Depicting marriage and the vulnerabilities of relationships in the most sensitive way, Abhimaan, a 1973 film starring Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, is a masterpiece. While Amitabh played the role of a young aspiring singer – Subir Kumar, Jaya featured as his wife, Uma, who went on to achieve far greater success as a singer than he ever did. The success of his partner eventually becomes the source of Subir’s insecurity and the couple’s growing distance.
Directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the movie was a huge hit. But, what makes it so special is how this movie handled two women loving the same man with so much progressiveness. How it focused on this critical aspect shows how it was way far ahead of its time.
We stumbled over a Twitter thread that accurately pointed out a scene in which Uma and Subir’s ex-lover Chitra (Bindu) meet, but the makers don’t resort to pitting the women against each other.
We have seen so many movies, that tend to peg women against each other for a man and show them indulging in a catfight. But, Abhimaan was very different. It handled such a difficult subject with grace and dignity. In fact, when Subir tries to misbehave with Uma, Chitra, played by Bindu, sticks up for her.
It is quite regressive how in Bollywood, female characters are either stereotyped as “good girls” or “vamps.” But, Abhimaan, broke the mould by portraying Chitra as a modern woman who isn’t villainized and Uma, despite her humility, does not hesitate to speak up for herself. And, last but not the least, Subir, despite being a male protagonist, is made accountable for his actions.
It is quite shocking how we don’t see any of these characteristics in today’s movies. We have movies where the male protagonist is celebrated for being sexist and patriarchal. We have movies where women are villainized for being modern. Abhimaan is just another reminder of how Bollywood has traded its progressiveness for box-office collections! You can watch this masterpiece on Jio Cinema.