Posted on 10th Jan, 2015: Bollywood movies are big part of our lives, but unlike Hollywood, rarely has a pet been the focus of a movie in Bollywood or even get to play a role of prominence in our movies. Therefore, we decided to do some digging to find Bollywood movies where dogs have been central to the script or played a pivotal role in the movie to give you this list of top 5 movies from Bollywood.
5. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun – No such list would be complete without mentioning Tuffy, played by Rado – a 6 year old Indian Spitz, in this all-time blockbuster in the history of Indian cinema. The role of the dog was on an equal footing as some of the other powerful characters in the movie. Tuffy not only made the audience laugh with his biased umpiring antics and as a gullible guard of groom’s shoes, the movie’s climax is almost impossible to imagine without the dog’s role. What we at Gingertail loved most about the movie was how Tuffy is shown as just another member of the big family – perhaps first ever portrayal of pet parenting on our big screen. The movie led to a craze for Indian Spitz many of whom were also named Tuffy! As for Rado who apparently belonged to the Assistant Director Madhukar Sawle, he was adopted by Madhuri Dixit and died at the age of twelve in 2000.
4. It’s Entertainment – It’s Entertainment is one of the few movies made in India with dog playing a parallel lead along with protagonist – Akshay Kumar. A comedy drama where Akhil (Akshay Kumar) discovers that his late biological father, who was a billionaire, has willed his entire estate to a golden retriever called Entertainment, tries to kill him to get his inheritance only to end up developing a deep bond with the dog due to his fierce loyalty. The movie culminates with a melodramatic scene with Akshay talking about how humans owe so much to dogs given their loyalty and commitment – something which every dog lover and parent would endorse. The audiences fell in love with Junior (the dog who played Entertainment) and Akshay was so impressed with Junior’s work that he decided that the credit for Junior should appear before his on the silver screen – an amazing gesture from one of the biggest stars of our times.
3. Teri Meherbaniyan – This 1985 hit was a unique movie where the hero of the movie was not the lead actor Jackie Shroff but a friendly brown Labrador – Brownie. Ram (Jackie Shroff) rescues and adopts Moto (played by Brownie) after he accidently runs over the dog while riding his motorbike and over a period of time they end up developing a deep bond. Unfortunately, Ram is murdered by the villians and that’s when fiercely loyal Moti avenges his death by going after each villain – biting, barking and mauling them to death. The movie celebrated dogs’ loyalty and intelligence where Moti is shown performing last rites of Ram, brooding over his smadihi and even leading police to crucial evidence in the murder. The title song of the movie is every dog parents’ ode to their pooches. We at Gingertail simply love the central idea of the story – a rescued dog becoming a loyal companion – even though the over dramatization of 80s may not go well with today’s audience. We wish if there can be a more modern adaptation of this story to drive home the point on taking responsibility if you run over a dog (or any animal) and how adopting animals can be a fulfilling act which can enrich your life.
2. Halo – A 1996 children’s film, Halo is a story of a 7 year old motherless girl, Sasha (Benaf Dadachandji) who is told by her servant that a miracle will happen soon in order to convince her to eat. Soon enough a stray pup lands at Sasha’s doorstep whom she believes to be her miracle sent by God. Sasha adopts the pup and names him Halo who becomes the center of her life. However, one day Halo suddenly vanishes and then starts Sasha’s quest to find her dog which takes this little girl through the murky underbelly of Mumbai city dealing with shady dog catchers, smugglers and gang of street kids among other things. She ultimately finds her dog with an old couple only to realize that they have a disabled kid who has taken fancy to the pup. Even though Sasha has been dying to get her pup back, upon realizing that the pup was more important for the disabled kid she decides to let go and let the pup be with the boy. A poignant story about a little girl’s love for her pet and her magnanimity – we guarantee that this movie will definitely bring tears to you eye. Team Gingertail loved this movie for portraying the bond between the pet and the child as well as the intense pain one goes through if one’s pet is lost and (of course) the fact the one would do anything to find the pet. The movie also beautifully brings out how pets can add color to our otherwise mundane lives – a fact which we want to spread far and wide!
1. Chillar Party – A 2011 children’s film is about a group of kids living in a housing society who initially take a dislike to Fatka – a street kid who lives in the society and cleans cars, and his dog Bhidu, a stray. After some initial unsuccessful attempts the kids start getting along and soon Fatka and Bhidu become a part of the gang. However, the problem starts when a minister whose secretary was attacked by Bhidu for hurting Fatka, announces a plan to catch and terminate all stray dogs – leaving the kids with 30 days to get a NOC from their society to save the dog. What follows is a slew of innovative attempts by kids to get the signatures for the NOC culminating in a chaddi march and TV debate with the minister which ultimately helps them change hearts of society members and save Bhidu. Why we love this movie? Because it all about saving and adopting strays – an important message packed beautifully which we hope will help change some hearts in the real world as well!
Besides these top 5 movies, there are some notable mentions which include (in no particular order):
- Khoon Bhari Maang - the big hit from 80s where when Aarti (Rekha ) returns with her new look to her bungalow, the faithful dog Jumbo immediately recognizes her and breaks free from his chain to cuddle her – once again showcasing the fierce loyalty dogs have towards their parents.
- Maa (1992 movie) in which Dobby (a Labrador) is the only one who can see the ghost of the murdered mother eager to save her child and helps her by rescuing the infant who is being tortured by the villains.
- Rishi Kapoor’s Bol Radha Bol (1992) where a black Labrador Moti displays fierce loyalty and refuses to leave the protagonist even after being given a severe beating due to a case of mistaken identity
- Kyaa Super Kool Haim Hum, a 2012 comedy, about a struggling DJ Sid (played by Ritesh Deshmukh) whose pet pug Sackru takes a center stage after his girlfriend’s father (Anupam Kher) is convinced that Sackru is the reincarnation of his late father and then a hilarious mayhem ensues.
- Roadside Romeo – A 2008 animation film is about Romeo (voiced by Saif Ali Khan) an abandoned dog who is trying to rebuild his life on the streets. The story revolves around his love for Laila (voiced by Kareena Kapoor) while he deals with a local dog goon Charlie Anna (voiced by Javed Jaffery) to ultimately win her love. Though a human story set on animated dog characters, we at Gingertail love this movie as it somewhere gives the message that dogs are people too!
While there have not been too many movies with dogs playing a key role, the few which have been done focus on the special bond between man and dog and celebrates their fierce loyalty. Here’s hoping that in future we will see more movies on pets across genres.