Zoya Akhtar has touched our hearts so many times with her well-written characters and her knack for touching upon real-life issues that no one wants to talk about. Zoya’s characters may not be perfect but they are always real. And, one such character that would always remain close to our hearts is Sunny from Dil Dhadakne Do.
Played by very talented Farhan Akhtar, Sunny may have a small role to play in the film. But, no one can deny that he made his presence felt. He made us fall in love with his idealogy. He showed us his imperfections and vulnerability and made us realize how real he was. His primary role was to act as a catalyst for Ayesha (Priyanka) so that she would stand up for herself. But, one particular scene where he won our hearts was the conversation between him and Ayesha’s husband on women’s choice to work.
With just one scene he managed to create an impact that Bollywood failed to create in years. With the most simple words, he made a perfect case for why we need to end patriarchy. He made many men sitting in the audience question their own set of beliefs. He inspired many women to stand up for themselves and their choices. He made a powerful case for why men should stop thinking that women need their permission to live life. Through this powerful scene, he made a very important point that men should stop thinking that they own women!
Just after the song Gallan Goodiyan, the group gets together to catch a breath. The group praises Indu Chachi for her dancing skills and discusses Sunny’s work as a journalist. It’s then the discussion steers towards women’s equal rights. It’s then Ayesha’s husband, Manav’s (Rahul Bose), comments that initiate a discussion on how our so-called modern men allow their wives to work. This important scene showcases the mindset of a modern Indian man who is so accustomed to patriarchy that he believes his wife needs his permission to live life.
Sunny’s response to this sexist and male chauvinist not only shuts him but also makes it clear what it means to be a feminist.
It is sad how even in the 21st century, many modern well-educated men believe that woman needs men’s permission to live life. Patriarchy isn’t just about the traditional ways of putting women down. It also includes the actions, thoughts, and words that undermine women’s position in society as they serve man’s superiority complex.
Our society has to undergo drastic changes to treat women at par with men. With deeply embedded roots of patriarchy, it may take us ages to become a society where women get the respect they deserve! But, in this journey of becoming an equal society, we can’t shy away from acknowledging the role characters like Sunny play. In the midst of misogynist, toxic heroes like Kabir Singh, Sunny holds a special place in our hearts.