Every Friday, India gears up for a new film’s release. The rush of getting your tickets booked in advance and making it to the hall just in time to catch the upcoming movies’ trailer, Bollywood is the pulse of this country.
While our heart beats for Bollywood, Bollywood’s heart beats in sync with us.
Movies are supposed to be a reflection of society. And despite Bollywood’s over-the-top drama and fantasy-like stories, the films do manage to reflect traces of reality in whatever tiny way possible.
Take, for example, the evident shift in Bollywood’s definition of passion.
Earlier passion was channelized through intense love and longing but now, our films depict actors being equally passionate (if not more) about their careers and dreams, something that clearly lacked in films from the 90s and early 2000s.
Let’s go back in time, shall we?
The 90s were a decade that saw the genre of romance blooming and flowering in Bollywood. With the coming of the Khans and a considerable shift from the angry-young-man-action films, Bollywood embraced romance so well, it was impossible to not fantasize yourself in fairy-tale-like romances, every time you thought about love.
Even though it might look highly stupid and superficial now, the times were very different back then. My parents got married in early 90s. They were in love and got engaged, right out of college.
Despite having exceptional academic profiles, they chose to settle down, all in the name of love. And they weren’t the only ones to do so. This was the trend and this was a choice that many young couples willingly made.
Call it a mindset or simply priority, back then, love was clearly something that had full-ownership on one’s idea of passion.
Then, times evolved. The generation evolved. And evidently, our passions evolved too.
We might find ourselves in tears every time DDLJ is on screen, but can you really imagine yourself being so reckless in love that you end up putting your whole life at stake? Sounds highly ridiculous, right?
Today, the meaning of our lives has changed. Passion for us is everything we do to help our dreams come true. Sometimes, it involves a plan and sometimes, our dreams take their own course.
Take, for example, Ranbir Kapoor’s Sid from Wake Up Sid.
Here was a boy with a dad for an ATM, until one day when the ATM machine jammed. This helped him look beyond a free-flow of money and figure out life. He found his passion in photography.
Similarly, we have one of Bollywood’s biggest hits, 3 Idiots. Aamir Khan’s character in this film was of a boy who was passionate about learning. While everyone in his class were human-robots training for a desk job in an MNC, he was a geek who chose an unconventional path.
In movies like these and many more, there generally exists a romantic track but that is not the film’s focus. The romantic scenes do get all the ‘awws’ but it is actually the chasing-your-dream sequences that get the applause.
This is how the definition of passion has evolved in our films.
Slice-of-life movies are not just about two people ending up in a happily ever after situation. It’s about a person ending up in a happily ever after with oneself, regardless of having a partner to hold hands and walk into the sunset.