Bollywood continues to amaze us in many ways and is a surefire mirror of the society and its changing times. But have you realized this current hurricane of coming-of-age romantic movies? Do you see an entire new era of romance marking its beginning? Call me dippy, but I, for one, do. Romance in Bollywood, in the milenium, seems to reason with us. It does not always have to be about “masala” song-dance routines (inclusive of running around the trees, elaborately choreographed routines, and let us not even get started on the costume changes), about unnecessary conflict and opposition, and least of all, about melodrama. Its redifined romance and readjusted our visions about love, lust, materialism, conforming and convenience.
Here are two ways that Bollywood has redefined romance in the milenium:
Firstly, we are falling in love in the most random places. The older generation only married within their communities or castes, but us millennials know that there are many other possibilities. We prioritize travel and experiences more than social status. With media shaping our values, we are becoming more aware of the person we are. We are getting a better understanding of what we want from life, the demands of the society and the way we can fit in. Also because of being more educated than previous generations, we have the tools to weave out the kind of life we want. Such convenience is entirely a modern-day perk -- previous generations never experienced anything even remotely close to it. As we have become more educated about our abilities, our place in the world and our confidence in life, we don't focus on the person we want to be with but the person we want to be first. Then the our life-partner fits into the mould. Therefore movies such as Yeh Jawani Hay Deewani, Jab We Met and Wake Up Sid connected with us because they told stories about garnering people that helped us grow in our ambitions rather than the opposite. We have learned to focus on the kind of partner we want rather than the kind of partner we want to be.
Secondly, we don't seek perfection. Wars, Economic Fallouts and acceptance about same-sex marriages have made us more attuned to the realities of life. No matter how unrealistic our expectations are, we don't feel disappointment because we are sensitized and equipped to face the problems. Where as the previous generation focused on striving for excellence in every sphere of life - placing importance on awards, perfect kids, perfectly aligned furniture, the current generation is more individualistic. The current generation are striving for excellence on their own accord rather than conforming to the dictates of society as it isn't conceived in our minds. This is because, whose life is it anyway? Yours and yours only. Quite simply, if you are confident about what you want from life, that positivity and confidence will uprise from your own self. You will attract more people to your life. Precisely the point of Farhan Akhtar and Dil Chahta Hay. Farhan Akhtar struck gold with his first film about 3 men that go through a tide of emotions together. It isn't just another bubbly movie. Dil Chahta Hai establishes three very different characters who have their share of bliss, love, heart breaks and grow up to become men in their own way. They fall in love with the people that attract them rather than the people their parents match them up with. Akhtar roots the movie in very real, believable circumstances.
To conclude, characters aren't uni-dimensional anymore and have various shades of grey. There are several imperfections, the chase succumbs to procrastination, the absence of songs to express love, the snatches of disparate and disconnected exchanges. There are innovative ways retailing of the theme of 'love stories' or 'romance' and Hindi cinema has evolved in recent years. The more ludicrous, the better actually. There's a strange comfort in them, just like a Cheddar and brocolli soup at midnight! Each time, its delish and its contrasting flavors remind us of the two-sided obverse coin of life.