Is romance more a matter of heart than age?
While we all uphold the progressive nature of films, May-December romance often distracts us with the massive age difference in their films. We doubt that when Lawrence was writing Lolita he had known that it would become a ‘thing’ soon.
They say age is just a number. Romance is more a matter of the heart than numbers. Some films portray relationships that stood at the edge of conventions. In Bollywood, movies with age gap are a handful but the theme is soon catching up to explore facets of such an adult relationship.
It is about what the heart wants, what the body wants. And these movies prove exactly that.
Lamhe is a movie of the early nineties starring Sridevi that captures the true essence of a May-December romance. The storyline is pretty Bollywood-ish. A middle-aged woman does not reciprocate the love of a young bachelor and ends up marrying another. The couple then dies in a tragic car accident leaving behind their daughter, who grows up to romance the man who once was in love with her mother. Traditional as India is in this century, imagine the ruckus this film created with the young woman-older man romance back in the 90’s.
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2. Dear Zindagi
SRK plays the role of a psychologist Dr. Jahangir and Alia Bhatt is a young aspiring director, looking for a way to breathe in life. Falling in love with your therapist is quite common and Gauri Shinde explores the age difference in an aesthetic manner. As the title would have it, this film is about re-learning to re-love life all over again. And in the process, you fall in love with the person showing you the way to do it – once again proving that age is just a number.
3. Dil Chahta Hain
The film received critical acclaim for its new-gen film making flavour. Another major charm of this film was Dimple Kapadia’s Tara – a divorced alcoholic who has bouts of tantrums over the loss of her daughter. This film, apart from exploring the friendship between Akash, Sameer and Siddharth at its epicentre, also focusses on the strained but a beautiful relationship between Siddharth and Tara.
It’s probably Bollywood’s few films showing an older woman romancing a younger man. Akshay Khanna portrays the passion of his mind brilliantly and Tara’s character has that older woman grace that cocoons Siddharth beautifully. There is a whole song in the film where Siddharth fantasises about a green-blue-green Earth while thinking about Tara. There is nothing sexual between them, a just unbridled beauty of love that knows no age.
This is probably the most historic casting in Bollywood. The age gap between the lead was 45 years. A Bollywood version of Kevin Spacey’s American Beauty, this had Amitabh Bachchan playing the 60 year old veteran who gets infatuated with his daughter’s friend, played by Jiah Khan. Jiah Khan is invigorating and shares the screen with one of the most respected actors in Indian cinema with such confidence and charm, that it’s hard to forget the movie.
5. Cheeni Kum
Another Bachchan senior film where he plays a grumpy old chef who falls in love with a 30-something software engineer, played by Tabu. The two finest performers in Bollywood come together to break the stereotype of loving in the same age bracket. The movie was a Box Office success and was well received.
Dimple Kapadia steals the spotlight with her acting. She is a university professor who has been invited to the US as a guest lecturer. Her mundane life back home is salvaged and her life takes a turn when she moves to the States and Kris, one of the students, is enchanted by her and wins her over.
The age gap is that of a married middle-aged woman and a college student. Dimple Kapadia is breathtaking with her presence on the screen and plays her character to the right stretch.