How Mollywood Portrays New-Age Romance Better Than Bollywood

I have to admit, one has to be a Malayali to understand the nuances of romantic emotions portrayed by Malayalam actors. But, if you’ve been around Malayalis for a long time, you’d know what we are talking about. Mollywood has released a fair share of good romantic movies, but the Dulquer-Nivin-Fahad-Tovino phase in the industry has sparked a unique romantic episode, which Bollywood is yet to master. 

Some Indians are of the very strong belief that Shah Rukh Khan’s crooked Titanic pose, Salman Khan’s expressionless love songs, and Shahid Kapoor’s bad-boy charm is what romance is all about. Little do they know that down South, there exists a bunch of Malayali actors who’ve pretty much aced the art of romance. In the Mollywood industry, romance lies in the portrayal of real-life expressions and pure words; not in actions like what Bollywood has made it seem like.

Of course, in order to understand the difference you have to watch Malayalam movies with Tovino Thomas, Dulquer Salman, Nivin Pauly, and Fahad Fasil in it. The four musketeers of Mollywood has made us get butterflies in our stomachs, emotionally charged us from within, and left us with a belief that good ol’ romance still exists. Put differently, they have showed us what romance should realistically look like from a Malayali’s point of view. An Indian Northerner wouldn’t be able to understand Southerners’ understanding of romance because they’re used to romance that’s often confused with stalking, misogynistic gestures, non-consensual acts, and more. On the other hand, Malayalam movies portray romance in a way that makes us go gaga over the actor only because of the subtle romantic expressions and the killer dialogues they deliver. Isn’t that what romance is all about?

Let me make it simpler for all of you. 

Dulquer is known to pick up roles that comes with the ‘bad boy’ personality attached. So is Shahid Kapoor. The difference, though, is that when you see Dulquer falling in love, it’s like two souls falling in love. With Shahid, it’s toxicity that comes off when you see him with a girl he loves. And this is all in reference to both of their recent movies. Dulquer’s ‘Ok Kanmani’ happens to be one of everyone’s most-loved romantic movies because it left an incredible romantic mark on our psyche – in a very good way.  

We all know Nivin Pualy as Malayalam cinema’s romantic entertainer. His movie ‘Thattathin Marayathu’ was the start of it. Nivin Pauly’s ‘Oh, I’m shy’ expression whenever he sees the love of his life will make anyone go weak on their knees. And when he plays with his moustache, we all know what happens to us. He has perfectly portrayed the inherent vulnerability of romance in most of his movies. I have heard of non-Malayalis spend their time obsessively going to Nivin Pauly’s romantic moments on-screen, which only goes to prove the above said.   

Fahad Fasil cannot be considered the typical, cheesy romantic of Mollywood. He has a strong sense of romance that’s sexually attractive. And the best part? It’s never a hyper-masculine type of romance; it’s more on the lines of sexy charm coupled with emotional, head-over-heels romance. How can we forget the scene in Bangalore Days where Fahad Fasil falls in love with Nazriya or the brief flashback of his past biker life?

Lastly, Tovino Thomas, Mollywood’s king of hearts, has successfully charmed his way through cinema theatres, movie screen, and our hearts. Perhaps the biggest lesson we’ve learnt from his on-screen romances is to never lose hope and second chances mean a lot more than we think. 

These actors have shown us the unimaginable depth of human love and how falling in love need not always have to be about extravagance. If you had a chance to orchestrate a romantic gesture, you should definitely learn a thing or two from their movies. Seriously, we dare you. These actors bring in the kind of chemistry that happens in reality and with every glance, every kiss, every touch, they manage to teach us a lot about true love, which is way more powerful than how Bollywood shows it.

Well, as they say, all is good in movies. But, needless to say, Mollywood does romance differently.

Aishwarya Gopinath
A foodie at heart, an aspiring novelist, and an enthusiastic writer by nature, I love to dig deep into culture and lifestyle of the place and people around me. I hope to make people cry, laugh, smile, angry, and satisfied with my writing.


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