Valentine’s Day is here. And while couples celebrate their love with their partners on February 14, those who are single can find solace in cinema. To that end, Silverscreen India has curated this special list of films that celebrate being single.
While movies like those in the Pyar Ka Punchnama franchise or Luv Ka The End offer a fun, adventurous take on singlehood, others such as Dear Zindagi and Queen show singlehood in a positive light. Then, there are films like The Lunchbox and Sonata, which describe the loneliness that can be felt even in a relationship.
On the other hand, Marriage Story, Malcolm and Marie, Blue Valentine, and 500 Days of Summer look at the overall journey of a relationship – from the little things that make people fall in love, to how the same things become the reason for them to fall out of love, and everything in between.
Without further ado, here are our picks for all the singles out there this Valentine’s Day:
Queen (2013) – Jio Cinema, Netflix
In this Hindi comedy-drama film starring Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao, the protagonist Rani (Ranaut) goes on her honeymoon to Europe alone, after her fiance (Rao) calls off their wedding. Rani, who has never travelled alone outside her hometown Delhi, discovers a new independent self, while travelling solo from Paris to Amsterdam, even sharing a room with three other men in a hostel.
Dear Zindagi (2016) – Netflix
This Hindi coming-of-age drama starring Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan deals with a single millennial cinematographer (Bhatt) who is discontented with her life and relationships, until she meets a free-spirited psychologist (Khan). The film addresses the nuances in dating and modern-day relationships and normalises stigmas around seeking therapy to gain perspective in life.
Luck By Chance (2009) – Netflix
Konkona Sen Sharma‘s character in this Hindi drama, also starring Farhan Akhtar, is one for all singles out there. While the film primarily revolves around Akhtar’s quest for stardom, it also touches upon his relationship with Sharma and how she comes out of it. After getting betrayed in love and having gone through a bad phase in her career, Sharma is portrayed as being content with her singlehood and being an independent woman, with an averagely successful acting career.
Piku (2015)- SonyLiv
This Hindi comedy-drama, which features Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan and Jisshu Sengupta, gives us different takes on single, independent people with Padukone’s and Khan’s characters. The story revolves around Piku (Padukone), a strong, working woman, whose life centres solely around her job and taking care of her father (Bachchan).
The Lunchbox (2013) – Netflix
This award-winning Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur-starrer is a Hindi epistolary romance film that delves into the companionship that forms between Saajan Fernandes (Khan) a widower, and Ila (Kaur) an unhappy housewife, through hand-written letters thanks to the misdelivery of lunchboxes.
Sonata (2017) – Disney+ Hotstar
Adapted from a one-act play by Indian playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar, Sonata primarily deals with female friendships, and is a must-watch for all single women on Valentine’s Day. The film is led by Aparna Sen, Shabana Azmi and Lillete Dubey playing three middle-aged, urban women who have been friends for over 30 years, and who share their solidarity, freedom and loneliness.
500 Days of Summer (2009)
This American romantic comedy-drama film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel revolves around the protagonist (Gordon-Levitt) who introspects on his failed relationships, break ups and rebound love.
Blue Valentine’s (2010) – Amazon Prime Video
This Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams-starrer is an American romantic drama film that offers a contemporary take on the life of a married couple. The non-linear narrative jumps back and forth in time and touches on everything from their courtship to the dissolution of their marriage, years later.
Marriage Story (2019) – Netflix
This film features Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in the leads as a married couple that is headed for a divorce. It gives a detailed insight into a marriage that is breaking up and a family that is trying to stay united for their son. The film also delves into the concept of co-parenting after a divorce.
Malcolm & Marie (2021) – Netflix
Malcolm & Marie is an American black and white romantic drama film, starring Zendaya and John David Washington, which narrates the story of a single night. A filmmaker and his girlfriend return from the premiere of his first Hollywood feature film and indulge in a heated argument that touches upon ideas of toxic relationships and gaslighting.