Those Titanic-type sweeping romantic scenes are so last century. When it comes to love stories, our young brigade of Bollywood directors prefers to take the dark, doomed route
I am not a fan of films where boy meets girl and they eventually get together. I enjoy romance with a sense of longing, or when there is an uncertainty about whether or not it will materialise. In that vein, I like this 1973 film called Badlands. Itís a Bonnie and Clyde kind of a film where Sissy Spacek plays Holly, a 15-year-old school girl who falls in love with 25-year-old Kit (Martin Sheen) who is just an average guy. There is a moment in the film when they are driving on the highway, tense and uncertain about their future, running from the law when suddenly, on the radio, a Nat King Cole song starts playing. Martin Sheen stops the car; they get off and right in the middle of the highway, they start waltzing. All this, while the cops are chasing them. The romance of that moment is beautiful ó you know this is going to come to an end, they know itís not going to last and yet they are waltzing, under dim streetlights.
I love romance that exists without conditions, without future and when you are just in the moment.
In The Butterfly Effect, Evan (Ashton Kutcher) has the power to go back into his memories and change events. With this, he wants to better his girlfriend Kayleighís (Amy Smart) life so that they can live happily together. But it never works out, until he realises the only way to keep her happy Ė so, he goes back to the time when he first met her at a childrenís party. He walks up to her and whispers into her ear ĎI hate you and if you ever come near me again, Iíll kill you and your whole damn family.í She never speaks to him again. Then the movie comes back into present where she doesnít know him. He watches her with her baby, thinking how much he loves her and that he sorted her life. It was fantastically done; just to say that, love doesnít necessarily mean making each other happy... love a lot of times means letting go. There isnít anything romantic in that movie but this one moment defines everything that love can be.
I am old-fashioned when it comes to love and I do not subscribe to the Karan Johar kind of romance in his films. I like silent relationships like that of Nutan and Ashok Kumar in Bandini or Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan in Sholay ó itís quieter, more real love. Nothing defines romance more than the one shared by Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan in the two scenes of Sholay. Itís this one quiet look that they share in the beginning of the film and another quiet look that Radha (Jaya) has at the end of the film when Jai (Amitabh) is dead. Both the scenes complement each other. Together, they speak a lot more than any other romantic scenes you would have come across. They leave a lot to the imagination. Itís not like screaming from a rooftop saying ĎI love youí. Here, itís more uncertain, when the audience is not sure if they are in love or not, that is when you feel more in loveÖalong with them.
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