The first thing that draws me towards elderly romance is the fascinating blend of calmness and placidity accumulated, owing to several years’ worth of relationships and the urge and fear of not having much time left. Having grown up all my life with my Thatha and Paatti ,the quirks of their fifty-five plus year old romance hugely shaped the way I perceive(d) romance.
Amidst today’s fast paced relationship which escalates and saturates in a matter of months, the heart-warming relationship between Bhavani aunty and Ganapathy uncle did not just influence Adi and Tara. It impacts anybody who has watched the movie. The dark coloured house subtly yet strongly denotes the depth and complexity of the bond between an Alzheimer stricken Bhavani aunty and her loving husband - Ganapathy. It melts my heart everytime I see the old fashioned , highly principled Ganapathy uncle let his guard down when his beloved wife blissfully indulges in Tara’s music and allows the couple to stay at his home.
In the anthology Sillu Karupatti, once again Leela Samson steals the show sweetly as the independent urban lady Yashoda. From catching a glimpse of Yashoda playing in the park to feeling nervous when he meets her at the hospital, taking turtle walks with her in the beach, calling her as Yasho and making diligent efforts to find and woo her, Navaneethan sets a whole new yardstick of romance and chivalry which even the modern-day heroes cannot compete with. He perfectly sums up the #BoyfriendGoals.
Another one of my personal favourites is the funny and quirky romance that brews between Neena ( Shobhana ) and Major Unnikrishnan ( Suresh Gopi) in Varane Avashyamundu. It brilliantly depicts the setbacks of elderly romance and how people accept it . On the same note, The latest Colgate advertisement with its fresh take on elderly romance, citing the sombre loneliness in the elderly and trying to normalize the societal taboo on remarriages gently reminds us to smile and embrace romance in all forms devoid of any judgments.
In the 2014 movie Pannaiyarum Padminiyum,the endearing love Pannaiyar has for his wife Thulasi and the way Thulasi yearns to see her husband behind the steering of a car is class apart. The nuances of their relationship flawlessly depicted in the melodious “Unakkaga Piranthene” definitely leaves us smitten.
The way Rajkiran sir instantaneously takes up a road trip to meet and revive his love for his high school sweetheart Revathi may seem slightly unrelatable but is very charismatic. The movie Powerpandi is a completely power-packed entertainer filled with a bubbly elderly romance.
In GVM’s Vaaranam Aayiram, Malini & Krishnan’s love leaves an immortal trail of spark. It subtly yet strongly showcases the love between elderly even after death parts their way. The way Malini articulates her silent outburst with puffy eyes when Krishnan’s final procession is about to start is so touching that it causes a gnawing pain in our hearts. The way her face and eyes gleam with love and passion while reminiscing the past as she eats with her son makes us realise that love is eternal.
One of the highly underrated elderly romances is the one between Srividya and Jaishankar in the timeless classic Thalapathy. The way Jaishankar pacifies Srividya and convinces her to meet long lost Soorya(Rajinikanth) his stepson just tells how purely he respects her feelings, accepts her past and continues to support her throughout. It tells how love is not about happiness and all roses but is also about sticking with each other in challenging times. Not to forget the super hit comic flick Badhai Ho which leaves us in splits , tells us that love is not just for the young. The reticent romance of the elderly couple embedded in a dense Indian family wins a realistic depiction. The movie will make us rethink the way we commonly overlook elderly romance.
Perhaps elderly romance isn’t the most expressive, but the cute, coy romance and layered emotions is vivacious and mystical in its own way. All these reel life characters and stories just remind us that it is never too late to feel loved or to fall in love. Love truly is immortal, isn’t it?