Top 10 Indian Movies About Love to Watch on a Date

Indian Cinema photo

The following is a sponsored post which was written by Maxim Pratsyuk, a writer currently living in Ukraine. 

There is a special category of films which, regardless of the plot, are loved and watched by many people around the world. This is Indian cinema. The plots of Indian films, like most other ones, tell about relationships between two people. The blessed theme of love comes to the fore. Directors can add intrigue and come up with an incredible life story of the characters. Despite the fact that most Indian films are related to melodramas, there is always a place for humor in them. Immediate and harmless, it harmoniously fits into any plot. The main feature of Indian love films is the heat of passion. And the ending is always life-affirming – love conquers all. If you meet a girl on an international dating site, then why not invite her on a date and watch something from Indian cinematography?

  1. Veer-ZaaraVeer Zaara movie poster

A silent prisoner in a Pakistani prison has not uttered a word since his imprisonment. A girl named Samia, who is an activist for the protection of human rights, is going to find out the real reason for his silence. And she succeeds. This superbly filmed, beautiful and touching love story will surely please even those who are absolutely indifferent to Indian cinema. It deserves the first place in the rating.

  1. Satyam Shivam Sundaram: Love SublimeSatyam Shivam Sundaram movie poster

The sexiest Indian actress Zeenat Aman plays a girl named Rupa, half of whose face is disfigured by a terrible burn, received in childhood. Rupa loves a man who also loves her, but he doesn’t know about her terrible secret since she covers the disfigured part of her face when she is with him.

  1. Kal Ho Naa HoKal Ho Naa Ho movie poster

The main character of the film Nain, having lost her father, wallowed in family problems. But having met cheerful and kind Haman, her life begins to improve. And all can be good, but suddenly there a love triangle forms in which everyone must make a sacrifice. Among the everyday routine, we often forget about the main things – we forget to appreciate each passing day, smile, and enjoy the world around us. The film reminds us of this because no one knows whether tomorrow will come or not.

  1. RaavananRaavanan movie poster

The mentally ill villain Ravana kidnaps Rajini, the wife of a policeman and he is going to save her. As long as Rajini is held captive by Ravana, their relationship grows into an “abductor-prisoner” relationship. Rajini gradually learns who is hiding behind the guise of the villain and realizes that their relationship will continue even after death.

  1. MohabbateinMohabbatein movie poster

Three friends study at the men’s college in the city where they live. The rector of the college strictly forbids the young men to leave the territory and especially attend the nearby female gymnasium. But how can a ban deprive young people of the opportunity to love and date? A touching plot, wonderful music and, of course, a brilliant cast – everything is perfectly matched in this film.

  1. SaawariyaSaawariya movie poster

The film was shot based on the tale of the Russian writer F.M. Dostoevsky – “White Nights”. The plot of Dostoevsky’s story in the film was almost unchanged. But the action was transferred from Russia to India. Sonam Kapoor played an Indian girl Sakina, who needed to make a choice between two men – the one who wasn’t around but whom she loved and waited a whole year and the one who was nearby and loved her.

  1. Jab Tak Hai JaanJab Tak Hai Jaan movie poster

The Indian army sapper Samar Anand is not afraid of death. He never even puts on a protective suit. Once Samar saves the life of a journalist Akira and at the same time loses his diary. From him, Akira learns the story of his love for the girl Mira because of whom Samar defied God ten years ago.

  1. Chalte ChalteChalte Chalte movie poster

The protagonist of the film Raj is a simple guy who works as a regular truck driver. His loved girl Priya is smart and self-confident. Will love be able to remove this class abyss between them? Or is their relationship destined to end? Fans of this genre will surely like this film about mutual support and forgiveness, love, and empathy.

  1. Rab Ne Bana Di JodiRab Ne Bana Di Jodi movie poster

A young girl Taani lives with her husband. But their views and interests in life are completely different. Taani loves dancing and is preparing for the next dance competition. One day she meets a guy for whom her feelings begin awakening. Beautiful actors and fiery dances will not leave you indifferent. If you want to please a girl on a date, then you definitely have to pay attention to this film.

  1. Seeta Aur GeetaSeeta Aur Geeta movie poster

The twin sisters were separated by the will of their early childhood. Each of them lives differently. Geeta became a dancer with tramps, and her sister Seeta has a rich family. Each of them dreams of happiness and love, which they lack so much. This film is a real classic of Indian cinema. Songs, dances and melee battles – there is everything that Indian cinema embodies. Your loved one will be definitely touched by this romantic movie.

‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ Challenges Our Views on Love and Romance

Vicky Cristina Barcelona movie poster

WRITER’S NOTE: This review was written back in 2008.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is easily the best Woody Allen movie I have seen in a long time. There is no shaky camera work to induce nausea here, and the story is never boring for one second. There is also none of those Woody Allen-isms we are all so tired of, probably because Allen himself chose not to act in this movie. Instead, he gives us a great cast of actors to bring his material to life, and he sets his story in the beautiful country of Spain. With cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe, he makes the different areas of Spain so inviting to where you just want to jump on a plane and fly over there right now. If only plane tickets weren’t so damn expensive. Oh yeah, I have a job too. Damn!

The movie starts off by introducing us to Vicky (Rebecca Hall), a graduate student who is engaged to be married, and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), a woman who just filmed a short feature and recently broke up with her boyfriend. They are best friends who take a vacation to Spain, and they agree on just about everything except when it comes to love. Whereas Vicky is reserved in the ways of love, Cristina is impulsive and spontaneous. While Vicky seems sure of what she wants, Cristina is unsure of what she wants from a lover or from life. The ways of these two women are put to test when they meet Spanish artist Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem). Juan casually comes up to them while at a restaurant and offers to take the two to Oviedo in the next hour where he says they will have great fun, drink fine wine and eventually make love. Cristina is all for going, but Vicky wants nothing of it due to her impending marriage. But of course, she goes to keep Cristina company. What happens from there will or will not change the way they feel about love in general.

Into this mix comes Juan Antonio’s ex-wife, Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz), who wishes she knew how to quit her ex-husband. Maria comes back into Juan’s life after Cristina has moved in with him, and she is unstable to say the least. From there, who knows what will happen. This is what I really liked about the “Vicky Cristina Barcelona;” It was very absorbing, and I had no idea what was going to happen next. I can’t say this about most movies I see these days.

Like I said, the cast is superb. I wish I had the power over women Bardem has over the female characters here. This is quite a switch from his Academy Award winning role as Anton Chigurh in “No Country for Old Men,” and this movie affords him a better haircut as well. Bardem succeeds in showing you how passionate his character is, and how unfulfilled his passion is.

Scarlett Johansson, Allen’s muse at the moment judging from the number of movies they have done together so far, is excellent as usual. Johansson plays an adventurous person who throws caution to the wind, but the actress also allows us to see the vulnerable side of Cristina which reveals her to be insecure as she has no idea of what she really wants out of life.

The most underrated performance of this movie, however, belongs to Rebecca Hall, whose dalliance with Juan Antonio creates conflicted feelings within her character which come across so clearly without her saying a word. Hall’s face does a lot of the acting for her while her words betray what Vicky thinks about what her heart truly desires. She has a loving fiancée, but he is nowhere as romantic as Juan. Of course, who would be? One important lesson for prospective husbands to be; make sure your fiancés don’t meet up with any Spanish men because you will never be able to compete with them. This will especially be the case if you are a banker.

But leave it to the Spanish actors to steal this movie away from everyone else. We already talked about how great Bardem is, but let’s talk about the passionate fireball that is Penelope Cruz. For years, she was stuck in American movies which dealt more with her looks more than her talent. Plus, she was constantly being accused of messing up relationships with married movie stars which was unfair to say the least. Ever since abandoning those movies, her talent has shined brightly in acclaimed films like “Volver.” Cruz is an uncontainable force in this movie, and she takes her characters from highs and lows which feel very believable and never overdone. The relationship between her and Bardem in this movie is easily the most complicated and most infuriating for them both. As Juan correctly points out, “We are meant for each other, and we are not meant for each other.”

The theme of the movie is love and what it does to us when we go after it, and of what it does to us after we think we have it. The one thing these characters have in common is the search for true love feels like a never-ending journey for them, and that’s even if you are with the person you love. It’s a beast which seems far more likely to hurt people instead of making them happy. There are a lot of thoughts here on love which makes “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” one of the more thought-provoking movies I have seen so far in 2008. There is a lot of comedy to be found here, but the movie is mostly a sad story of how love seems to be just out of our grasp. Even if you have the love you need in life, there is always something missing.

What I really loved about the comedy here is how none of the actors ever try to play the joke or attempt to be funny. The humor comes out of the absurd way the characters interact with each other. There is a brilliant moment where Maria tells Cristina how she had to go through her suitcase because she didn’t trust Cristina and that she wanted to know more about who is making out with her ex-husband. The scene is played in all seriousness, even when Cruz talks about how she has thoughts of killing Johansson, and it is hysterical.

“Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is a very unusual Woody Allen movie. While it deals with themes which are very familiar to ones he has dealt with in the past, it does not feel like your typical Woody Allen movie. That is a major plus because most of his movies have an overwhelming feeling of familiarity which threatens to take away from the proceedings. But by putting his thematic material in another country with a terrific cast, this is one of those movies which reminds you Allen can still pull off a great movie worth seeing. For once, I am eager to see what he will do next. He’ll probably go through the regular ups and downs, but he has clearly learned some hard lessons from the movies he did back in the 1990’s.

* * * * out of * * * *

‘Let the Right One In’ is Not Your Average Vampire Movie

Let The Right One In movie poster

This is one of those movies which made me want to be a film critic. I love to tell you what movies I really like and flat out hate, and this is even though I never expect to change your mind over what you want to see. But there are certain movies which I really want to see get the audience they deserve, preferably in a movie theater. “Let the Right One In” is a Swedish movie which absolutely deserves a loyal following as it is one of the most beautifully atmospheric movies to be released in 2008.

“Let the Right One In” follows young Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) who is an overlooked kid bullied by kids at school that have somehow managed to recite lines of dialogue from “Deliverance.” This is a kid who clearly doesn’t have a lot of friends and, like many, is a child of divorce. One night, while he is in the snowy courtyard outside his home, he is met suddenly by a girl named Eli (Lina Leandersson) who has just moved in to the same apartment complex he lives in. Eli quickly tells Oskar she cannot be his friend, but soon enough, they bond over a Rubik’s Cube. Their friendship builds throughout the film and serves to strengthen them as people to where they deal more effectively with the struggles they are forced to endure.

There is one catch though, and it is clear to the audience from the start: Eli is a vampire. An older man believed to be her father ends up blocking the windows with cardboard and other forms of paper to keep their apartment dark. We see this same man going out in the freezing dead of night to kill total strangers and drain them of their blood. Why? He’s got another mouth to feed. When he screws up and doesn’t come through, she shows just how vicious she can be in her displeasure. But despite who she is, you can see why she is cozy with Oskar. They are both outcasts in a world which does not appear to have much use for them.

What I really loved about “Let the Right One In” is how it takes the vampire genre and makes it fresh by combining it with the things we remember from our childhoods: bullies, sucking at sports, parents not understanding what we are going through, etc. We always hope for that one person who understands us and can relate to what we are going through. Some of us are lucky enough to have such a person in our lives, but others are not so fortunate. You could say Oskar becoming friends with a vampire would not be in his best interest, but these are two people who need each other at this fragile point in their lives.

We see Oskar getting whipped at school by the bullies who pick on those they feel are beneath them, and they call him piggy among other things. We later see Oskar fantasizing about getting revenge on those bullies as if he is Robert De Niro in “Taxi Driver.” With Eli, he finally gains the confidence to get back at them. In turn, Eli’s growing friendship with Oskar provides her with an escape from her eternally lonely existence. The real question between them is, can Eli trust herself enough to keep herself from making Oskar another victim? And if she reveals herself to him as who she really is, will he still accept her as his friend? Despite the bloody acts we see Eli committing, deep down we don’t want to see these two separated.

“Let the Right One In” was directed by Tomas Alfredson, and he does a brilliant job of opening the movie in silence as he slowly introduces us to the snowy suburb these characters inhabit. The frozen landscape mirrors the dreary and repressed nature of everyone who lives there, and it feels as cold as upstate New York felt in “Frozen River.” Of course, were the movie to be sunnier, it would require certain characters to die a fiery death. The vampires here perish the way vampires do in other movies, and if you are a vampire, it should go without saying how you appreciate the nighttime more than others.

But the wonderfully surprising thing about “Let the Right One In” is how tender it is. While it looks to be marketed as a horror movie, it is really a love story. While it is at times a violent and bloody movie, what really wins out is the bond these Oskar and Eli share throughout. It is a chaste relationship (they are both 12 after all) built on need and loneliness. There is a moment where they both lie together in bed which is really lovely, and it reminds one of how lonely it can be to sleep by yourself.

There is not a weak performance to be found here, but the real credit goes to the two young kids who have to carry this movie almost entirely on their shoulders. Kare Hedebrant is exceptional as the young Oskar, and there is never a moment in his performance which feels fake or forced. Hedebrant is a natural in front of the camera, and he acts from the heart. This is not your typical nerdy school outcast we see in so many movies made in America, but instead an intelligent boy who never quite fits in the way we all wanted to when we were his age.

Lina Leandersson, who plays the vampire Eli, has the toughest role in as she has to portray different emotions without actually showing them. Throughout the movie, her face is a mask of coldness and detachment, but in her eyes, she shows how much she likes being in this unexpected relationship with Oskar. Leandersson’s performance is truly remarkable as she makes you care about this person even after she commits abhorrent acts against others. This is not your typical vampire drunk on power like Lestat in “Interview with The Vampire,” but one who was born into this life without any choice. Eli does not drink the blood of others because she wants to, but because she needs to in order to survive. Lina’s drive is one of survival, not dominance.

Looking back at 2008, there were a lot of really good movies released, but not many great ones. Maybe I hold things to a higher level than I should, but “Let the Right One In” is a true masterpiece in this or any other year. It is both frightening and tender at the same time, and I don’t know of many other movies which have managed this balance ever so effortlessly.

* * * * out of * * * *

The Choice

The Choice movie poster

Okay, I’ll admit I got choked up at some scenes in the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, “The Choice,” and the story took turns I didn’t expect it to. But saying “The Choice” is a better cinematic version of Sparks’ work than “Safe Haven” is the equivalent of saying “Cannonball Run” is better than “Cannonball Run II.” In the end that is faint praise of the very, very faint kind. While the Sparks faithful may find much to enjoy about “The Choice,” it is the usual romantic nonsense which will have you scratching your head more often than not.

The movie stars Benjamin Walker of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer” fame as Travis Parker, a perennial ladies’ man who works at his dad’s veterinarian office and yet has all the time in the world to travel around the North Carolina shore on his boat. How this guy makes a living is beyond me as the 40-hour work week doesn’t seem to apply to him. While all his friends have a significant other in their lives, Travis believes having one will seriously cramp his lifestyle for no good reason. But even his sister is quick to inform him how he is in real trouble when a new girl arrives in town.

Next thing you know, we get introduced to medical student Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) who has just moved into a small house right next to Travis’, and she becomes incensed when he is sitting outside and blasting Ram Jam’s “Black Betty” on his stereo. These two do not get off to a great start, and Gabby finds herself repelled by Travis’ presence whenever she ends up in the same place as him. But in truth they are having a Han Solo/Princess Leia relationship in which they look like they can’t stand each other, but underneath they are fighting a strong attraction which cannot be denied. Plus, it reminds me of a great dialogue exchange between Iris and Gilbert in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Lady Vanishes:”

“You’re the most contemptible person I’ve ever met in all my life!”

“Confidentially, I think you’re a bit of a stinker, too.”

Please note: those two characters ended up falling for each other.

While their eventual coming together is no surprise, it is a stunner to see just how quickly Gabby forgets about her long term boyfriend. He’s a doctor named Ryan McCarthy (played by former Superman Tom Welling) who’s a genuinely good man with a great future ahead of him, and Gabby knows he is someone she can depend on. But when Travis enters her life, she finds an excitement unlike any she has previously experienced. Still, it is astonishing how one person can easily forget their significant other in what seems like a heartbeat. Then again, anything’s possible.

From there, “The Choice” goes on a journey which is not as predictable as its poster might suggest, and it reaches a point where you realize why the movie has the title it does. It’s a look at some of the hardest choices one has to make in a relationship, but it ends up being assigned to one character in particular. Travis has to consider his options while Gabby doesn’t have much of a say, and the reasons for this will become clear to you if you decide to subject yourself to what is yet another emotionally manipulative romantic movie.

Somehow it seems ridiculous the choice this movie’s title refers to is up to one person and not others. If more characters were involved, then “The Choice” might have been more interesting than it ended up being, but this is a romantic movie done by the numbers and which serves to play with your emotions rather than be honest with you about the human condition.

The movie’s ending is one which undoubtedly please audiences, but it is also a largely unrealistic one and bound to have many rolling their eyes in severe disbelief. I won’t spoil it for you here, but I found it impossible to see this as anything other than an overblown fantasy. Romantic movies work best when they deal with real people in situations we can relate to, but this one does not.

If there is one thing “The Choice” has going for it, it’s how it makes North Carolina look like the most beautiful place to take a summer vacation at. North Carolina is to Nicholas Sparks as Maine is to Stephen King, and it’s hard to think of many other movies where this state looks as beautiful as it does here. Perhaps Sparks can write a novel about the history of North Carolina and someone can make a movie out of it worth watching. Like I said, anything is possible.

Walker and Palmer do have a palpable chemistry and Palmer, who is Australian, does pull off a very impressive American accent, but this is just another romantic movie which reminds me why I tend to avoid them on a regular basis. Some directors love to play their audiences like a piano, but they should be forbidden to do so when it comes to motion pictures like these.

You want a romantic movie worth watching? Try “When Harry Met Sally,” Say Anything,” “Obvious Child” or “What If” instead because those at least engage the viewer in an honest way. “The Choice” is just another one that plays by a rulebook which should have been obliterated a long time ago. Like many Sparks adaptations before it, this one can’t hold a candle to “The Notebook.”

Copyright Ben Kenber 2016

* * out of * * * *