February is the month of love. And love in Indian cinema comes in various shades. Sometimes, it is a story of two destined lovers and their struggle against the realities of the world. Sometimes, it's a simple boy meets girl romantic comedy. And sometimes, it's a tragedy of two people whose love could never find fulfilment.
Whatever form these films take, they help us understand love through different lenses and appreciate all the ways it manifests in our lives.
So, in this episode of Do I Like It, I talk about some of my favourite romcoms, tragedies, political, feel-good, and bittersweet love stories.
Romantic comedies, or romcoms, are the go-to films for a perfect Valentine's Day watch list. It's a simple story of two people dealing with the quirks and absurdities of love, live, and everything in between.
To celebrate this feeling of simple, quirky love, I picked Jhootha Hi Sahi, which released in 2010, and Happy Ending, which released in 2014. Both films offer a somewhat fresh take on an old, boy-meets-girl romance.
Let's face it, everything about love isn't as rosy as it is in the movies. Hearts break, people change, and in general, life happens. But instead of running away from this feeling, some films teach us how to embrace them and learn to live with sorrow.
I picked Neeraj Ghaywan and Varun Grover's harrowing tale of death, Masaan, and Anand L Rai's problematic but pure chronicle of small town love, Raanjhanaa.
Political Love Stories
Love is political. No matter how strong the bond between two individuals are, factors like religion, caste, class, gender, etc, decide whether the love blossoms, or the lovers forever yearn to be together.
The two political love stories on my list are Mari Selvaraj's Pariyerum Perumal and Nagraj Manjule's Sairat. Both films start as run of the mill romantic stories. But then, they take an ugly turn as caste takes over love. The two films explore the real-life dynamics of love, when it conflicts with the societal norms.
Feel-Good Love Stories
Okay, let's lighten the mood a little. After talking about tragedy and politics, let's look at two films, which have done the job of lifting my spirits up on many a dull day. There is some conflict in these films, but in the end, everything works out for everyone, and faith in love gets restored.
My picks for feel-good love stories are Sujoy Ghosh's edgy, vibrant musical Jhankaar Beats and Mani Ratnam's exploration of young love, OK Kanmani. The two films are tonally different, but one thing common between them is the amazing music and solid performances.
The difference between a tragedy and a bittersweet love story is the aftertaste it leaves when the film ends. While a tragedy makes us feel hopeless, a bittersweet ending gives us a confusing, yet familiar feeling of satisfaction mixed with distress.
The two films on my list, 96 and Photograph, perfectly capture this emotion. Both films are a slow, serene studies of human dynamics and the eventual doom the love brings with it.
In life, things happen. And even if nothing happens, that’s something happening. So, on this show, we talk about things that happen. We get an esteemed panel of highly jobless people to answer the million-dollar question:
Now, ‘It’ can be a movie, a song, a gadget, or the latest viral trend. But the question remains the same. So, if you like listening to people talk about things, tune in, and we’ll tell you: Do I Like It?
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