Valentine’s Day is known as the day of love-- a day where you make your loved ones feel special. Some use it to proclaim and propose their loved ones and woo them with flowers, chocolates and jewelry.
It's a day where couples indulge in a little pampering, have candlelight dinners and watch romantic flicks.
There have been many romantic movies over the years that have become cult classics. Some are based on tragic regional stories and Shakespeare's plays (Heer-Ranjha, Romeo-Juliet, etc), others are given a romantic twists on real-life events like the Titanic. Most recently, romantic movies focus on physical compatibility more than anything else.
There have always been movies to reflect every woman's fantasy, be it classics or modern fairytales. But the concept has always been the same. Guy and girl falls in love, the guy is aloof but hides a heart of gold, the girl misunderstands him at first then realizes what wonderful man he is and the film ends with a romantic gesture- usually a kiss against the backdrop of a beautiful sunset.
It's only when you look at these stories from a different perspective that you notice the sexism and flaws of the plot.
Why can’t the guy show he's a nice guy from the beginning? Why does he treat the girl shabbily? Most importantly why is obvious manhandling by the guy seen as sexy by women?
Barring these questions, modern love stories end up posing even more questions and the most important one of all: does love exist in the real world?
The classic love stories spoke of great sacrifice and tragic deaths of the couple because they rather die than be torn apart by some of the superficial standards of society such as age-difference, race, etc. that separates them .
It’s only recently that stories have been about the guy being confused about what he wants from life. He ends up not seeing that the love of his life is right in front of him. But it’s never too late to get the girl. She’s ALWAYS waiting for him.
The only realistic romantic movie I have seen recently in the last decade is Love Aaj Kal. The characters are both confused and chasing their dreams, not realizing that they are both deeply in love with each other. Towards the end, yes the girl waits for her hero but that’s because she knows that like her, the guy too hasn’t realized what is missing in his life.
She waits for him and in the end, when the guy comes for her, she cries not because her love has returned, but because her wait is finally over and the guy has finally realized that he loves her.
That story made sense because it was realistic. It wasn’t about physical compatibility and it wasn’t about being stuck together with an unwanted pregnancy- a plot overused in rom-coms nowadays.
I've always loved stories that have focused on the different phases of love- falling in love, being in love, doing whatever it takes to keep that love in your life.
Isn’t that what love should be like?
Instead of flowers and gifts, shouldn't love be about having the courage to accept love and doing something that makes your loved one feel special?