The Hindi film industry has a timeless relationship with the romance genre. Right from the black and white era to the modern OTT period, while the representation and complexity may have changed, what has remained constant is the love for love. We have seen the melodramatic love of the 70s and 80s, and also cried to the messy realistic love that Prateek Kuhad often sings about.
Filmmakers have changed with the generations and moved from the basic storyline of a damsel in distress or Romeo and Juliet to more complex plots and themes. Take Gehraiyaan, for example. When Karan Johar, the creator of the ‘Shah Rukh Khan puppy love’ genre, launched the trailer of this film, he said, “This what the real love in this generation looks like.” The film deals with infidelity and how finding ‘the one’ may not always go as planned.
But this is not the first of its kind. Back in 2006, Johar himself shocked the audience with his Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. The film was everything that his previous ones were not. It did not have a crying girl begging her father to let her be with the guy she loves and neither did it have a child getting high school sweethearts together. It showed a complicated romance that this generation understood and accepted.
So maybe, this Valentine’s Day, instead of watching a sappy rom-com, you could check out an offbeat romantic film. Silverscreen India has curated this list just for that.
Put director Anurag Kashyap and love in one script and what you get is something raw, real, and unconventional. Manmarziyaan is all of that. The film, starring Taapsee Pannu, Abhishek Bachchan, and Vicky Kaushal, explores three complex characters and how they handle love. It revolves around Rumi (Pannu), her boyfriend Vicky (Kaushal), and her husband Robbie (Bachchan). Things start to take a turn when Rumi marries Robbie after being rejected by her long-time boyfriend Vicky despite their steamy chemistry. Even in marriage, Rumi finds it difficult to let go of her past and move on.
When talking about modern complex love, how can we forget Tamasha? Two young people (Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor) meet at a foreign location, fall for each other and build instant chemistry. They start a messy relationship but soon realise they are yet to explore themselves. What follows is a story full of tears, heartbreak, and intense feelings. Imtiaz Ali may not have hit the mark with this one, but Tamasha surely makes us question if we can love someone else before knowing ourselves completely.
Stockholm syndrome has often been explored in films and other forms of storytelling. But, Highway managed to show it in a way quite new to Hindi cinema. Veera (Alia Bhatt), a young bride-to-be, is abducted by a local gangster, Mahabir (Randeep Hooda), a day before her wedding. After being kidnapped, Veera finds herself getting attracted to her abductor as they spend more time together. Imitiaz Ali managed to show love in a way that was frowned upon and also portrayed how mental health issues can affect relationships.
This award-winning film by Rohena Gera does not just explore unexpected love but also talks about class disparity and how it can affect relationships. The story shows how Ashwin (Vivek Gomber), who is recovering from heartbreak, falls for his house-help Ratna (Tillotama Shome). Their love will make you smile and also give you all the warm fuzzy feelings as they exchange glances and become emotionally intimate.
This is definitely not one of those conventional love stories with run-of-the-mill protagonists. This 2013 film talks about how connections form and make two human beings relate to each other. The Ritesh Batra directorial, which won several awards, revolves around Saajan (Irrfan Khan), a widower, and Ila (Nimrat Kaur), an unhappy housewife in a loveless marriage. After a goof-up happens in the delivery of lunchboxes, Ila and Saajan end up exchanging a series of hand-written letters, and a friendship forms between the two.
The talk of the town currently, this film from Shakun Batra may not have a strong storyline, but it does explore modern love, lust, and infidelity. Alisha (Deepika Padukone) cheats on her partner of six years, Karan (Dhairya Karwa), with Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi), who is Tia’s (Ananya Panday) fiance. It has emotions and all-too-real scenes which will make you wonder, as Padukone says in the trailer, “Are we just messed up people?”