A rude sexagenarian fell for a woman half his age. A chirpy girl infused new life into a businessman with suicidal tendency. A Jat travelled to London to win back his wife. A struggling actor took rebirth as a heartthrob to avenge the death of his love interest. Yes, you have guessed right. This is what happened on Indian celluloid in 2007 and sadly it has taken Bollywood half a dozen years to produce a spate of endearing love stories- stories that made us believe in love all over again, stories that compelled us to see our mediocre and melancholic lives with rose tinted glasses. But the happy news is that 2013 has made up for all the lost time.
I am a die-hard fan of Bollywood love stories that despite their illogical treatment of characters, mismanagement of plots and utter disrespect for film editing create a space in our lives. No wonder Raj and Simran are household names. Getting back to my point, 2008 gave us ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ and ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi‘, tales of friends turned lovers and married couple turned lovers; 2009 presented a solitary Love Aaj Kal; 2010 failed to give anything, 2011 produced a streak of love stories but none that was moving and last year gave Barfi, Ishaqzaade and Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
But the current year has given my ilk several reasons to rejoice. It all started with Akaash Vani where Akaash played ‘Devdas’ but does not meet his fate. Not all of them had happy endings. So the next in line was the remake of the epic love story of 90s Aashiqui. Both the lead actors Aditya and Shraddha had earlier done enough films to leave their mark but it took them the characters of Rahul and Arohi to tell the world how beautiful they can look on screen. Then the songs crooned by Arijit Singh makes it an album to grab at the first chance. Mohit Suri’s 2007 flick Awarapan again dealt with love but crime had taken the centre stage. This time he knew where to put his money.
Talking about great music and Yeh Jawani Hai Dewani with its chart busters comes to mind. It is the weakest love story amongst all but still makes the cut unlike Chennai Express where undue violence takes the cake. Just like Jab We Met, real life ex-lovers always rock on screen. Raanjhanaa brought a fresh whiff of air in love stories with a dusky southern star in the lead. Dhanush found new fans in northern belt of the country and the film with its delectable dialogues became a love story to remember. Lootera not as popular as the above mentioned was another film that does justice to the emotion of ‘love’. Ranveer and Sonakshi’s subdued acts were heart warming. The Lunchbox, the heavyweight contender for India’s official Oscar entry discovered love between two strangers united by dabba. The ‘hunger’ for love exists in every human irrespective of his age or situation.
With little hopes from R…Rajkumarr as a love story, I believe the Bollywood year is calling the curtains on love with Goliyon ki raasleela…Ramleela. The myriad and vibrant hues, the songs and dialogues, stellar performances and the imaginary world of Sanjay Leela Bhansali was a great way to conclude the show. Cinema gave us more reasons to fall in love with it as it continued celebrating the genre of love.
By Niharika Rai