Bollywood isn’t shying away from talking about new-age relationships. Be it live-ins, hook-ups or just casual dating, a host of new films are portraying relationships on reel, as they are in real. Films such as Befikre, Dear Zindagi, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor’s next, and an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s Half Girlfriend, talk about youngsters not willing to commit.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, known for making realistic films, says films are showing the life people are living now. “Things have changed. People are now open about their live-in relationships and sexual preferences. There is no apprehension among people and that is being portrayed in films also.”
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta, who directed Aligarh, based on the life of a homosexual professor, says filmmakers are just reacting to the changes in society, through their work. “Marriage as an institution has been redundant for many years. People prefer live-ins now. Filmmakers are responding to these changes in society. So films on marriage have suddenly become dated,” says Mehta.
Filmmaker Homi Adjania, who directed Cocktail, (2012) that showed Deepika Padukone in a live-in with Saif Ali Khan, says, “It’s always been going on, but the only reason for it becoming popular in films now is because people are less judgmental. Today, live-in relationships are relevant and identified as a concept.”
Not surprising then, that these films are also making money. “These films have high returns in terms of business because the youth can connect with them and turn up to watch them in theatres,” says trade analyst Atul Mohan. Talking about why the youth is turning commitment phobic, psychotherapist Nikita Jain says, “People have difficulty trusting due to their insecurities because of previous experiences. Naturally the concept of live-in is appealing to the lot.”