Toofaan (2021)

Film: Toofaan

Year of release: 2021

Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Producer: Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Lead Actors: Farhan Akhtar, Paresh Rawal, Mrunal Thakur, Hussain Dalal

In a nutshell, Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Toofaan’ promotes the narrative that any father trying to protect his daughter from ‘Love-Jihad’ is a Hindu bigot who shouldn’t be taken seriously by couples in “true love”.

Of course, Censor board chief Prasoon Joshi wasted no time in approving this film that projects the Hindu in a bad light. He was equally quick in rejecting ‘The Conversion’ movie, which was closer to depicting real-life Love-Jihad cases than ‘Toofan’.

Akhtar claims to be an atheist and a communist in real life. In Bollywood, people with this ideological combo must vehemently attack rituals, beliefs and customs dear to Hindus and only Hindus. Akhtar has never shown the zeal or courage to attack any Abrahamic faith. If this ideology isn’t pure hypocrisy, then what is it?

This movie also includes BJP MP Paresh Rawal, who has made a career out of blatantly promoting Hinduphobia and lopsided secularism.

Even in this film, he plays a devout Hindu, who hates the fact that his daughter Ananya (Mrunal Thakur), a practicing doctor at a respectable hospital wants to live-in with an extortionist in Dongri who beats up shopkeepers for money. The film preaches that the father is wrong in opposing such a match made in heaven.

Watch this scene where Paresh Rawal’s daughter played by Mrinal Thakur demands he apologises to her boyfriend Aziz (Farhan Akhtar) for getting angry at Aziz for having a relationship with his daughter. When the father tells her she is victim of Love Jihad, the daughter rebukes him saying “aapki soch Kharab hai” (your mindset is rotten).

This scene, below, further establishes that the father is a hateful bigot and thus all fathers opposing Muslim partners for their Hindu daughters are bigots. His secular friend rebukes him for his bigotry and gives him lessons on what is ‘true dharma’.

Message of the film: Hindu fathers don’t get angry because of a sense of protection and concern for well-being of their daughters. They get angry because their daughters are not bigots like them.

Another message, which is in line with Bollywood’s long-running agenda: Devout Hindus are scheming villains in every decade. And Hindu women are unhappy in their parental home till they find true love that encourages them to disown their families to walk away with that “worthy man”. 

In another scene, Hindus are shamed for being bigots by not renting out to Muslims. 

It is noteworthy that Bollywood often behaves like the Mumbai campus of Lahore film industry. Check out these two tweets by Gems of Bollywood comparing interfaith narratives in films from Urduwood and Lollywood. Both film industries have a similar agenda with interfaith love stories – the woman must be Hindu, man must be Muslim and woman must convert.

And this…

Can you try to reimagine these scenes happening in a non-Hindu household? For example, imagine a Bollywood scene where an open-minded Muslim woman shuns her father’s bigotry and walks away to live-in with her Hindu lover. Of course, you can’t.

The movie plot, after promoting Love Jihad in the first half, turns into an insufferable and wannabe Rocky rip-off in the second half. This Toofaan is nothing but annoying Urduwood dust blown in the eyes.

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Criticism & Review as per Section 52 of Indian Copyright Act, 1957

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