this but then the whole greed and money matters start to appear. Their mother Mamta (Reema Lagoo) loses her mind and gets manipulated into believing that Vivek shouldn’t head the empire. She wants all three sons to inherit it, which isn’t wrong. But her reason is that Vivek is her stepson and he can in future turn his back on to his bros. What was all that hype about family values then? Where does Mamta’s mamta go? They say a mother’s love is the strongest and if she actually raised him like her own, how can she simply get manipulated like that?
Prem has to head the family business now that Vivek is out of the picture, thanks to mommy. Vinod is a man-child so nobody can rely on him for that. Now all that is okay but in the middle of all this family drama, Prem decided he will not marry Preeti unless Vivek gets what he deserves. I mean, really? She means nothing to him? Her life means nothing? I would have asked him to fuck off at that point but she stayed because apparently a medical degree cannot really open up your mind.
ALSO READ: Throwback Thursday: Judwaa Was Dismissive Of Consent, Stupid About Twin Relationships And A Sexist Piece Of Trash
Of course, at the end, everything gets sorted and Preeti gets to do what she is actually meant to do and those are her doctor duties. She delivers Sadhana’s baby and it’s a happy ending for all of them. Me? I was just happy it ended!