A Madras Rail Romance

As much as there are a numerous number of genres in cinema, romantic movies always hold a special place in our hearts. I was born, brought up and raised in Chennai and there’s no surprise that a majority of the movies I saw were Tamil films. In a year, about 10 films will be given the validation of ‘’The Best Tamil Films of the year”, and in that five films would be put into the romance category. Out of these, three would be rom-coms and the other two would be pure romantic films or to put it more locally – films by Mani Ratnam and Gautham Vasudev Menon. 

The Tamil audience undoubtedly love their romance and when the film is based in Chennai, Sollave Venaam! There’ll be iconic romantic scenes in the trains. When you say the phrase “Train Romance”, most of us tend to recollect Vaaranam Aayiram, one of the most iconic romantic scenes. Be it the first time Suriya sees Meghna when he gets up from his seat and dances at the back of the train or when he’s in a dilemma whether he wants to tell Meghna whether he’s in love with her, the location of the scene ends up being one of the most integral parts of the movie. 

Now that we’re talking about trains it would be unfair not to mention some iconic scenes from Mani Ratnam’s movies. Mani Ratnam has a different style and a lot of fascination with things like mirrors, dark shots (mainly night shots) and trains. Be it the proposal scene in Alaipayuthey or the one where Karthik encounters Shakthi from a distance after they meet at a common relative’s wedding, both of those scenes were captured in such a way that till date the proposal scene in Alaipayuthey is an all time classic. 

Not only these films but in movies like Kushi where at the end Jenny and Shiva are stuck in chaos and end up pouring out their feelings for each other in a letter in the railway station by handing over the letters to their train passengers depicts their urge to confess their feelings. If it was not for the chaos in the railway station with people bustling around and porters walking by, we would not have been on the edge of our seats.

In Tamil Cinema, we give a lot of importance to our music. Songs like Omana Penne with Karthik trying to control his feelings and act like a friend or Thalattum Kaatre from Poovellam Un Vaasam we have Jyothika travelling in the train and Ajith on the other side trying to catch up in the jeep. 

All these scenes have a different touch and not only Tamil Cinema movies like DDLJ  (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge) which has the iconic scene where Simran’s father telling her to live her life and she catches hold of Raj’s hand from a running train is a well known romantic scene in every Indian household. Trains have always been a truly important part of every iconic romantic film and I hope that this trend never ends so that I can cherish these little moments for the rest of my life. 

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