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5 Bollywood Movies That Redefined Age-Gap Love
These movies celebrated the many nuances of age-gap love, all the while steering clear of the usual cinematic tropes.
Age-gap relationships are often met with scepticism. How can two people with so few shared experiences possibly get along? Not to mention they’re shrouded in stereotypes. There’s the “creepy older man” in search of a trophy wife, and the “cougars” preying on younger men.
But like any relationship, age-gap couples are made up of complex and nuanced individuals who are capable of having mature, fulfilling, and nourishing relationships if they are able to empathise and communicate with one another.
This is what these five Bollywood movies set out to do. They not only highlight how the success of a relationship isn’t solely determined by age but also demonstrate how multi-faceted and uniquely rewarding certain age-gap romances can be. Here are some Bollywood classics that shatter stereotypes and showcase the realities of age gap love.
The Lunchbox (2013)
This widely acclaimed film is set against the backdrop of Mumbai’s super-efficient lunchbox delivery system. Ila, a middle-class housewife, cooks special lunches for her neglectful husband in the hopes of rekindling their relationship. But somewhere along the way, the lunchbox is delivered to Saajan, a lonely office worker on the verge of retirement.
It is a heartwarming story of how a rare mistake in the delivery of a lunchbox sparks a genuine connection between a housewife and a widower. Technically strangers, they exchange letters through the lunchbox. Throughout the film, they never quite meet. The difference in their age and widely different sensibilities find common ground in their quest to colour their mundane days with hope and novelty.
There are tales of missed encounters, the small joys in their day, and what they look forward to. A story told with sensitivity, this film proves how genuine connections transcend age and maybe even the need for physical presence.
Cheeni Kum (2007)
Aren’t the sweetest of tales made and remade over food? In this equal parts humorous and telling story, a 64-year-old chef falls in love with a 34-year-old software engineer. However, was love ever straightforward? The chef soon realises that falling for her would mean compromising his work ethic since her father works under him.
Age-gap relationships often mean upsetting a traditionally set world order. In this film, we see how the lead couple navigates this quagmire while also never losing what they feel for each other.
This one’s a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously but nevertheless makes the point that age-gap relationships are beautiful as long as one finds ways to overcome the challenges surrounding them.
Dear Zindagi (2016)
What happens when you fall in love with your therapist? The one person who shows you the way can often also be the one who can end up being your saviour.
In this film, however, the much older therapist realises that having his patient fall for him would certainly be unprofessional. But instead of being blunt and shallow about it, he acknowledges and respects her feelings for him and solely focuses on making her therapy sessions more creative and full of solutions that help.
An older man and a woman in her late 20s meet in a hospital. The common thread: Both their spouses are on life support. What follows is some of the most revealing conversations about life, vulnerability, and finding the meaning of life together. It is their massive age gap that not only enables them to see the sheer diversity in their respective lives but also accept each other for these dissimilarities.
The “waiting” here is thus not just literal but also figurative, as both of them prod each other on to move forward towards fulfilment and gratefulness.
Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
This movie redefined the urban landscape of India, and what friendship truly means. Primarily a story of three friends and their many adventures and misadventures therein, it also features a thought-provoking subplot involving the love between an alcoholic divorcee who bonds with her young neighbour as they both share a mutual affinity for art and a desire to live fully.
While the young man is brimming with hope, through his relationship with the much older woman, he understands how life may not always turn out to be perfect and there are always lessons to be learned along the way.
This one’s a powerful film that also reveals how sometimes the most fractured relationships we have are with people closest to us.
Source: Arman Khan, VICE
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