Romance Is Making A Comeback

Imagine it is 2010, you’re in leaving a mall humming the romantic “Sadka Kiya…” because you’ve just stepped out of the hilariously romantic “I Hate Luv Storys” with butterflies in your stomach. You sit in the car and the radio is playing the melodious “Tera Hone Laga Hoon,” from yet another rom com you saw a few months ago, and you drive home with a happy heart.  

Lo and behold as we come back to 2023, thanks to Pathaan the year has begun on a high. Cinema is finally thriving after the pandemic and it’s a promising year for a lot of big releases, it’s time to look forward to Fridays again.  

But somewhere, I still miss the warmth, chemistry, companionship, and the ALBUMS the rom coms the 2000’s and 2010’s had. Don’t get me wrong, as a cinephile I love how inventive Hindi films have been in the last few years. Since 2015, we’ve had some exciting movies coming out. I still remember 2018 was a phenomenal year for content. We had Andhadhun, Stree, Tumbadd, Raazi, Badhaai Ho, the romantic but tragic Laila Majnu and so many more films. Then came 2019 with a bag of stories after which we were struck by the pandemic, which was a slow and dark time for films.

In between the horror comedies, biopics, thrillers, and a few tragic romances, it’s been a while since I had a spring in my step after a good romantic Hindi film. Being a 90’s baby and growing up in the 2000’s and 2010’s I cherish the “Pyaar Dosti Hai” dialogue, the lilting Tum Se Hi, the hero’s run to the airport, the chiffon sarees and especially as Instagram is terming it: the “Imran Khan Era.”  

That was until June of 2023. We’re in August and I still can’t believe I have watched 4 films with romance as one of the central plots. Ordinarily, that’s as many as I would have seen in the last 2-3 years (in Hindi). It began with watching the heart wrenching Satyaprem Ki Katha which surprises, numbs and brings a smile to your face. You buy into their organic bond; you applaud the message, and you want to hug the titular characters hard in the end.  

Bawaal, the next film on the list met with a lot of polarizing reviews. But that doesn’t take away from the small and important life lessons it gave us, the story of growth, redemption, respect, and love conveyed via a very sensitive historic period (hence the polarizing reactions). The music in this one is highly underrated, please listen more.  

Absolutely worth the hype, Rocky aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani had people excited for a long time. The comeback of Karan Johar as a director, an intriguing star cast, a story about family and romance, I mean it had so much going for it. And it delivered. Apart from the love story, the funny first half, their playful banter and obvious chemistry, it spoke about gender roles, family values and relationships. I heard hoots, whistles, and vigorous claps after long in the hall as the titles rolled.  

None of these films above are perfect and I don’t think they were trying to be. But they ensure you relish the story, are hooked, and leave you with something after they’re over. And isn’t that what Hindi films have always done? As we end, I must give a shoutout to the quirky, cute, and fun Zara Hatke Zara Bachke. About a couple dreaming and aspiring a lot more for their life, this film is one entertaining watch.  

This year has ignited the hope for a revival in a genre I adore and enjoy. I can’t wait for what’s ahead for romance and films in general. To the writers, directors, composers, actors, and the crew, thank you for making my heart sing again.  

If any of you haven’t seen the above films, please do over the weekend. I assure you; it’ll be a wonderful use of your time.  

Waiting impatiently for Zoya and Tiger.  


A loyal movie enthusiast.

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