Ranbir Kapoor And His On-Screen Universe Of Daddy Issues

From ‘Wake Up Sid’ to ‘Animal’, an overview of the different kinds of daddy issues that Ranbir Kapoor’s films have covered so far.

One of the most depicted relationships in cinema is that of a parent and child. Irrespective of the number of times we have seen it — whether it is father and son or mother and daughter, there is something universal about these relationships.

For example, a reason for the success of Jawan (2023) is the double role played by Shah Rukh Khan. The scenes featuring the Bollywood Badshah as father and son were an absolute treat for his fans and movie buffs.

The interval bang when the father saves the son and the subsequent dialogue drew cheers in the cinema halls.

Another example of the father-son bond this year is OMG 2. In the movie, Pankaj Tripathi plays a diehard devotee of Shiva who also runs a pooja shop. Things take a turn when his son gets admitted to a hospital due to exhaustion caused by excessive masturbation.

Things get even more problematic when the youngster’s video of masturbation in the toilet is secretly filmed and circulated on the internet.

For the sake of his son, Pankaj Tripathi’s character slowly changes from a distraught father to a revolutionary.

Coming to Ranbir Kapoor’s relationships with his on-screen fathers, there has always been certain unease in his movies — be it in Animal (2023), Sanju (2018), Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani (2013), Tamasha (2015), or Wake Up Sid (2009), they all have daddy issues.

It is a well-known fact that Ranbir’s real-life relationship with his father, the late Rishi Kapoor, was not smooth. This might be a factor for the directors to choose him for the roles or Ranbir Kapoor getting attracted to such characters.

Well, let us take a quick look at some of Ranbir’s on-screen father-son problematic relationships:


In Animal, Ranbir Kapoor’s Ranvijay is the son of a successful industrialist Balbir Singh (Anil Kapoor). Balbir Singh is a typical old-time patriarch obsessed with his factory and has little time for anything else, including his children.

The relationship between Ranvijay and Balbir is strained and goes into a toxic territory as life goes on. The parody here is that Ranvijay loves his father too much but makes him angry at every step.

When a murder attempt is made on his father, Ranvijay gets so obsessed about finding his father’s enemies that he soon becomes a wild animal himself. He doesn’t listen to anyone, including his father.

The most engaging part of Animal is easily these twisted dynamics coupled with how Ranbir throws himself into this dark territory. There is no denying that in most households, there is a certain distance between the father and the son.

However, in this case, director Sandeep Reddy Vanga takes it to an extreme level with little or no care for social repercussions.


In Sanju — a biopic on Sanjay Dutt, Ranbir Kapoor played a son who feels immense pressure to live up to the lineage of his illustrious parents — Paresh Rawal (Sunil Dutt) and Manisha Koirala (Nargis). This pressure leads Sanjay to take drugs, among other things.

There is no denying that Rajkumar Hirani did go soft on the transgressions of Sanjay Dutt. But having said that, the emotional upheaval of Sanjay Dutt cannot be denied.

One of the best moments in Sanju is when Ranbir Kapoor writes an apology letter and plans to surprise his dad by reading it publicly.

However, things don’t go according to the plan, and that very night, Paresh Rawal’s Sunil Dutt dies. Ranbir’s Sanjay Dutt ends up reading the letter to his dead body.

In this letter, he talks about how bad a son he has been and the troubles he has caused.


In Tamasha, Ranbir Kapoor plays a son who feels suffocated due to his demanding father. His character (Ved) gets stuck in a typical corporate job while his passion lies somewhere.

There is a certain bipolar nature to Ved, and there are scenes in the second half that focus on the issues of mental health.

In pre-climax, there is a powerful scene between Ranbir’s Ved and Javed Sheikh, who plays the father. It is a confrontation scene that most Indian sons can identify with.

Ranbir Kapoor and Anil Kapoor in ‘Animal’. (X)

In Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Ranbir Kapoor played a free-spirited youngster who constantly seeks thrill.

Late Farooq Sheikh played the father.

Ranbir’s Bunny has an awkward relationship with his father. There are two main reasons for this; one is personality differences between them, and the other is his father’s second marriage.

There are only a few scenes of the father-son relationship, but still, they are impactful.

Wake Up Sid

In Wake Up Sid, Ranbir Kapoor plays a carefree young man who lacks clarity about what he wants to become. There is a laid-back nature to Sid.

Like most fathers, this does not go down well with his father, played by Anupam Kher. Naturally, this leads to a certain amount of friction. These moments are few but still very powerful.

A special mention must be made of the showdown scene that leads to Sid leaving the house and staying for some time with Konkana Sen Sharma’s Aisha Banerjee.

There, he discovers his passion for photography and goes back to his family.

Ranbir Kapoor and Farooq Sheikh in ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’. (X)

Apart from these films, in Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani (2009), the discord between the son and father was used to generate moments of slapstick comedy.

Well, these are some shades of Ranbir Kapoor’s relationships with on-screen fathers. Maybe it is time for the Bollywood actor to take a break from these daddy issues and move on to other subjects!

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