A lot has been said about love in films, but will it ever be enough? Because, it isn’t one story or idea to tell – it differs from person to person. But these ideas evolve with time, as we constantly try to catch up with them. And the anthology, Modern Love: Mumbai is a perfect ode to exploring these ideas that mean different things to different people.
Directors Vishal Bhardwaj, Alankrita Shrivastava, Dhruv Sehgal, Nupur Asthana, Hansal Mehta, and Shonali Bose give us a glimpse into love and other things through their different styles of storytelling.
To fall in love with oneself is just as important – more so, than trying to keep someone else happy. Shonali Bose’s Raat Rani talks about it, while leaving us with a tale of love that ends at it being about freedom and how liberating it feels to not be bound by ‘having to care for someone else’ – just because.
Keep this and add a little about second chances and moving-on – that’s what Alankrita Shrivastava’s My Beautiful Wrinkles does. While exploring how it feels to be admired, even if it doesn’t mean love in its literal sense.
Hansal Mehta’s Baai and Vishal Bhardwaj’s Mumbai Dragon, bring in a sub-theme that revolves around inclusivity and being in touch with one’s roots – or how to juggle between two lives when they both come from love. The idea behind Mumbai Dragon is close to home, pun intended, as it looks at a mother’s need to create a safe space for a child – that can, at times, be perceived as shackles. But, it’s more about wanting to preserve her roots that seem to be fading.
While Baai is about our society’s perception towards love and romance, that remains limited – it also talks about wanting acceptance even if we say, we don’t. After all, being judged to love someone isn’t the best feeling.
Love after marriage isn’t the most poetic romance or story. It can be clumsy and monotonous. With Nupur Asthana’s Cutting Chai, we get a glimpse into a couple’s lives – which shows us how love can look more like being an entity together than individualism, as time passes by. But, the beauty of the film is in its confrontation of the need to change pace, every once in a while.
Finally, Dhruv Sehgal’s I Love Thane not only gives us the realistic, not-so-poetic look at modern-day dating but also a love-story that’s old school in some ways. And no, it’s not just because of a character without any social media presence. I like its idea where love in-turn makes you like yourself more – because as cliched as it is, we cannot really love someone else without loving ourselves first.
Modern Love: Mumbai serves love that is for everyone – how it should be.