As Raksha Bandhan comes around, you wonder why you don’t hear those bhai-bahen songs any more, that used to be a staple of so many family films in the past. In fact, sisters are no longer even in the scheme of things in films, and today if a Bhaiya mere kind of song appears on screen, audiences will go out for a smoke.
Still, in celebration of Raksha Bandhan tomorrow, a selection of 12 films that had a brother and sister at the centre of the plot
Boot Polish (1954)
Prakash Arora directed this film about a brother (Master Ratan) and sister (Baby Naaz), whose aunt forces them to beg. With the help of a friendly bootlegger (David), they learn to stand on their own feet and resist attempts to separate them.
Toofan Aur Diya (1956)
Nanda got her break in this film directed by Prabhat Kumar, a saga of a brother (Satish Vyas) and sister orphaned in childhood, who survive all troubles due to the brother’s unfailing courage.
Choti Bahen (1959)
LV Prasad’s melodrama had Nanda as the sister of two loving brothers (Ashok Kumar, Rehman). When she is blinded in an accident, her older brother has to make sacrifices, and also put up with the younger brother’s vampish wife (Shyama). This film had the all time hit raksha bandhan song, ‘Bhaiya mere, rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana.’
Bhai Bahen (1969)
A. Bhim Singh melodrama had an interesting twist; a man (Sunil Dutt) discovers from his ailing father that he had a half sister (Padmini), who now dances on the streets; when he brings her home, it causes problems and misunderstandings.
Sachaa Jhutha (1970)
In Manmohan Desai’s crime thriller, a villager (Rajesh Khanna) comes to Mumbai to earn money for his crippled sister’s (Naaz) treatment and gets into a complicated situation because he resembles a gangster. This film had the all time hit Meri pyari beheniya banegi dulhaniya.
Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)
Set during the hippie movement of the 70s, Dev Anand directed this movie and played a brother who goes to Nepal in search for his long lost sister (Zeenat Aman) and finds an unhappy junkie.
Pyari Behna (1985)
Tanvi Amzi made her debut in this film by Bapu with Mithun Chakraborty playing her devoted brother, who doesn’t want to get married so that he can look after his sister.
Not one of Mahesh Bhatt’s better films, this one had Naseeruddin Shah as the man who will do anything to keep his sister (Ramya) happy, so when she falls for a man (Shah Rukh Khan), who loves another, his fury has no bounds.
Karisma Kapoor plays a girl who goes in search of her missing brother (Hrithik Roshan), and finds that he has joined a militant group. She ends up killing him before he can carry out a terrorist attack.
In Mansoor Khan’s Westside Story version set in Goa, Shah Rukh plays a brother over-protective of his twin sister (Aishwarya Rai) and triggers off a gang war when she falls in love with his enemy’s brother.
My Brother Nikhil (2005)
In Onir film, Juhi Chawla plays a sister who stands by her gay brother (Sanjay Suri) suffering from AIDS, and fights to help him spend his last days with dignity.
Bumm Bumm Bole (2010)
In Priyadarshan’s remake of Iranian classic Children of Heaven, a kid (Darsheel Safary) loses his sister’s shoes and has to find a way of getting her a new pair.