Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Bollywood romances have died (and will they ever come back)


This Valentine's Day, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Siddharth Anand, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, and Smriti Mundhra respond to the question of whether the demand for provocative content and the era of Tinder have ended Bollywood relationships.

Bollywood taught us that love is mushy, that love is dreamy, and that love is what happens when you spread your arms in the air and violins start to play. We all want to be a part of that love, whether it's delusional or influenced by Bollywood.

Despite the fact that love has changed, romantic comedies are disappearing to the point where we talk about them in the past tense. Perhaps this is due to the fact that love is changing today and how it is depicted is changing as well. The complexities of real-world mundane life are depicted in today's films, both in happy moments and in tragedies. Indianexpress.com talked to some of the most beloved rom-com actors and filmmakers about the beauty of Bollywood rom-coms and why we still crave them to understand how much they have changed and how nostalgic they are.

Kareena Kapoor Khan, the queen of Bollywood romantic comedies, who has made beloved films like Jab We Met, Ki and Ka, Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, and Mujhse Dosti Karoge, asserts that the number of romcoms has decreased due to the evolving depiction of love and that "we’re pushing the boundaries" in her most recent film, Laal Singh Chaddha. She declares, "It's been a while since I did a proper romcom, but then what is romcom, Jab We Met types? " I haven't worked on a movie like that in a while. We are currently pushing the boundaries with the type of cinema on the big screen and the content on OTT. Like Rupsa's character in Laal Singh Chadha, Chadha has a lot of courage for how her life turned out and ended. Yes, I haven't seen mushy and jumpy films like Jab We Met or in the Hum Tum space in a while, but this is a different kind in a way.

Since we previously referred to Kareena as the "queen of rom-coms," her husband, the actor Saif Ali Khan, is without a doubt the "nawab" of the love genre. However, after appearing in a number of romantic comedies, one of which, Hum Tum, earned him a National Award, the actor decided that he had "outgrown" the rom-com genre and that it was time to start experimenting.

He responded, "I shouldn't have said that, romantic films have changed," when asked why he believes he has outgrown the romantic-comedy genre. I think the language used in movies at the time was stretched, and the characters played were also stretched, but I've grown out of that. Romance movies are always great, but I think one must write it in a certain way and age-appropriately.

According to the filmmaker, she started receiving calls from individuals stating that "finally we can see a drama, a love story, which is calming down everything" when she did return to the romantic drama space with her most recent film, Faadu.

"Out there, there is a lack of love. In this fast-paced life, you need it, but when you find it, you get busy on your phones,” she continued.

Not every factor that contributes to the decline in love stories on television is societal change. It's personal growth for some, like filmmaker Sidharth Anand. Sidharth was known for big-budget romantic comedy dramas like Salaam Namaste, Ta Ra Rum Pum, and Bachna Ae Haseeno before moving on to action with the 2015 film Bang Bang. His final film in the genre was Anjaana Anjaani.

However, when Sidharth was asked to produce Bang Bang, he began to "organically" drift toward action. After finishing Anjana Anjani, I was considering my next romantic comedy. He stated, "It's just destiny." But will the director, whose romantic comedies have provided numerous pop culture moments, ever return to the genre? Sidharth says no, at least for the time being.

"Rom-coms are a no for me, at least for the time being. I really like this. I feel like a kid in a candy shop. I get to perform with the best teams, action directors, and production houses in the world.

The Romantics, starring Smriti Mundhra and available on Netflix starting today, is one of the fraternity's romantic comedies. Smriti's four-part docuseries aims to honor the YRF romantic comedies that revolutionized Indian love. When asked if she thinks these movies have changed how love works in real life? She asserts, "What is love if you are not chasing someone on the train?"

Smriti then discusses how viewers received an "aspirational idea of love" from rom-coms. She asserts, "I think it is good to have an aspirational idea of love when you are young, or anytime in your life." It is what draws people into life. However, in reality, there is also recognition of the love and romance that can be found in seemingly insignificant activities like making your partner a cup of coffee or tea in the morning. When you have children, it is very romantic when someone brings you a cup of coffee in bed. It could be as romantic as throwing rose petals out of a helicopter. Having aspirational love is all part of life and fun, and that's what Hindi cinema, and Yash Chopra in particular, has given us.

Smriti responds, "Of course I would," when asked if she enjoys romantic comedies during a time when the world is obsessed with "edgy content." Romantic comedies and dramas are among my all-time favorite films from Indian cinema, and it's my favorite genre. Even though I appreciate some realism in filmmaking, the aspirational version of romance is also really fun. the romance that is completely unrealistic and unworkable. That is always appreciated, particularly when done well.

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