Although I am always writing more about travel, you can’t keep me away from writing about movies. I am always passionate about movies, mainstream commercial movies, art house movies and even documentaries, I prefer any of these. Bollywood or Hindi film industry certainly competes with the Hollywood industry in some ways trying to adapt some of their movies into Indian format, but what makes Indian films different from Hollywood is the romance factor. Let me put it this way, Indians are born and brought up on a heavy dose of romantic movies from Mughal-e-Azam to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Now as most of my friends know, I’m a bit off which means anything conventional does not appeal to me. My personal love story itself is a bit unconventional, so why would I like romantic movies which are very conventional and based on the same tried and tested formulae used for ages.
Here is my list of 5 unconventional romantic movies in Hindi film industry. To make it interesting I have included videos of the iconic moments/trailers of these movies.
Directed by Balu Mahendra, Sadma (Trauma) is a masterpiece that redefines the romance theme in Indian films. While the film flopped during its time, it has achieved a cult status and is regarded as timeless classic with superlative performances from the lead pair. The story revolves around Nehalata, a young modern girl who suffers car accident which leaves her with the memory and intelligence of a seven-year old girl. Circumstances lead her to meet Somu who quickly realizes that she has been tricked into the trade. He rescues her from the bad guys and keeps her safe at his farm house. He takes care of her since she has childish behavior due to her brain injury. On the other hand, Nehalata’s parents are relentlessly searching her whereabouts. Somu doesn’t know her name, so he names her Reshmi. After several months they share an amazing relationship and Somu madly falls in love with her. Somu also works hard to treat her brain injury which works and Reshmi is cured as she regains her lost memory. However, she fails to recognize Somu and treats her as a stranger. Nehalata’s parents find her and she abandons her at once leaving Somu heartbroken.
Below is the iconic climax scene of the movie where Nehalata abandons Somu as she doesn’t recognize him after regaining her original memory. Somu madly in love with her tries to gain her attention by telling her through actions that she used to play with him and enact as a monkey, but she fails to remember. This scene needs no translation, its all in the expressions.
Lamhe (Moments) was one of the first romantic movies that made a lasting impression on my mind when I was just 11, of course back then I had not much clue about romance, but I knew this story was way ahead of its time. Although, it received poor response in India because of its complicated plot which many misunderstood, but for me it was a great story. The story revolves around Viren Pratap Singh who lives in London, but travels to Rajasthan in northern India with his governess. Here he meets a beautiful girl Pallavi and falls in love with her. However, she is older than him which does not bother Viren at all. Viren and Pallavi turn friends, but soon Pallavi’s father fall sick and he requests Viren to ensure that Pallavi is married to the guy she loves. Viren assumes her father is talking about him. Soon, Pallavi’s father passes away. During the funeral procession, Viren goes to console Pallavi, but she runs past him and hugs Siddharth, the man she truly loves. Viren is heartbroken and as per Pallavi’s father’s request he marries off Siddharth and Pallavi and returns to London. A year later Viren receives the news that Siddharth and Pallavi are killed in an accident, but they have a just born daughter called Pooja. Viren tells her governess and his friend to take care of the girl while he is busy in London. He regularly visits India, but never personally meets Pooja as she grows up to be a look-alike of her mother. However, Pooja falls in love with Viren (a man of his father’s age), while Viren is still deeply in love with his first love Pallavi (daughter of his first love). What happens next forms the climax of the movie. Directed by Yash Chopra, Lamhe remains one of the most misunderstood love stories of Indian cinema.
Below is a scene from the movie, where Viren gets his loved married to the guy she loved and yet shows that he is very happy about it, when he is completely shattered from within.
Socha Na Tha (2005)
Socha Na Tha (Never Imagined) marks the directorial debut of Imtiaz Ali and my most watched movie ever. I have watched it for more than 50 times (I practically know each scene and dialogs) and I never get tired of watching it again and again. The story revolves around Viren, youngest son of Nirmal Oberoi, a construction tycoon who secretly has been dating Karen for three years, but has no guts to admit that to his father. His father warns him to get settled and to take over his construction empire and be responsible rather than flirting around. He is introduced to Aditi, niece of a real estate businessman, in an arranged marriage situation by his father and on request they both get a chance to have a private conversation. Viren confesses to Aditi that he will reject the proposal because he is already in love with Karen. Aditi agrees to it. Viren’s refusal creates tension between the two families. They later coincidentally meet over and over in private to avoid family conflict and unknowingly fall in love although they never propose each other. In that course of time, Viren’s father realizes that he should marry Viren to the girl he loves Karen. At the same time, Viren realizes that his true love is not Karen, but Aditi, who truly understands her. Viren proposes to Aditi and goes home to tell his father that he would like to marry Aditi (the girl his father chose initially), but his father surprises him that he has now fixed his marriage with Karen (the girl he said he loves). What a twist.
Below is the short teaser trailer of the movie.
Jab We Met (2007)
Directed by Imtiaz Ali once again, Jab We Met (When We Met) is a refreshing watch that never grows old. The movie captures your attention from the beginning to the end and as an audience you continue your journey with how characters transform seamlessly. The story revolves around Aditya Kashyap, a wealthy young businessman shattered and depressed by his father’s demise and ditched by his girlfriend. To escape from all the worldly chaos, he boards a random train where he meets Geet. She is a chirpy chatter-box and a dreamer by nature who is always cheerful. Circumstances lead to them getting down at the station and missing the train. Geet and Aditya travel all the way to Bhatinda and on their way, Aditya finds answers to his worldly problems in Geet’s attitude and talks and falls in love with her, but never confesses. Geet has her own dreams as she wants to marry Anshuman and she elopes with Aditya’s support. After a year, Geet’s relatives track down Aditya and tells him that Geet has been missing for over a year which shocks Aditya. What he discovers next is quite an interesting story to watch out for.
Watch out for the song from Jab We Met as Aditya and Geet complete their journey. The song is shot in Rajasthan (northern state of India)
Veer Zaara (2004)
Directed by Yash Chopra, Veer Zaara is a tearjerker that appeals to a larger audience. The story revolves around Veer Pratap Singh, an Indian Air Force pilot who falls in love with a Pakistani woman hailing from a rich political family of Lahore. While they both love each other, circumstances separate them for 22 years until Saamiya Siddiqui, a Pakistani lawyer finds about Veer, an Indian in Pakistani prison and decides to get him freed and find the whereabouts of Zaara to set them together.
A warm and heart touching poetry that Veer recites in the Pakistan Court of Law describing his experience of 22 years in Pakistani jail.
An absolute romantic song towards the climax when Veer and Zaara meet for the first time in the Pakistan Court of Law after 22 years of separation. As they walk towards each other, memories of their past flood in making the song more dramatic and emotional.