The season of love is not complete until we sigh over a lovesick couple who are desperate to be with each other. The Hollywood movie channels on television have already started their parade of romantic movies, leaving viewers spoilt for choice. But it's not just Hollywood that can give you the ultimate romantic experience. I have had the privilege of watching movies about love across many languages and would like to share five of my most favourite love stories from amongst them. In all fairness, one English language movie has also gotten a place in my list; what can I say, I just couldn't not include it.
My Little Bride is a South Korean romantic comedy starring Moon Geun-young and Kim Rae-won. The movie has a very familiar trope of a high school student and an older college student being forced into an arranged marriage, citing the failing health of their grandparent. The story focuses on their journey towards each other, with the girl resolving her feelings for her high-school crush and her foisted-upon husband. The lead pair play off each other perfectly well and the lead character Park Sang Min is a swoon-worthy hero. It is a cute, heart-warming movie that tends to give me the feeling of being covered in a fuzzy blanket.
Actors Suriya and Jyothika, who are a fan-favourite couple of South Indian cinema, are my favourite pair to watch in any movie. The Tamil movie Sillunu Oru Kadhal, helmed by this famous pair playing the roles Gowtham and Kunthavi, with music by the maestro A.R.Rahman and directed by debut director Krishna, is an unusual love story. Seldom do we get to watch a movie that has the lead couple first meeting each other on their wedding day and later on going to create a deep bond between themselves. In fact, it was a novelty to see a married couple's deep love for each other, where the wife's love for her husband transcends all limits of possessiveness and jealousy, enabling her to let her husband have a single day with his long lost love – Gowtham and Kunthavi give us couple goals. I just love the way the story has been told and the way the lead characters' dynamics are portrayed in the movie. It's a beautiful movie that has a lot of soul.
Amongst the five movies that I have listed, Love, Simon is the only one which tells the love story of the current generation. Through this movie, we get to traverse the complex and myriad playing field that the current generation's dating scene has become. We also get to witness the lovely and honest feelings of a boy, who is still struggling to understand himself, towards another boy he has met online. As he tries to navigate the various relationships he already has in his life and struggles to cope with the one developing with this unknown person, we cannot help but feel for the trials and tribulations of the people who fall out of the boxes of 'normal' that society categorises us into. Nick Robinson's sensitive and mature portrayal of Simon is a beauty to watch. There are different kinds of love and what this lovely boy feels, is love too; the movie manages to get this message across splendidly.
Farhan Akhtar's directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai is usually classified as a coming-of-drama about three close friends. But for me, this story of Akash, Sameer and Sid is a deep exploration of different forms of love. There is Sameer who is forever falling in and out of love, Akash who is forever mocking love and Sameer's experience with it, and then there is Sid who holds a deep, abiding love for an 'unsuitable' person. As we experience love through these characters, we as a viewer, are gently coaxed into questioning our views and perceptions of what love is. I still remember questioning myself about my idea of love, enabling the broadening of my horizons, when I first watched this movie. All my repeated viewings of this movie have only made me love these three completely different people and their love stories more and more.
For a hard-core romantic like me, the Tamil movie Alaipayuthe is the epitome of what a love story of the contemporary times should be. This movie starring R. Madhavan and Shalini is directed by ace director Mani Ratnam. It does start as the typical 'boy meets girl and both sets of parents oppose the relationship' kind of movie. But later it segues into this story of two people who are finding their way in the turbulent landscape of marriage. There is lot of passion between them but there is strife too. As a terrible tragedy drifts them apart, we watch how their relationship flounders and we, as viewers, closely feel the couple's pain too. I get so involved with their lives in every viewing that I just can't wait for them to get back together again. The phenomenal music by A.R. Rahman is a beautiful crutch for the flow of emotions throughout the movie and the cinematography by P.C. Sreeram paints some moving pictures on the screen. Most magical of all is the wonderful slow-motion meet-cute train sequence when the hero and heroine meet the second time. I can watch the movie countless times just for this scene and the movie forever holds a special place in my heart.