Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Love Lasts Forever

I was pretty enamored by Shah Rukh Khan when he gave his funda on love at 'Coffee With Karan' a couple of weeks back. What he said in Hindi translates into something like this: 'If there is love, you don't need to say it; And if there is a need to say it, there is no love'.

That is some confidence, I say!

"Love is a moment that grows into a lifetime of joy". I had read this quote years ago and it lingers in my mind even today. It may sound cliched, but love actually makes the world go round. When we find love, we realize how beautiful life is. And when someone dwells on our mind for a little too long, it is a 'love-ly' feeling.

I feel the 'silver screen' plays a vital role in shaping the way we perceive and interprete love. We don't follow love stories in movies verbatim. But in some funny way or the other, we tend to draw similarities in our real life from a character in reel-life. At times, movies inspire and even influence the love in our lives.

I have been quite moved by woman protagonists in several love stories as depicted in movies. I am not a great follower of English movies, but have enjoyed the few that I have watched. And when it comes to Bollywood, I never ceaze to get amazed by the portrayals on screen.

Based on movies watched recently or in the recent past, the following are my top 5 protagonists in the realm of interpretation of love. These screen portrayals have left an indelible impression on my mind, in terms of characterisation and the treatment of love in the narration.

1. Sofia in Guzaarish
This is my current favorite. Aishwarya Rai beautifully enacts her part as Sofia and brings the character alive. Her portrayal of love that is restrained, yet knows no boundaries is commendable. Sofia speaks through her eyes and her main motto in life is to ensure the person she is in love with is happy. Regardless of her marital status or her economic condition, she loves. There may not be any hope, but she still loves with all her heart. She defies society, disregards destiny and stays with her beau for as long as she can. But never from her behavior or her attitude towards Ethan does she drop any hints of her fondness for him. This love is the toughest but has immense depth.

The strength of her character and her relentless passion to ensure the person she loves is happy--- that makes Sofia a winner.

2. Jamie Sullivan in A Walk to Remember
I still don't know whether I like the movie more or the book. Jamie (Mandy Moore) is a religious young school girl. She is a plain Jane and likes to see the whole world happy around her. When Jamie finds love, she accepts it as just another happening in her life. For Jamie, love is when you care for the other person. So, when her beau Landon apologizes to her for being rude and asks what he can do to make up, she innocently asks him to help her collect funds for her charity. I would like to believe that love is spontaneous and you know when Cupid strikes. But this movie gives a different perspective. Often we spend so much time with somebody that we don't realize when we start loving them. Jamie and Landon had been with each other as acquaintances who met every day. They never felt the love that always existed. And when Jamie discovers her physical ailment, she doesn't say a word to her lover. This movie is such a treat!

Jamie's undying love and her whole-hearted faith in God and miracles make this movie/book special.

3.  Aisha in Wake Up Sid
This movie experiments with love in an unconventional way and that it what appeals to me most. It is Sid's story all through. But Aisha's love for Sid makes the movie so much more delightful. Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma) aspires to be a writer and meets Sid, who is confused about making his mark in life. By being with Aisha, in an oblivious way, Sid wants to do things to make himself look important in her life. Aisha doesn't really pay attention to the much-younger Sid, probably because they meet every day. As they say, "Love does not know its depth until the last hour of separation'--- Aisha realizes she loves Sid when he is away from her. Her love is puerile but she doesn't know if she can even tell him as they were friends. Through an article in her magazine, Aisha reveals her feelings for Sid, never expecting anything in return.

Aisha's conviction, her love for Sid and how she rediscovers herself after realizing love-- make this movie meaningful.

4. Sara Thomas in Serendipity
This movie has been a personal favorite for as long as I can remember. I saw it first in 2003 and fell in love with it. The movie starts with a chance encounter. Sara Thomas (Kate Beckinsale) is a firm believer in destiny. When she meets Jonathan (John Cusack), they take an immense liking to each other. However, Sara wants fate to decide if they are meant to be together. So, when it is time for them to part ways, they don't share names or numbers. In a unique way, they write the details down in a book and a dollar note. Sara contends, if they are meant to meet some day, they will find each other through these signs (book and dollar) and come back to each other.

Sara's character, her relentless faith in destiny and signs is the highlight of this movie. Love is so unpredictable. But if love is true and people are meant to be with each other, they find their way back.

5. Zaara Hayaat Khan in Veer Zaara
This is a classic love story across the border. Indian guy falls in love with Pakistani girl. They meet just for 2 days and then get separated by fate. No matter how hard they try to find each other, they fail every time. Zaara (Preity Zinta) belongs to a conservative Muslim household. But so much is her love for Veer, that nobody can force her against her will. She waits for 22 long years to get united with her love. Veer's sacrifices are of course amazing. But here, I will only concentrate on the woman characters. Zaara pines for her love for years and wishes him well, never for a minute giving up on her unending wait.

Zaara's character is synonymous with love. She lives for love and if she dies, it will only be for love. The depth in the narration makes this movie a phenomenon.

There are few more characters that I have admired:
Anna Scott in Notting Hill, Mallika in Pathe Holo Deri (a Bengali blockbuster), Parineeta in Parineeta. I would pick Anna (Julia Roberts) for her simplicity and 'desire to be loved', Mallika (Suchitra Sen) for her 'loyalty' and 'passion', and Parineeta (Vidya Balan) for her 'perseverance' and 'belief in true love'.

I hope movieland continues to treat us with many more such wonderful characters who in some way or the other touch our lives.


  1. Life indeed is beautiful and God is kind :)
    Your beautiful narration reinstates this all over again!