Why we liked Maddy over Saif in Rehna Hain Tere Dil Mein?

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Posted: 1 months ago

Rehna Hain Tere Dil Mein was a movie released in 2001. 

It was a Hindi remake of Tamil film Minnale which also released in the same year, made by the same director and Madhavan played the same role in that movie as well. 

Minnale was the highest grossing film of the year in Tamil but RHTDM flopped at the box office, although the movie got a cult status after it's release. 

When I first watched this film as a kid, I instantly preferred and liked Maddy's character over Saif, although Saif was a familiar face to me, in contrast to Maddy whom I was watching for the first time.

It was not just because he was playing the lead character. I liked and preferred him over Saif from the first few scenes itself when both the characters are introduced and are shown clashing with each other. 

It's easy to understand why Maddy can be a likable character. He's funny, charming, rebellious. Who  doesn't like rebels? Madhavan is also more charismatic than Saif in atleast this movie. In acting performance he again is much better, though Saif didn't have much scope here so it's unfair to make a comparison. 

Even if we keep the comparison with Saif aside, Maddy as a character on it's own is very problematic, and me back as a kid never realized it. I adored him and cheered for him when he gets the girl in the end over Saif. 

Now when I look back at him, I realize that he's a misogynist. He's shown harassing a group of girls at the start of the movie itself. He isn't interested in dating or having relationships with women at all. That's a personal choice but he doesn't even view them as human beings until he first sees Reena (Diya Mirza). 

Some scenes and dialogues in this movie are problematic on a whole new level. Like there's a scene where Reena is making a call from a local PCO and after she leaves, Maddy comes and picks up the receiver to get her scent like a creep.

The movie tries to play this off as a cute and funny scene by playing romantic background music. There's another scene where Maddy is angry on Reena because she's rightfully ignoring him after learning his truth, he says and I quote, "Arre inn ladkiyon se toh baat karna hi bekaar hain. Arre inko toh kone mein kahi le jaakar....".

You guys are smart enough to know what he meant. Other than that, he's a punk, hooligan, bully, who fights with people over petty issues. Although Saif was also shown or implied to be a milder version of him. 

After all this, I still find Maddy's character likable and didn't feel anything for Saif. But why? I suppose we as an audience have a tendency to like flawed and asshole characters over goody two shoes. The reason behind this is we relate to flawed characters more easily, because we as human beings are extremely flawed as well. 

By we don't want to see the real ugliness of ourselves either. So the filmmakers present a glossed up version of it, by showing these characters in a grand way. They do it by making these characters quirky, funny and larger than life. 

I'll give you another example which is from the MCU. Tony Stark is a more popular character than Steve Rogers. Tony was liked for being rude, arrogant womanizer asshole from the first Iron Man movie itself. 

While Captain America was a boring and nobody's favorite character in his origin movie and first Avengers because he was goody two shoes character with no interesting superpowers. 

Russos reinvented him in Winter Soldier by putting his best skills and qualities at display. It's also not just the character here, as Chris Evans charm also helped in audience accepting and liking the character. 

It took Cap three movies to grow as a character, while Tony was liked instantly by the audience. It's not just Bollywood or Indian audience, but in general people like rude, arrogant, rebellious characters in fiction because it gives a power trip to them. 

A hero who gives zero fucks and does whatever he wants and also gets away with it. People love this power fantasy.

Lastly I wanna say this topic was not just about RHTDM or Tony or Steve but about audience liking a certain type of characters. 

Posted: 1 months ago

Good write up :)  

Posted: 1 months ago

Nice analysis.

Probably because most audience prefer the dangerous bad boy over the sweet nice guy - but I think it’s mainly in fantasy/fiction - it’s an escapism where you dont have to ponder over the characters’ actions and implications, you dont have to use morality or sense of right and wrong to judge these fictional characters, that hinders most people in real to act that way.

 Irl, these bad boys will make you very uncomfortable and most people (I know) end up with nice guys/girls.

Although in RHTDM, I never liked Maddy, even when I was quite young. And till date I dont get the hype for Tony Stark. He’s got to be one of my least fav avenger. Same reason I liked Stefan over Damon. Personal taste varies too but yeah, majority likes the other options.

Posted: 1 months ago

Originally posted by AwaamKiJaan

 It's not just Bollywood or Indian audience, but in general people like rude, arrogant, rebellious characters in fiction because it gives a power trip to them. 

A hero who gives zero fucks and does whatever he wants and also gets away with it. People love this power fantasy.

Lastly I wanna say this topic was not just about RHTDM or Tony or Steve but about audience liking a certain type of characters. 

I think its a case of being a total asshole yet finding human qualities in the person. 

Boring Bland People have no such luck 

Posted: 1 months ago

I always disliked Maddy. I knew he was creepy and gross

Posted: 1 months ago

I didn't like Maddy(and I'm not trying to be different) even then. My sister loved the movie as well as Maddy where as I considered both Maddy n Saif's characters douche like. Maddy toh made me cringe when he's all 'I could have done anything with you' to Dia's character. Even my preteen self couldn't bear such smiley11

Also, always preferred Captain America over Iron man. You can make a goody two shoe character interesting as well. 

(Although Thor over both of them. Hemsworth has my smiley27 smiley36

But I have liked many a-holes in my fiction reads. I don't mind them as long as they are interesting(let's be honest in fiction world it's these characters which bring the drama n not the bland boring ones. There's a reason Chuck Bass got the major storylines over Nate Archibald). But they need to have a redemption arc with a hell lot of grovelling involved. The power trip in such fictional stories is seeing the arrogant, rude etc MC showing his humane side coz of 'love'. Or in romance land definition: How he doesn't give a f*ck about the world but the heroine brings him to his knees. 

But there's a difference between being rude or arrogant an a**h*le and being a creep or an abusive jerk. Maddy was just gross and creepy with no redemption arc, instead there was glorification of his 'love'. He even gets to sing a song how Dia has supposedly broken his heart and her love was a lie smiley36

It is this kind of glorification which gives validation to the 'launde/lapade' types. You were an ass, the girl leaves you/doesn't love you back so this makes her a bitch and you conveniently forget that you were an ass. Kabir Singh being the latest in this kind of nonsense 

Edited by trouble_006 - 1 months ago
Posted: 1 months ago

I think the overall perception that a filmmakers trying to give to viewers by creating a character that's completely flawed, is to give a female the upper hand in thinking that she holds the power " to change him ". For a male flawed character it's perceived that they are badass or that they need a woman's perspective to see world a little bit different. So you place a demsal in dismay like situation and the hero will come to her rescue as he sees fit. He won't care how he abuses her from time to time when he doesn't get his way, nor will he see reason if she provides an alternative argument to his thinking. It's always shown as a journey of self-discovery. And therefore the flawed hero looks even more attractive nearing to the end of the film because we saw his journey from really bad to becoming better with her help.

The real problem with this formula is that the viewers watching this is that there take away is be asshole you are, she will find it was likeable and endearing. But for the female character it's all about someone will come to my rescue. Even when she does not need any rescuing from anyone.

Posted: 1 months ago

I never liked maddy he lied about his identity first of all and he was harrasing her and forcing her to accept his love that was awful and his behaviour was creepy as stated above ! Also he thinks harming saif will get him the girl smiley24 Also I feel maddy did not deserve the girl at the end.

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