Valentine's Day Special: Our one true

Team CE explores in detail about the one film that will always be closes to our hearts
Valentine's Day Special: Our one true

It is a couple of days after Valentine's Day, and even if there are doubts about love being in the air, there is no doubt that Team CE still has its romantic radar switched on. After listing out a few of our favourite Indian romantic films, we have spoken in detail about the one that will always be closest to our hearts. 

Here's an interesting mix of films that are put together by some of our very own... It is also a stark reflection of their innermost thoughts about what constitutes love, and its very many manifestations.

Basically... Happy Valentine's Week

Hridayam - Sajin Shrijith's choice

Vineeth Sreenivasan's most wholesome film yet is replete with real, tangible emotions and scenarios filtered through a cinematic lens. The film's appeal lies in its aspirational quality —its ability to reactivate those areas in your brain to unlock memories you thought you had forgotten, but with the addition of an instantly addictive soundtrack. It is about finding love for the second time and moving on without letting the emotional baggage of the past hold you back. It is one of those immensely hopeful movies where lighter emotions trump darker ones — like a warm, comforting hug when going through the blues. 

Jodha Akbar - Jayabhuvaneshwari B's choice

Love is not just about romance, passion, and commitment. It is also about trust, respect and compromise. Jodha Akbar highlights these aspects of love.

Jodha's world comes crashing down when she is forced to wed Akbar for political reasons. But, with mutual trust, they build a relationship even though they have nothing in common. All through the film, Akbar and Jodha do little things to make each other comfortable and happy. Like when Jodha learns Persian, and when Akbar builds a mandir for her. Their actual union after realising their love for each other, with 'Inn Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein' playing in the background is the peak of heartfelt romance in the film. I believe love is about knowing your partner completely and tailoring yourself around their character, and Jodha Akbar is the best example of such love.

Maayanadhi - Vignesh Madhu's choice

I happened to watch Mayaanadhi during one of the toughest phases of my life. The unrequited love, the insurmountable grief, the trust issues, the sleeplessness... everything Maathan goes through in the film felt close to home. 

Personal biases aside, this Aashiq Abu directorial is a beautifully told new-age love story that subverts quite a few templates. Powered by wonderful performances from Tovino and Aishwarya Lekshmi (in her breakout role), and Rex Vijayan's eargasmic music, Mayaanadhi is an ideal Valentine's Day watch for those who prefer something tender and poignant than the usual cheesy love stories. Also, keep your wipes ready for the emotionally stirring ending.

Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar - Kartik Bhardwaj's choice

Boy meets girl, then boy follows the girl to Paris. 2007’s MP3- Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar always takes me back to the time of walkmans, game cheat code diaries, and low-waist jeans. The plotline is simple.

Footloose Rohan (an absolute cutie Ruslaan Mumtaz) spends his day bunking school and frolicking with his friends. Enter Ayesha Mehra (Hazel Crowney), the new girl at school everyone is head over heels for.

As the title suggests, Rohan falls in love with Ayesha at first sight. MP3 is a nostalgia ride wrapped in the velvety allure of a love story. It will make you feel mushy and optimistic and if not your school ex, it will surely make you call your friends.

Jab We Met - Abhilasha Cherukuri's choice

A boy meets girl story like no other, Jab We Met is truly one romantic film I keep going back to for the sheer comfort and joy this film always radiates. In the characters of Geet and Aditya, we see the courage love gives us, to get over the pain our past causes us and take second chances with courage and gumption. In true Imtiaz Ali style, we also travel vicariously through Geet and Aditya, learning that life is best lived as an ongoing journey and not as a single-minded pursuit. The music, comedy, and complementing performances of Kareena and Shahid make Jab we Met a beloved classic. 

Meri Pyaari Bindu  - Chandhini R's choice

As a young adult, I have always wondered about the existence of a perfect love story. Considering my insecurities, I believed being loved unconditionally was a rarity or a rather taxing affair. That's when Akash Roy’s Meri Pyaari Bindu, fronted by a live wire Parineeti Chopra and a charming Ayushmann Khurrana, entered my life. This heartening story about a childhood friendship between an aspiring writer and a singer, their blooming romance, and the pain of longing, redefined my idea of love. It made me realise there isn't anything called a perfect love story, and it is still okay. 

Minsara Kanavu - Anusha Sundar's choice

The love of God... that’s what Kajol’s Priya from Minsara Kanavu always dreamt of in her pursuit of becoming a nun. It becomes a love of another kind as Deva (Prabhu Deva), Thomas (Arvind Swamy), and Priya explore the idea of romance striking at unexpected moments. The breezy feature delves into the idea of consent, and the importance of letting go. Minsara Kanavu also touches upon the love for beliefs, and how it's never too late to change our choices. Beyond exploring the romantic angle of love, the film also reiterates the idea of developing an innate passion for the pursuits that you long for. Case in point, devotion and singing for Priya, hair-dressing for Deva, and entrepreneurship and humanity for Thomas. 

Once Again - Aswin Devan's choice 

Certain films will make you fall in love with love. Beyond the connotations, philosophical abruptions or subjective emotional definitions, some films just make you go, 'Oh, isn't that beautiful?'

Kanwar Sethi's Once Again makes me utter these words at the end of every watch. Seeing the worlds of Tara and Amar — two lost souls that wander around the shackles the society has built around them — and the bonds of age, family, class and gender always makes me emotional. Tara, a restaurateur, and Amar, a film star, exchange stares of grief as they meet under the night sky of Mumbai. I perceive it as subtle but fierce suffering to an angst-ridden love. It is not the angst that is derived from the absence of an happily ever after. It is the angst that is derived from- "Our love is forbidden, but I am in love with you. What should I do?"

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya - Avinash Ramachandran

There is a beautiful melody in melancholy. Throughout our shared history with the world, it is the doomed romances that stand the test of time. We all want our happily ever afters, but always remember the 'one that wasn't meant to be' and conjure up images of the proverbial 'what-ifs.'

We are all the protagonists of our own stories, and there is none better than the pained and tragic hero to give us an ego boost of sorts. When we see Karthik walk out of the theatre with Jessie in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya, there is a sense of tragic satisfaction. It is understood that this love story didn't have a happy ending, but again... Karthik made his film, and he made Jessie see her sixth film. Apo indha love success dhaane, Jessie?

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