Every individual in some way or the other has encountered a feeling – ‘Love’. Well, maybe that is one of the reasons why films about romantic relationships are so popular among people. They are so relatable – the characters, their stories, their encounters, and all. These are the elements that we tend to relate to and often think what if this happens with us, in our lives!
Let us talk about five movies that redefine ‘relationship’, we smiled, empathized, and sympathized with the characters and often were left with soggy eyes in the end – sometimes because of the tragedy and other times they were just the tears of happiness!
Here are five movies that help us give a fresh perspective on romantic relationships:
Romantic Relationships & ‘Titanic’ (1997) Movies
The romance drama directed by James Cameron is based on the real incident of the sinking of the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic in 1912. Cameron ingeniously chalked out fictional the love story between Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater in the film. The former, a passenger in the third-class who even won the ticket in a game of poker.
The latter, a first-class passenger who is almost forced into an engagement with Cal Hockley, a much older gentleman. The main idea behind the engagement was the maintenance of high-class status by Rose’s mother even after the demise of her father.
In the ship, Rose met Jack under very strange circumstances when she was contemplating suicide. Jack calmly talked her out of it and said something that stayed with Rose and even the audience forever –
“You jump, I jump!”
And thus began the love story between Jack and Rose.
Rose realized that Jack was everything that Cal was not. The main thing that differentiated Rose’s relationship with Jack and Rose’s relationship with Cal was friendship. And this factor made Jack and Rose grow fond of each other despite both being from a very different social and financial backgrounds.
The relationship between Jack and Rose time and again proved one thing that marriage is something that cannot be and more importantly should not be forced upon anyone. The film also establishes the fact that nothing matters, no social position or financial security or anything when two persons are in love with each other. Titanic is a very popular movie and most of us have seen it innumerable times. Time and again, we hoped for a partner like Jack or Rose.
Titanic does not end happily. The ship wreck also wrecked the relationship between Jack and Rose. And at that moment, we come to realize the power of love yet again. Jack almost sacrifices himself to keep Rose on the wooden plank. This is love, where a person always puts the safety of the other person first.
- Jack dies in the end.
- Rose continued to live.
She got married and had a family but survived with the memory of Jack and her days with Jack etched in her heart.
In real life also, our love stories for some reason or the other does not always meet with a happy ending. We tend to live with the memories. We tend to think. We tend to retrospect, how life would have been different, if we had the chance to spend it with our versions of ‘Rose’ or ‘Jack’!
Romantic Relationships & Movies ‘Before Sunrise’ (1995)
The tragedy of the couples on Titanic made us realize certain things about a romantic relationship but unfortunately, the couple could not end up together and we do feel sorry for them. Now, let us move to a more hopeful tale – Before Sunrise.
Before Sunrise is the first installment of the Before Trilogy comprising of Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004), and Before Midnight (2013).
All of us lead our lives, we attend the daily chores, we eat and we sleep! But does think that there are certain thoughts within us and we cannot tell them or we cannot explain to them because we have not come across the right person? Well, Before Sunrise centers around this very idea.
Jesse and Celine, the protagonists of the film meet each other accidentally on a train and struck up a conversation. The former was going to Vienna to catch a flight back to the USA and the latter was returning from her grandmother to her university in Paris. They decided to walk around Vienna till Jessie’s flight the next morning as they did not have the money to rent a room
They roamed through the streets of Vienna and talk and talk. The topics ranged from life, love, their beliefs on religion, their thoughts on Vienna, and so on. Both of them spoke their hearts out as they thought they would never see each other again. They even refused to exchange their contact details and that is what made the relationship so special and striking!
- If we wonder now, what will we do if two persons are attracted to each other?
- Should we leave the relationship there as it is?
- Or should we pursue it?
Here are two strangers who met accidentally and struck a chord, shared their experiences with each other, and from what we see we can say that they are perfect for each other!
- But will this ‘perfection’ last forever?
- Or will it just evaporate if these two individuals decide to stay together and encounter the daily chores?
- Does something that seems so ‘perfect’ from a distance remain ‘perfect’ if viewed from close quarters?
The ‘perfect’ encounter between Jesse and Celine provokes the audience to think about these questions, these situations. We are afraid of being judged. But if we remain close to someone, in some way or the other, consciously or unconsciously, we will be judged!
Possibly, the idea of not meeting each other again made Jesse and Celine to share so much about their lives to each other. It is like a confession!
So, this gives rise to another question about romantic relationships. Is there any place for being judgmental in a relationship? Can we afford to be judgmental in a relationship?
If yes, there can be conflicts. If no, there is pretention. Then what is the concept of ‘perfect relationship’?
Romantic Relationships & Movie ‘Marriage Story (2019)’
From heart-to-heart conversations, let us move to the consummation of love, in societal terms – marriage. The film Marriage Story revolves around Charlie who is a successful theatre director in New York and Nicole who happened to be a former teen film actress.
Nicole consequently gets an offer to star in a television series pilot in Los Angeles. Charlie and Nicole were having troubles in their marital lives.
The problems between the couple also disrupted the life of their son, Henry. Here is an idea that the film gives us to ponder upon –
what is more, important love or familial responsibilities?
All human beings have their shares of good qualities and their flaws. The same is applicable for Charlie and Nicole as well. They ultimately decided to divorce. Another thought crops in here – is divorce the end of a relationship, especially,
- if the two individuals were in love?
- Can the love between them simply dry up?
Well, it is fair to say that friendship forms the basis of all relationships. In Marriage Story also we can see that even Charlie and Nicole are fighting in court, they remain friendly outside the court and spend time with Henry.
As we have discussed about the previous film, Before Sunrise whether love remains the same exciting and involving feeling when witnessed from close quarters, there is a resonance of that idea in this film as well.
When two people stay together when two people decide to lead their lives together, when two people marry each other, do the things that worked earlier, work anymore? Does it then become everything about families and responsibilities?
The beauty of the marriage story of Charlie and Nicole makes us realize that we all tend to make mistakes in a relationship, even in marriage. Also, the desire to be together forever may not last forever – time changes, situations alter and people evolve; but is it worth to get stuck with a relationship and be unhappy? Or get closure and carry on with lives?
As I have pointed out earlier that friendship is the most important form of relationship, in fact, it is the basis of all relationships. What a person is feeling, now, at the moment, it is not necessary or even fair to expect them to feel the same throughout their lives. But the mutual respect should be there, the friendship should remain.
At the end of Marriage Story, we can see that the couple relaxes their demands and reach an equal agreement to finalize their divorce. About the mutual respect and friendship that I was talking about – earlier when the couple went to a mediator for problems in their marriage, each of them was asked to list down the elements they liked about each other.
Towards the end of the film, Charlie found Henry reading Nicole’s list and Charlie also reads out his list. It is an emotional moment for them!
This makes us think over the matter again, is splitting up or separation at times necessary to restore the lost faith in one’s relationship?
People do change but the intrinsic qualities for which a person gets attracted to another tend to remain the same. These are the qualities on which a friendship stands.
The story of Charlie and Nicole gives us hope. Everything does not have to end with a divorce, certain things, certain feelings just stay on!
Romantic Relationships & Movie ‘City Lights’ (1931)
Earlier, we spoke of a couple who were perfect for each other but cannot end up together due to a natural calamity. Then we spoke of a couple who met each other under unexpected circumstances and related with each other. In Marriage Story, we got a different perspective and pondered on the question whether a marriage ends with divorce or the friendship continues?
Now, the reason behind choosing Charlie Chaplin’s silent film City Lights is to emphasize the fact that gestures are an important part of a romantic relationship.
As told earlier, City Lights is a silent film and as a result, the film is much action-driven rather than dialogue-driven like Before Sunrise. City Lights revolves around the sweet love story between the tramp and a blind flower girl.
This disability of the flower girl makes us think whether looks matter in a relationship or not. Well, the flower girl initially mistook the tramp to be rich because when he bought flowers from her, there was the sound of a car door closing but in the end, this financial condition also hardly mattered.
The external appearance, the financial status, all these do not really matter in love. The small gestures, the small actions, and the care and concern for each other are the factors that make a relationship go strong.
In case of City Lights, we can see that the girl cannot see the tramp but she thinks of him, she cares for him and she loves him. On the other hand, the tramp also feels the same way. Well, how they fell for each other is a bit difficult to explain, usually, these tales start with ‘love at first sight’ but in this case, ‘sight’ was not exchanged between the two. Instead, a human touch and a series of gestures built up the relationship.
The tramp heard the doctor saying that the girl will get her eyesight if she is operated. The tramp jumps in for help, goes around collecting the money. This is a grand gesture. Indeed. But let us take the example of the tramp bringing groceries for the flower girl and her grandmother – these are the small gestures that built up the relationship between the flower girl and the tramp.
The tramp collected the money but under tragic circumstances, he was suspected of a robbery and was arrested and sent to jail. The girl got the money anyway from him and she operated. Ultimately, the flower girl got her eyesight.
Here comes the question of sacrifice in a relationship or selflessness in a relationship – is this a healthy practice?
In real life, every person is different but we get involved in relationships because there are certain elements of the other person that we tend to like and we can get happy in their happiness and feel sad in their sorrow. It feels like the most beautiful feeling in the world!
There is a saying, ‘actions speak louder than words’ and in a relationship; it is really all about the actions. Sometimes, we have to prioritize our partners over ourselves but it is worth it because what we get in return is their happiness!
A romantic relationship is not about perfection in case of looks or wealth, it is the secret to make the best out of an imperfect situation. It is all about creating a world for each other where there can be limitations but at the same time, there will be happiness that will never fall short.
In that world, all the struggles will be there but simply the thought of being with each other will encourage and inspire the persons to face whatever is in store for them.
Romantic Relationship & Movie ‘Life is Beautiful (1997)’
After all that has been discussed about romantic relationships what can be the perfect farewell other than Life is Beautiful. This is an Italian film but has been dubbed in English.
We all want our lives to be like the title of the film. Guido and Dora meet each other at Arezzo where the former comes to work at a restaurant and the latter teaches there at a school. The backdrop of their story is important – the event takes place during the World War II when northern Italy was occupied by Nazi Germany.
Dora was engaged to a rich and arrogant government official. We were talking about actions and gestures in case of City Lights, in Life is Beautiful also it is these gestures that made Dora identify Guido’s affection and care for her.
‘Buogiorno Principessa’, Guido’s term of endearment for Dora echoes the emotions and feelings of all those searching for their special ones.
Life is Beautiful shows the various phases of relationship. Courtship is one of the most important elements of relationship, this is that phase of a relationship where a person realizes how much it is worth for the other person or how far one is willing to go for love.
Also, the dimensions of the relationship keep on changing – it is different during courtship, it is different in an official relationship, it is different after marriage and it is different after a child.
When you are young, you tend be adventurous but things change when you have a family of your own. Then there are a lot of responsibilities – the first and foremost responsibility of a couple is to keep their child safe.
As said earlier, Life is Beautiful is set against the backdrop of Nazi Germany. Due to a turn of events, Guido, a Jew, and his son Giosue were taken to the concentration camp. At that moment Dora was not at home but when she came back and found out what has happened, she followed them though she was not Jewish.
Here is how the dimension of the relationship changed; Dora was no longer a lover. She was a mother and a wife, desperate to save her family, or at the least to be with them, to be together so that they can be strong.
Well, I am not going to spoil the ending of the movie for all those who have not seen it, and also metaphorically, life seems to be beautiful for us as long as the unpredictability is there. But this family when in danger, each of the family members – Guido, Dora, and Gisoue were trying to look out for each other, trying to keep each other safe.
In Marriage Story, we witnessed a scenario, where the couple was having various problems in their marriage. In Life is Beautiful, we witnessed a very different scenario where the love and affection Guido and Dora evolved into certain dimensions.
The birth of a child changes the dimension of a relationship. Both the scenarios – Marriage Story and Life is Beautiful are practical. The latter has certain elements of a fairy tale in it and so it is difficult to point out flaws in the characters whereas in case of the former which is much more grounded, there are various flaws in their characters but they cared about their family. The love and respect for each other and their son continued to be there in Marriage Story as well.
Life is Beautiful shows that how keeping each other safe became the most important expression of love as there was a life-threatening situation in the movie.
This brings me to the final question – What makes life beautiful? Well, there are certain factors – the choice of the right partner to start with. This is a sort of a decision that one should let one’s heart decide. The mind may argue logic, it may point towards security, financial stability but one must know that all these can be achieved with the right partner by the side. The vice versa? Well, does not seem much feasible!
We were talking about the sacrifices in a relationship in City Lights. This element is also prominent in Life is Beautiful as well. We are all individuals and have been alone in life and often enjoyed it then how come family becomes so important at a point?
In that case, let us consider what is the basis of family?
Of course, it is your favorite person, the person with whom you want to be together, and the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life. Finally, when you meet that person, you settle down, you start your own family. You then prioritize their happiness even at the cost of your own.
Because you no longer distinguish between your happiness and the happiness of your family!
Hence, we have got an idea about the top 5 Movies that Changed the way that We Look into Romantic Relationships. Stay blessed & cheers!
Refer to our a few articles.