Kapoor & Sons: Six things expected from a ‘perfect beta’

  • Gulshankumar Wankar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 27, 2016 18:33 IST
While living under one roof, family secrets unravel and misunderstandings are on the verge of turning into tragedy. (YouTube screengrab)

After a long time, Bollywood has finally come out with a really good family drama.

Kapoor & Sons is the story of a family comprising a couple in their fifties, a nonagenarian ‘Daddu’ and two sons. While one of them is naturally perceived as the better and more “laadla” of the parents, the other constantly tries to compete with his brother to win the same degree of praise. The result? A relationship shrouded by inferiority complex and, at times, jealousy.

Kapoor & Sons review: This is family drama at its best

This is a relatable family scenario that can be seen in households around us as well as movies like Mother India, Hum Saath Saath Hain and Dabangg.

However, Kapoor & Sons also beautifully portrays the parent-children bond – something that has changed significantly since the 1975 classic Deewar, which was famous for the conflict between two brothers and also the iconic dialogue: “Mere paas maa hai!”

Thus, Kapoor & Sons charts out six parameters on which the perfect son – Ek adarsh beta – can be adjudged. Consider two sons – Rahul (the good son, played by Fawad Khan) and Arjun (the wayward son, played by Sidharth Malhotra).

1. Who likes ‘maa ke haath ka banayaa khana’

While Rahul likes bhindi cooked by his mother, Arjun storms out of the house to eat elsewhere. Newton’s fourth law states that if you love bhindi, you’re loved more.

2. He can support his family

When in crisis, (either financial or emotional), Rahul can support the family, therefore becoming the relatively better son. The other one, Arjun, is usually rendered juvenile, immature and scolded during grave family discussions: “Tu khaali apne problems sambhal! (You better manage your own problems)”

3. Seeks guidance while making decisions in life

Rahul always calls up parents to ask what to do (or what not to do) before taking a crucial step. But Arjun likes to do things his own way. Obviously, the one who asks wins the most praise here too.

4. A perfect beta never gets shouted at

The father shouts at Arjun for bumping the car into a tree. But when Rahul admits it was his fault, the dad walks away in anger without a word. Oh, come on! You don’t shout at the perfect kid.

5. Focused in life

Unlike Arjun, who keeps experimenting to find his real thing, Rahul is focused on his one career. It’s quite possible that Arjun is just trying everything he can just to prove himself better than Rahul.

6. Will say ‘I do’ to the “right” person (SPOILER ALERT)

The “worries” of parents these days are not limited to marrying their son off to the perfect girl, or just another good girl. They are worried if it’s a girl he will be marrying after all! (No offence, but this is still a parental worry in India).

Earlier in the movie, Rahul gifts diamond earrings to his mother. She loves them, thanks her son, kisses his forehead as she says, “Mera perfect beta (My perfect son).”

But when she discovers that Rahul has a boyfriend, she is shattered but gathers enough courage to say: “Tu toh mera perfect beta tha na?” (Weren’t you my perfect son?)

The mother is not in the wrong, and neither is the son. She expects Rahul, the perfect son, to get a “chand-si dulhan (a beautiful daughter-in-law)” for the family. For her, this salient-feature of ek adarsh beta remains unchecked.

A lot is expected from a son, and even if you don’t check any of these boxes yourself. You’re still loved by your parents, no matter what! But the world is so unfair that it does not even celebrate a “son’s day” (although the US has a National Son’s and Daughter’s Day on August 11).

Kapoor & Sons is a delightful movie. If you haven’t watched it yet, don’t miss the train. After all, it’s not every day that you get to talk about a good movie made on male offsprings.

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The author tweets @GulshanMWankar

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