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Romance has been the most popular theme in Bollywood films but its on-screen handling has changed over the years – from subtle and sweet to bold – keeping with transformation in society.
Hindi film veterans recalled how the treatment of love in movies has changed over the years with directors handling the theme in diverse ways.
“Earlier, it was all done in a dignified way. One used to blush… talk eye to eye…now hugging and kissing has become a way of expressing love on-screen. There are some filmmakers who capture romance in its purest form while some make it appear bold,” veteran actress Moushmi Chatterjee told PTI.
Another veteran, Prem Chopra, agrees with Chatterjee.
“Love used to be discreet earlier now it is all out in the open. It used to be subtle …now with changing times its all fast paced,” he said.
Filmmaker Subhash Ghai, who has directed romantic films like “Hero”, “Pardes” and “Taal”, said the change in portrayal just reflects what is happening around.
“Films always have been a mirror of change taking place in society. It’s (portrayal of love) is more open to physicality than olden days,” Ghai said.
“For some people today love is lust, but for some it is about respect and being affectionate towards your love,” Chatterjee maintained.
“I am still very much in love with my husband. We have grown old so love is more about caring and doing little sweet things for each other,” she added.
Actress Juhi Chawla, who has been part of several romantic films like “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak”, “Darr” and “Yes Boss”, rued that people don’t have time for love in today’s tech-driven world.
“Today people have no time for love. In the time of technology, love is expressed on WhatsApp (the popular messaging app). The pure essence of love…romance is lost somewhere in this fast-paced life,” she added.
Actor R Madhavan, whose on-screen romance with Dia Mirza in “Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein” and with Kangana Ranaut in “Tanu Weds Manu”, was applauded by audience, believes in the idea of old school of romance.
“The good old way of wooing a woman had undergone change. But I still prefer the old way of making the woman feel like a queen. I think my thoughts are little old when it comes to expressing love. Today women are at par with men so the guys have to be smarter to woo her,” Madhavan said.
Actress Katrina Kaif, whose tryst with on-screen romance in films like “Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani”, “New York”, “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” was loved by people, feels its difficult to define love.
“One can have different beliefs about love. Even great poets like Ghalib could not define love. Love is very important to me. I give a lot of importance to it in life.”