The very mention of romantic movies will prompt some people to proudly mention the Cameroon directed blockbuster ‘Titanic’. Akin to most, it indulges in a story of two characters and their eternal love towards each other under some horrifying circumstances. However much you deny it, these movies follow a certain template(imperfectly) when it comes to carrying their story forward. What makes them stand apart are the individual performances and the chemistry between the on-screen couples.
Now let me clarify that romantic movies are really not my forte when it comes to reviewing. Romantic comedy’s would definitely score above romantic dramas in the circle of interest. That being said I don’t want to sound condescending as I have enjoyed few of them like When Harry Met Sally, A Lot Like Love, Little Manhattan, Sweet Home Alabama etc. Now there is another crop of movies that when described categorically falls under a subgroup I call as eccentrically romantic dramas. These dramas if to define theoretically defies the normal romantic cliches thereby following a storyline which is quite unique and intriguing when compared to the others. These movies although distinct has the the romantic strata as its hard-line. I know from description the category looks very alien to your knowledge of romantic movies but let me assure you that the line that divides both is very thin.
So in a bid to introduce you to such movies let me put forth two of my favorites in this category. These movies although range differently on romantic scales provides the same feel but they are done in a way that makes them stand apart.
1)Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I tend to ignore people who justify this movie by calling it bizarre, bizarrely wonderful- OK. Handled ably by Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry this movie is emblematic of the modern cinema culture that tries to invent and improvise on things that are over utilized Following a story of man trying to save his love from being erased, this movie encapsulates everything that a broken heart would yearn in a normal romantic saga. Maybe for a short period, it makes you believe in first sight love, divine interventions and things that tend to look infantile. Than there is the witch’s brew of love story and science fiction that only few has succeeded in making. As one comes to realize the story, he would exhort Joel in his journey to retrieve everything he is about to loose. Joel’s subconscious grunting at Ruffalo and Wood’s comments and holding on to Clementine in those last moments of faltering into nothingness is cinematically marvelous. And it comes comes down at the end in making love happen again through realization that feels torture all along. Performances augments this movie to whole another level, with Jim Carrey at his’s ‘never much seen’ best avatar and Kate Winslet for putting so much life into Clementine. Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood and Tom Wilkinson are other honorable mentions.
2) (500) Days of Summer
According to Marc Webb, the director this movie is 75% based on real life which is less of a surprise because this is somewhere every persons story. The plot is not as complex as ‘sunshine’ in fact it’s the contrary,simple. The screenplay randomly jumps between the 500 days creating a story that is seamless and hard to avoid. The movie moving between happy and sad moments rightfully evokes the emotions transpiring between the two individuals. Tom a eternal miserable romanticist thinks like any Tom Dick Harry that there is a palpable connection & conjures up dreams about Summer loving him back. She on the other hand is doesn’t believe in what Tom wants her to, instead takes life as it comes and unlike Tom has weird taste. These characters in short make up this story lot more view-able than it could be. Then there are a number of scenes that are unforgettable for me like the scene where in theatre Tom visualizes himself in foreign movies or the part where he and his friends are asked about love or the office outburst are among many I love replaying. Although this movies is subtle in many scenes it doesn’t hold back the emotions, thanks to the amazing background score(+1). Being my favorite I cannot imagine any other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel to portray the roles of Tom and Summer. The ending is the USP of this movie.
So among these there were relatively less favorites which needs a honorable mention. Garden State, Once, Amelie, Away We Go are some others.This is just what I think and would love some of your thoughts and recommendation of eccentrically romantic dramas.
– Mithil Naik Gaunker