For those who don’t know the meaning of a man-child – Let us tell you it means exactly what the word suggests. It means a grown man who stubbornly refuses to grow up. He’s immature, and does kiddish stupid things to seek attention. And, when it comes to responsibility, he runs as far away as possible. Man-child might charm you as he loves to fool around and has an easy-breezy approach towards life. But, when you have to deal with them on a regular basis, it is not only toxic but also heartbreaking. We are sure, Bollywood doesn’t understand.
Bollywood’s obsession with projecting a man-child as a Hero is quite old. From Raja Babu to Kabir Singh to Raabta to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the list of stupid Bollywood movies celebrating man-child in the name of heroes is endless.
While most Bollywood movies celebrate the man-child as a hero, there are very few movies like Hum Tum where a man-child actually grows up!
The movie starring Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukherjee was released back in 2004. And, now it has been almost 17 years and one thing that stands out is the growth of Saif’s character, Karan – from a spoilt brat and a man-child to a man who wants to be better.
How could we forget how rude and obnoxious Karan was during his first meeting with Rhea. And, how he kisses Rhea without consent, that does earn him a tight slap. Even though he is charming but he is a horrible person. And, the first 30 minutes of this film establish that very clearly.
But, after 3 years when Rhea meets Karan for her wedding, you could see Karan, who is finally capable of having decent conversations; who knows how to take criticism without throwing a tantrum.
But the strong narratives takes you on a very powerful journey when these two meet in Paris, after the death of Rhea’s husband. Not only Karan’s clothes are different, but he is so calm. A reckless boy who had no care of anyone’s emotions spends almost 10 minutes trying to figure out how to talk to Rhea about Sameer without hurting her feelings. What a grown-up thing to do!
This emotionally aware and caring man wins you over completely. He is sweet, understanding, loving and busy scheming every attempt to make Rhea feel happy and better!
And, you automatically start rooting for this unlikely couple. While the couple struggles to understand their relationship, you, the audience want more and more to see them together.
And, a plot twist of Karan trying to set Rhea up with Mihir makes you so upset but you still understand it. Because Karan held Rhea in such high regard, that he never thought of her being with someone like him. Someone whom she has seen grown into a good man, but who has had his own flaws. Now, that’s another sign of a mature man!
When despite following Rhea to Paris, he couldn’t find her, you see him crying in the car while chasing her. At that point, you empathise with him so much. You just couldn’t deny the massive growth this character has gone through.
The beautiful journey of Karan from an aimless lost young adult to a successful and accomplished man sets Hum Tum apart from the other hit Bollywood movies like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai! We hope Bollywood would stop celebrating toxic or man-child characters as heroes! And, start giving us better characters like Karan!