Love is such a special feeling that goes beyond just the romantic kind. It can be felt towards our parents, friends, pets, hobbies, and so much more. Malayalam films do an amazing job of showcasing all the different forms of love that exist between people of all ages. Here’s a list of some of those beautiful shares of love in Malayalam cinema.
The Happily Ever After (Thattathin Marayathu)
Most people expect a love story to start with a boy meeting a girl, getting to know each other, and falling in love. They hope that this will lead to a relationship that progresses towards marriage, and they will live together forever. Some couples are lucky, like Vinod and Aisha from Thattathin Marayathu, but others may not be as fortunate. In the movie, Vinod passionately tries to win Aisha’s heart, and despite her family’s disapproval, they both overcome all obstacles to be together. Love requires dedication and passion, and Vinod showed both of these qualities, ultimately leading to a happy ending with Aisha.
The Tragic Ending (Ennu Ninte Moideen)
Many love stories begin with a spark and develop into something truly magical. Unfortunately, some of these stories end in tragedy, which can be heartbreaking. This was the case for Kanchanamala and Moideen, as depicted in the movie Ennu Ninte Moideen. Although their love story was deemed impossible due to their different religions, they developed a deep and passionate attachment that withstood the hatred and threats from their families. They continued to love each other for over 20 years and waited for an opportunity to unite. However, fate intervened, and they were unable to live together happily ever after. Kanchanamala was devastated by this and even considered ending her life. Nevertheless, Moideen’s mother gave her the courage to continue living with the memories of their love.
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The Troubled Relationship, But Eventually Successful (Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol/ Anuraga Karikkin Vellam)
Misunderstandings can strain relationships, but conflicts can also rekindle them. Many Malayalam films often suggest leaving, but sitting down to find a solution can bring a second chance at love. In the movies Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol and Anuraga Karikkin Vellam, the characters Unnachan and Annie, as well as Raghu and Suma, respectively, experience a rekindling of their strained relationships. Rather than giving up on each other, they take the time to rediscover why they fell in love in the first place and work to restore their bond. This approach proves successful, as they are able to support each other during difficult times, such as their son’s heartbreak.
The One with Age Gap (Vellimoonga)
The feeling of love knows no bounds and often blinds an individual’s perception of age, background, or financial status. Society tends to view love stories with a significant age difference as taboo, but this viewpoint should be challenged. Love should be valued for the feeling it brings, not for secondary factors. Unfortunately, couples with a large age difference are often ridiculed by society, as was the case with Maamachan in Vellimoonga. Despite the age gap, Maamachan pursued his feelings for Stella, who is the daughter of his former school girlfriend. In the end, he was able to convince Stella that he would be a good partner. Although the village continued to mock them, they eventually married and shut out the negativity. The age difference in a relationship should not be an issue because what truly matters is the feeling and mutual attraction between two people. What counts is living life with the one you love, regardless of age difference.
The Unsuccessful-Successful (The Great Indian Kitchen/ Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey)
Many relationships begin with one partner, hoping it will fulfil their dreams, but as time goes by, they realize that the issues are significant and cannot be ignored. When confronted, the other partner may become defensive and even abusive. This is when the first partner realizes the relationship is unhealthy and needs to end. In both The Great Indian Kitchen and Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey, the wives face a similar situation where they can no longer tolerate their husbands’ behaviour. The wife in The Great Indian Kitchen endures the injustice until it becomes unbearable, while Jaya from Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey reacts more quickly. Both women demonstrate that it is not a woman’s duty to remain in a toxic relationship and that they must leave when they feel it is unsuccessful. This is a lesson not only for women but also for men to recognize when a relationship is becoming unhealthy and to end it.
The One Sided (June)
Experiencing one-sided love is an essential part of life. It involves making every possible effort to catch a glimpse of your crush, trying your best to stand next to them, talking to them, befriending them, earning their trust, and eventually winning their heart. This passionate pursuit is an amazing feeling that one must go through, especially during their school and college days. Anand from June is a prime example of this. He attended a school close to June’s and always admired her from afar. Observing how she laughed and loved life, he learned her likes and dislikes. Anand made sure to attend the same college as June, but he lacked the courage to approach and talk to her. He let his feelings grow over the years until he finally found the courage to confess them to her after she graduated from school. Anand’s story is a perfect representation of one-sided love and a common theme in many Malayalam films. Many people, like Anand, have a one-sided love and are patiently waiting for the right opportunity to express their feelings to their supposed significant other.
The Infatuation (Hridayam)
Many people mistake infatuation for true love. They try to impress their crush by showing their best side, hoping that their infatuation will turn into genuine love. However, infatuation is often short-lived and based on physical appearance. When a more attractive person comes along, the infatuated person will move on. In the story of Arun and Darshana from Hridayam, Arun falls for Darshana’s appearance and outlook on life, mistaking it for love. But when asked if he is committed, Arun admits he is not. Infatuation is confusing because it feels like love, but it’s just a passing attraction. Only after experiencing infatuation can one truly appreciate genuine love, like how Arun ultimately found it with Nithya.
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The Unexpected (Happy Wedding/Hridayam)
Sometimes, people come into our lives unexpectedly and make a lasting impact, especially in romantic relationships. They bring brightness and positivity that change our outlook on life. These individuals become an integral part of our lives, and we wonder how they came into our lives so unexpectedly and made it worthwhile. Their power is unexplainable, but it gives us a magical feeling. Hari’s love life in Happy Wedding was full of failures, from being cheated on by his girlfriend to falling for a flirty girl. His mother found a perfect match for him, but Hari wanted to woo a girl and then marry her. When he met Drishya, he felt an instant connection. However, he later found out that Drishya was the girl his mother had found. This unexpected twist brought positivity to Hari’s otherwise depressed life, and he became more cheerful and happy. Similarly, Arun from Hridayam found unexpected love in Nithya at a marriage function. After getting to know Nithya, Arun became more mature and thoughtful, eventually marrying her. Unexpected love is a magical feeling that builds positivity and happiness in an individual. The examples of Hari and Arun in these Malayalam films are apt enough to prove this.
The Passionate (Mayaanadhi)
Sometimes, love can become so intense that it can cause a person to lose their self-respect and act shamelessly in order to express their feelings to their beloved. They may begin to follow their partner, hoping for a chance to speak with them and catch a glimpse of them. Some individuals are so consumed by their love that they cannot imagine living a sane life without their romantic partner. In the movie Maayanadhi, the character Maathan is deeply in love with Appu. Although they had a close relationship in the past, Appu eventually realized that Maathan’s love was not realistic and began to distance herself. However, Maathan refuses to give up and continues to pursue her in the hopes of winning her heart. He genuinely believes that Appu is the one for him, and his actions demonstrate the depth of his love. Maathan has become a symbol of passionate lovers who remain devoted even in the face of unrequited love.
The Eloping (Thrishanku/Thondimuthalum Dhriksakshiyum)
There are certain relationships that society or one’s household may disapprove of, but the emotions between two individuals run deep, and they cannot imagine living without each other. In such situations, some couples choose to elope and then register their marriage. Although this decision may bring shame and disgrace to their families, eventually, they often come to accept the relationship. However, in some cases, the couple may be disowned by their families. For example, while Sethu and Megha successfully eloped in Thrishanku, Prasad and Sreeja from Thondimuthalum Dhriksakshiyum chose to register their marriage. Unfortunately, Sreeja’s family disowned her for her decision, and she faced repercussions for her relationship, leading her to marry Prasad without telling her family. Megha’s father warned her not to get involved in any romantic relationships. Both couples in these Malayalam films demonstrate that when there is true love between two people, coming together is the only solution. While eloping can cause problems with respect and dignity, it may be the last resort for couples whose relationships are not approved of.
The Abusive (Kappela/Stand Up)
Few relationships start off by giving the couple hope that they are going to have a successful relationship. While the initial stages give the good vibes, a few months down the line, their true colours come out. Sometimes, these partners would have an ulterior motive and start behaving in an abusive manner. Jessy from Kappela is believed to have found true love in Vishnu when she accidentally dials his number. They call and talk every day, and everything goes well. The day they meet, Vishnu physically abuses her and leaves Jessy with a trauma that is irrecoverable. Diya, from Stand Up, was also in an abusive relationship with Amal, who always doubted Diya and morally policed her. The abusive nature was so bad that he even assaulted her sexually and scarred her for life. Abusive relationships are something that doesn’t give happiness to the suffering partner and is something that is really toxic and stressful to be in. Such relationships are ones that no one deserves to have, and the ones who are suffering in such a relationship should break out of it immediately, just like how Jessy and Diya did after having suffered for a lifetime.
The Old Age (Love 24×7/ Pranayam)
Love knows no boundaries, including age. And that has been showcased in many Malayalam films. It’s not just about the age difference between two people, but also the age at which they experience the feeling of love. Some individuals find love in their golden years despite the challenges and societal expectations. Many of these relationships are rooted in the past, having sparked during school, college, or early in their careers. Life sometimes gives them another chance to unite. Sarayu and Satheesh from Love 24×7 were separated by their careers but were given another opportunity to be together. Despite their age, they were determined to overcome the taboo and pursue their love for each other. Achutha Menon and Grace, from Pranayam, had a similar experience. They were once married but divorced due to differences. Years later, their paths crossed, and the feelings rekindled. Achutha Menon tried to reconnect with Grace and express his regret for what had happened. Both relationships blossomed in old age, defying societal norms. It’s important to remember that love can happen at any age and should be celebrated without judgment.
These are the few different forms of love that have been showcased in Malayalam films. With the idea and definition of the term love expanding with each passing day, the types of love stories showcased on the screen keep evolving and changing as well. What other types of love do you think have been depicted in Malayalam films?