There are days, every so often, where girls just need to be surrounded by romance. Like it or not, it comes with being female, and is most likely hormonal...joy! However, if the so called "love department" is lacking a bit in real life, I have found, that nothing does the job as much justice as a Bollywood film. After a day of studying, preparing my Hebrew presentation on why I love the "other" semitic language, and cleaning the ENTIRE apartment, I felt like I needed a little glamour. As I was browsing through my collection of DVD's I came upon my extensive Bollywood section and decided to put in one of my all time favorites- Veer-Zara (NOTE: If anyone who reads this is looking for amazing romance films take notes!)
Aside from starring my unfortunately already married with 2 children future husband, Shahrukh Kahn, this movie has everything you could want from a classic romance. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy and girl are different religions, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again, and throw in a lot of very colorful song and dance numbers! Heaven, in my opinion. Though Bollywood is typically very over the top, a lot of these stories get at core issues in many present day relationships, and I have found, that they always renew hope of finding great loves and romances, no matter the obstacles.
A main draw to Bollywood for me is the amazing portrayal of the connection that the Indian people have to one another, to their country, and to their various faiths. This connection satiates every second of a Bollywood film and truly allows the viewer become apart of this vibrant culture. Whether it is staring for hours (most of these films are 3 hours or more) at the astounding cinematography that captures the "to die for" beauty of India, or whether it is an ability to gain a great deal of insight and knowledge into a culture that is so different from your own, these films are truly captivating and timeless.
If you are any bit of a hopeless romantic, and can get past all of the singing and dancing, then Bollywood is definitely a category I would advise you give serious attention to. You can be in the worst romantic slump of your life, pop in one of these films, and feel completely regenerated and full of hope. I am by no means an expert in this category of film, and have much more exploration to do, however, from what I have seen, these films top my list of favorite romantic movies. Here are a few of the best I have seen from Bollywood.
1) Jodhaa Akbar (pictured above). A fantastic love epic about the Mogul ruler Akbar and his Hindi wife Jodhaa. This love story is, on the surface, very subtle, however, at the end of the 3.5 hour film, you feel like you have watched one of the greatest love stories told. It is wonderful filmmaking, in my very non expert opinion.
2) Veer-Zara (pictured and discussed above). A lover story about a Muslim girl and Sikh man who fight all obstacles in their way to be with one another. It is a love story that illustrates the battles that men and women will fight for those they truly love.
3) Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. This is probably one of the more over the top Bollywood films, however, it's message couldn't be more fitting within the category of romantic film: True love conquers all. I've never seen a movie that has made me laugh or cry as much as this one. The first time I saw it I was hysterical at the end... and I hardly ever cry in movies.
4) Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. A story about a man who loves a woman so much that he changes his whole life just to make her fall in love with him. At the end she discovers she's loved him all along. This song boasts some of the most amazing music I have ever heard, and is truly one of the greats.
5) Parineeta. This one is probably my all time favorite. It is a Bollywood twist on the classic best friend turned lover love story. It is an eloquent illustration of how sometimes your best friend is your true love and soulmate. I would recommend this one above them all, and the music is to die for (so is Saif Ali Khan if I do say so myself).
As I am so close to India, and have friends who have expressed interest in visiting, I can't wait to start planning my trip there. I may have given up living there for Israel, but I refuse to come back to the United States without seeing India, and experiencing her vibrant culture first hand.
Until Tomorrow chaverim sheli <3,