Bollywood love takes: From Maine Pyaar Kiya to Shuddh Desi Romance

We’ve all grown up reading and watching love stories. Be it the cheesy dialogues, the innovative proposing tricks, the overtly romantic and sensuous scenes, the continuous gazes among the love birds, the passionate love making scenes between our favorite onscreen jodis – all of us relate to some (or all) of them with fond memories.  We croon for them (just recall the rapturous moment when Jai slaps Aditi’s fiancé in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na). We also shed a bucketful of tears when true love evades (recall the heart-wrenching climax of Kal Ho Naa Ho). Time and again, we also land up in an illusionary world (how many times have we thought of grabbing our better-half’s hand just when the train starts to leave). It’s cheesy, unrealistic, and dreamy – yet it gives us euphoric hopes. Love stories have invariably given us a high dose of a variety of emotions. It’s been a fascinating journey that has blended adroitly in our hearts. Let’s take a look at how this journey started, and where it is heading to now:

Love ala the 1990s style:
This period of Hindi Cinema dealt with the conventional route to love sagas.
Boy meets girl. Family comes in the way. Boy tries to woo girl’s family. There are massive tussles scattered everywhere. But then… true love triumphs. Happy ending. Films like DDLJ and Maine Pyaar Kiya belong to this category. Although such films had predictable plots, they are still hailed as iconic love stories, because of the simplicity in their treatment and unmatched relatability with most real-life families of that time.

Puppy love makes way for maturity: Most of us have had phases in life where we thought that we had discovered love; that he/she was the only one worth spending our lives with. But as we explored our life further, some of us realized that life has something better in store for us, which comes at the right time, when it’s actually meant to be. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, seemed to convey the same message in the subtlest of forms. The leading lady continues to love Sameer (Salman Khan) and turn a blind eye towards her husband (Ajay Devgn), only to decipher in the climax that it’s actually her husband who has stood by her through the toughest of times, given her unconditional love, and made her the apple of his eye. She decides to reciprocate her husband’s love, realizing that Sameer was someone who taught her how to love, but to maintain the relationship is what she learnt from her doting husband.

Friendship is the basis for love: There is an old adage – ‘love is like an old friendship caught on fire.’ This theme was well-explored in movies like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, and the lesser-known Break Ke Baad. The camaraderie turning into love was skillfully-depicted through the characters of Rahul – Anjali and Jai – Aditi.

Love on the path of self discovery: The plot usually revolved around two people with their own set of trials and tribulations. They complete one another and remove their individual inhibitions. Over the path of this self discovery, which brings zest back into their lives, they fall in love. This formula of love sounds very good on paper, but to implement it on 70 mm remains a major challenge. However, films like Jab We Met and Highway are a classic example of the fact that Bollywood has mostly done justice here. The way the bubbly and effervescent Geet transforms the whining Aditya into a far more productive and happy person, who in turns helps Geet get out of her Anshuman situation was not only laudable, but also struck a chord with one and all.

Opposites attract: A large number of films have usually dealt with this theme, but not many have done it as beautifully as done in films like Wake Up Sid or Hum Tum. In Wake up Sid, there is a poignant scene towards the end where Ayesha confesses how Sid taught her that there’s more to life than just dreams and ambitions. Likewise, Ayesha also brings a change in Sid’s carefree attitude, as he decides to take his life seriously now and pursue his passion (photography) with sincerity.

Live- in relationships is the current trend:
Most of the recent films seem to be okay with the idea of a live-in relationship. Siddharth Anand’s film Salaam Namaste was probably the first Bollywood film that put so much stress on the arrangements of live-in relationships. It was mildly criticized by a section for its unabashed portrayal of sex without marriage. Then came films like Cocktail and Pyaar Ka Punchnama. By now, depicting live-in relationships in cinema was no longer a daunting task. The latest to join the bandwagon is Shuddh Desi Romance, which takes this concept a few notches higher. The film tells the story of three youngsters who are not ready to settle down in life. Their confusion paves way for a great heartache but they learn to deal with it. This film, in a way defines the psyche of the Youngistan population.

This was all past. But the future looks no less bad. 2014 holds a lot of promise for the romantic genre. 2 States, Ek Villain, Haider and many more touted romantic blockbusters are all set to hit the silver screen.  The young guns Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra, Shraddha Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra have finally arrived and are gearing to become the next hot romantic jodi of Bollywood, the one that Yashrajs and the Johars will be signing up for their next mega-budget film. The prophetic signs just couldn’t get more exciting. Here’s to new beginnings!

By Anubhav Shrivastava

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