(Updated: April 13, 2021) From Her to Once Again, here’s our pick of the finest romantic movies on Amazon Prime and Netflix:
1. Her (2013)
Her gives us a beautiful and heart-touching look into the depth of human relationships. The movie is artistically beautiful and philosophically intriguing. Our values surrounding love are constantly questioned. We find ourselves delving deep into the meaning of humanity. We wonder whether what can be perceived and loved as a human become truly human, perhaps more human than the rest of us.
Watch Her on Amazon Prime, Netflix
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2. Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015)
Sharat Katariya’s unconventional Dum Laga Ke Haisha, featuring Ayushmann Khurana and Bhumi Pednekar is a brave yet beautiful battle against stereotype. The movie is a love letter to life itself. It preaches the existence of love in all forms. The physical is pushed aside in the final message, providing us with a clear contrast between the physical itself and the platonic; and this is achieved so wonderfully and subtly.
3. Moonlight (2016)
It’s hard to put down in words what I felt after watching this one. Berry Jenkins’ Moonlight is an experience. It’s a groundbreaking film that amazingly gets under your skin and never lets go. From the first scene to last, it stays raw and thoughtful. The director encapsulates several socially verboten issues through the story of its protagonist in three acts, with each act depicting different stages of his life.
Jenkins coherently infuses themes of drugs, poverty, racism and intolerance in the core plot of self-discovery and sexual identity. It isn’t necessary for a person to be gay to fully relate to the proceedings as the story is well told. And this is the filmmaker’s biggest achievement. One can easily see the world through Chiron’s eyes and comprehend the fight that is to overcome insurmountable hurdles in life.
4. The Theory of Everything (2014)
Dir: James Marsh
It has been a long time since I have seen The Theory of Everything but the heartwarming and heart-saddening true story of the life and relationship of Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde is still fresh in my memory.
This is a very special film, where the exploits of the famous scientist in his field take a step back in order to get a closer look upon his life and health and what implications his work and physical condition have on his wife, Jane, who struggles to maintain a balance between family and work.
The simplicity of the story is what draws one towards it. The young undying love developing into daily frustration and the mutual acceptance of the eventual destruction of that once-beautiful relationship leaves the audiences lamenting as they get a piece of how imperfect the world is for even those who may appear to be at the zenith of their success.
Watch The Theory of Everything on Amazon Prime, Netflix
5. October (2018)
Shoojit Sircar’s October starring Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu is beautiful and hauntingly melancholic. Not a false note in this sad and sensitive film about the awakening of love in an unlikely setting and the promise of a tenuous bond that’s unstated, tender and life affirming yet mortal.
Watch October on Amazon Prime
6. The Big Sick (2017)
Although billed as a romantic comedy, The Big Sick is a fresh and very thoughtful take on relationships. Kumail Nanjiani’s amusing performance and his arresting screenplay stay with you for a long time. Michael Showalter’s film ticks all the boxes of a romantic comedy — it’s funny, charming, witty, and sensitive. And the best part is that its origins lie in reality unlike most romcoms which depend on lazy writing and coincidental occurrences to drive the plot. This realism is so true to life that it resonates with the audiences on a personal level.
7. Once Again (2018)
Featuring Shefali Shah, Neeraj Kabi, Once Again is a beautiful, sensitive film about mid-life romance, touching an emotive chord with its awkward silences; so much is left unsaid and that’s a part of the allure — restrained and compelling to the core. A celebration of meaningful storytelling, it may lack expanse but its journey is inwards. Class act by the two lead protagonists, sharp direction and sublime music by Talvin Singh.
Where to Watch: Netflix
8. Alaipayuthey (2000, Tamil)
Alaipayuthey is a great deconstruction of the Indian romance genre. It starts off like any another feel-good love story of an urban boy and a girl. But, Mani Ratnam astoundingly peels the layers of their love until the overly sentimental climax. The film proves why he is a master when it comes to realizing intimate as well as muted emotions. The onscreen pair Madhavan (his debut) and Shalini is outstanding.
9. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
A young female painter is commissioned by a lady to sketch her daughter’s portrait for a suitor in Milan. Set in the 18th century, the film follows the romantic relationship between the reluctant bride and her painter. With an all woman cast, director Celine Sciamma handles a nuanced enigmatic drama with her signature minimalism, and won the best screenplay at the Cannes. If you liked Girlhood by the same director, you’ll love this one.
By Deepjyoti Roy, Sanjay Trehan, Arun Kumar
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