Jab Harry Met Sejal: Bollywood's trope of the directionless tour-guide finding himself
There is more to Harry, who is Shah Rukh Khan's tour-guide character, in Jab Harry Met Sejal than a piercing gaze and some uninhibited dancing on the streets of Europe with Anushka Sharma. His character harks back to one of Bollywood's favourite tropes — of the lost guide who eventually 'finds himself', courtesy the female lead. There are these, and then there are guides who do not undergo a transformative journey but often find themselves in troubled waters.
In this edition of 'Throwback Thursday', Firstpost looks back at the various guides of Bollywood, who were stumbling through life themselves.
Aamir Khan in Fanaa
A persuasive Aamir Khan serenading a coy Kajol, while standing against the Qutub Minar in Fanaa was easily the year's most idyllic picturisation. Although Khan maintains that he is not head-over-heels in love with Kajol, the trope of the troubled guide has him fall in love with her, irrevocably. So just what could have possibly gone wrong with a notorious but charitable tour guide trying to woo a visually impaired Kashmiri girl with his roadside charm? You find out that the guy is a part of an organisation fighting for an independent Kashmir.
Dev Anand in Guide
While emancipating a suppressed Waheeda Rehman — which includes talking her out of suicide, reigniting her love for singing and dancing, and then making sure she has a career thereafter — Dev Anand commits the gravest sin: gets jealous (while perfecting Bollywood's archetype of a dissipated young man). Hindi cinema's original guide then lives a life of misery in prison before assuming the role of a sage.
Aamir Khan in Raja Hindustani
Aamir Khan in Raja Hindustani is what instantly crops up in the mind of an Indian movie-goer when you think of cinematic tour guides. Maybe it was his eccentric dressing style or the chutzpah of his character, whatever it is, it helped him cement Raja as the second-most popular guide after Dev Anand. Bogged down by family politics which results in innumerable conflicts, Khan lives an erratic life in contrast to his occupation as someone who's supposed to direct the lost ones.
Sushant Singh Rajput in Shuddh Desi Romance
Sushant Singh's Rajput character does not steer away from its initial shades. Raghu is more of a modern day, emancipated millennial, who develops cold feet multiple times before his wedding. There isn't as much depth to his character as there is to the ones stated above, probably because his occupation and his persona are treated differently and rarely do they cross-over in the film.