Sanjoy Nag’s beautiful film Yours Truly had one remembering some memorable films that have brought beautifully alive the theme: Love knows no age
First there were the single screen theatres, where, obviously, massive star casts, size and scale of production values were often given more importance than the story line of the film. With the multiplexes came the the era in which, to use a cinematography expression, the focus began to shift – and of late has been shifting even more frequently – to differentiated content themes for especially interesting and thought provoking entertainment to take centre-stage. Yours Truly, the excellent, thought-provoking, beautifully scripted, shot and enacted film from director Sanjoy Nag, is actually the trigger for this story. Would you have expected a film based upon the loneliness and the sensitive longings of a middle-aged woman, with no commercial superstars to be such an engrossing narrative? Of course, while the actors – Soni Razdan, Ahana Kumra, Pankaj Tripathi and Mahesh Bhat and Vinay Pathak’s voice as the station announcer, which our protagonist falls in love with — are not commercial superstars, they put in very real performances that breathe life into the script and into Nag’s creative vision. I caught it on ZEE5 late last night, and it had me riveted. Check the movie Yours Truly here.
Yours Truly is a film no film-lover should miss, because it makes a thought-provoking point: should a middle-aged person just let her or his longings slip away, be relegated to conventional expectations of approved social behavior? No. One’s never too told to want or to hope for love. Because love knows no age. And Yours Truly is about the longing for love. The yearning, if you will, that is always in the subconscious, but subjugated and kept literally under cover, by a sensitive, wistful soul.
Soni Razdan puts in a restrained, real performance in Yours Truly, which is the official adaptation of one of the stories from the book LOVE STORIES #1 TO 14 by Annie Zaidi (Harper Collins).
Yours Truly trailer
Watch glimpses of it in this trailer, which also offers a glimpse of director Nag’s excellent creative depiction, using a 4X3 frame to physically depict the ‘constrained’ boundaries of her lonely life.
Yours Truly had me thinking about one theme that has always been noticed even in the past: ‘Love Knows No Age’. And remembering some memorable films that have brought this theme beautifully alive.
Love Knows No Age: Lamhe
The first among them, and a long-time favourite, was a story that was truly audacious, and multiple decades ahead of its time: Lamhe, by great film maker Yash Chopra. The 1991 romantic drama was a story of love between two people old enough to be a father-daughter pair. Conventoinally speaking, an age-wise mismatch. Lamhe Anil Kapoor (playing Viren) and Sridevi (Pallavi) playing characters very much in love, but Pallavi gets married to someone else. They die in an accident, leaving behind a daughter who is the spitting image of her beautiful late mother. And who meets and falls in love with Viren, who has always had a very special place for her mother in his heart. And who too reciprocates. Of course, the domestic Indian market – read society — wasn’t ready for a theme like this, but internationally, the film was a hit, and well received; even acclaimed as one of the greatest films to come out of India till then.
Love Knows No Age: Cheeni Kum
And then, there was another beautifully written, shot and performed film, Cheeni Kum from ad films whiz Balki, which had the same age-wise ‘mismatch’, pairing a 64-year-old, never-married man who falls headlong into love with a 34-year-young woman. The Amitabh Bachchan-Tabu starrer had India up and watching, and after Lamhe, was perhaps the only memorable film on a broadly similar theme, but of course, an entirely different setting. Like I said, Love Knows No Age.
The common thread in all the themes above? Longing. Wistfulness. An all-encompassing desire for love, togetherness. For love.
Love Knows No Age: Baghban
Another ‘Love Known No Age’ story featured a married couple of the same age – the recently retired Amitabh Bachchan character and his loving wife played by Hema Malini, and set in the real-life truth where sons don’t want to support their old retired parents. Ravi Chopra-directed Baghban, made in 2003, had the couple’s cruel children plotting to separate their parents under the excuse that none of the children is financially capable to support both parents, and so each must live with another child for six months, and believe their parents will refuse. But the old couple agrees, and in the end, their love and longing for each other’s company comes up trumps. Love, underlined by longing. Any why should retired parents not long for each other? Longing shouldn’t retire, and never does.
Love Knows No Age: Dil Chahta Hai
Farhan Akhtar’s exquisite Dil Chahta Hai actually had ‘longings’ in the arc light of the film’s title. Sid, played by Akshaye Khanna, falls in love with the beautiful but much older Tara, played by Dimple Kapadia, and actually slaps his close friend for making a crass remark about her when he (Sid) tells his best friends (Akash and Sameer) about his love for her.
An older woman, and a much younger man, both feeling the soul-stirrings of love and care for each other, was a sub-plot that Farhan Akhtar handled with exquisite sensitivity, like Nag handles the wistfulness of Soni Razdan in Yours Truly.
Love Knows No Age: The Lunch Box
Lunch Box, with its story of an about-to-retire widower accountant played by brilliant actor Irrfan Khan and his romance through letters with a young housewife played by Nimrat Kaur, too was driven by longing, and was another of the memorable films that were driven by an expression of the hope for finding love. As the two strangers start sharing precious, personal moments and events of their lives with each other through letters that, in the first place, happen due to a quirk of destiny, they get close even from distance. The sensitively portrayed story also beautifully depicted the Irrfan character caught in the perplexing space between head and heart – caught between his heart that wanted to be with the woman who, his head warned him, was far too young to be the object of his affections. The story asking, again, why Love should know any age, or bow in deference to any social diktats on the lines.
Do share your own favourite films on the theme of Love Has No Age in the comments section. And watch Yours Truly if you haven’t done that already. It is a film that belongs in the list of thought provoking, beautifully scripted and made films that are purely content driven. It belongs in this list of films that have deftly treated the difficult subject of Love beyond age. Of the longing for love disregarding any limitations of age, or the societal boundaries of disparate age. No mismatches in love.