Romance is a genre Bollywood would perhaps never get tired of weaving stories around - stories that audiences would never get tired of watching unfold on screen. Running into each other repeatedly; the endless eye locks and airports sequences that spark off perfect love stories, we've seen all of these elements intricately embedded into several iconic romantic films, and probably even dreamt of living those moments with a special someone in our lives. However, over the years, there have also been films that overlooked these endearing cliches, films that defied the established norms and yet made their way into our hearts with their simplicity and uniqueness. This time around, we at BollyCurry present a list of these unconventional love lores to you.
Age Is Just A Number
For an industry that had long refrained from depicting couples with a slightly wider age gap, Lamhe (1991) was a surprise to the audiences. The plot was rather peculiar with Anil Kapoor's character falling in love with his deceased beloved's daughter. Both mother and daughter were played by the legendary Sridevi, and the chemistry shared by the couple, despite shown to be about thirty years apart, was simply adorable. The movie came at a time when this kind of an age difference was largely frowned upon, but the movie remains a favourite of cinephiles and critics alike.
Other movies that gave the age difference concept a millennial touch were Amitabh Bachchan's Cheeni Kum (2007) and Nishabd (2007). The former movie, true to its name, had both wry humour and a rather bitter-sweet feel to it. It depicted the age difference with a light-heartedness, which was why it sat well with the viewers and went on to garner both critical and commercial success. The latter, on the other hand, took a darker route by outlining the adversaries and family dynamics involved in the love of a young girl and her friend's father. It attracted a lot of criticism due to a lack of proper treatment of the subject.
Love is Love
Following the socio-political developments in the past few years, it is only fair to hope that mainstream Bollywood is slowly beginning to embrace homosexuality with films like newly released Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019). Sonam Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, and Anil Kapoor's Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga not only presented the tale of two girls and their feelings for each other and got it right, but it also flawlessly put forth the pressure homosexual people are exposed to, living in a society that has conservatism running in its veins. While the movie didn't rake in moolah at the Box Office, it was lauded by the audiences and critics alike for its normalisation of the love story between the two women.
While mainstream cinema is just catching on, parallel cinema has always been way ahead of the time. An example of this is Mira Nair's Fire (1996), which followed the story of two women dissatisfied with their married lives and end up finding solace in each other's company. It is widely regarded as a cult movie that depicted a female-centric homosexual love story that is capable of making people uncomfortable even till date. Another notable mention is of Sudhanshu's Saria's Netflix original Loev (2015) for exploring the conflicts and complexities two men in a relationship face. It is one of the rarest movies of Bollywood that treated the subject as it should be, rather than adding any unnecessary elements of humour and was appreciated critically, winning accolades in numerous film festivals around the world.
Story-lines That Stood Out
There are some stories which are inherently different than your usual tropes, but resonate well with the audiences. A fine example of this would be Anurag Kashyap's Barfi (2012), which featured a love triangle with two differently-abled leads; it boasted of an innocent charm and agony, and what came our way was truly beautiful. Then, there was The Lunchbox (2013), that served us an impressive, heart-warming tale of love and some stellar performances. It was the simplicity of both these movies that left a lasting impact on the viewers.
Another movie worth mentioning is Ki & Ka (2015), which broke stereotypes by portraying a role reversal of sorts in marriage, and introduced the average Indian to the concept of house-husbands. It touched upon the underlying sensitive reality of every household, but failed to strike a chord with the audience due to the poor execution of a good story.
Analysing and discussing these outstanding romantic tales have left us mesmerized, and while we absolutely love the traditional love sagas, we also believe that the average Indian viewer is ready for what the coming years would bring. Which unconventional Bollywood love story is your favourite? Do let us know in the comments section below.
Writer: Ramya K.
Editors: Pooja B., Ritchelle C., and Mohini N.
Graphics: Aditi N.
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