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Tuesday Trivia! Valentines Day Special - 10 Love story genres of Kollywood

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 • Tamil Comments

As Valentine's Day approaches in two days time on our Tuesday Trivia feature we have decided to take a look at 10 different love stories genres that Tamil cinema owns and has dished out over the years.  The list below has a leaning towards the point of view of the heroes as only in very recent times the woman's perspective is slowly being explored and hopefully it will figure prominently in the coming years.

1) "Athai Ponnu", "Maama Ponnu" - Cousins in Love

The eighties and nineties and pretty much the years before that thrived on love stories between cousins and most of them had two girls from either side of the boy's parents vying for his attention with one winning and the other sacrificing in the climax.  Most Ramarajan films are of this genre while Sathyaraj had two 'Maaman Magal' and 'Thaaimaaman', Karthik and Khusbhu became a hit pair after 'Varusham 16' , Prabhu enjoyed romancing Nathiya and Meena in 'Rajakumaran' and Ajith sizzled with his "Mora Ponnu" Rambha in 'Raasi'.

2) Hero falling for the villain's daughter

Next to cousins love the most overexploited theme is the hero falling in love with the villain's daughter and vice versa.  Examples are aplenty and among Rajini's many films are 'Baasha' and 'Maappillai' while Kamal is also not past it with 'Anbae Sivam' standing as proof while Ajith's 'Amarkalam', Simbu's 'Kuththu', Jayam Ravi's 'Deepavali' and Dhanush's 'Polladavan' had them going after the villain's daughter.

3) Campus Love

One genre that Tamil cinema loves is the campus love story and it was T. Rajendhar who pioneered it in the tragic 'Oru Thalai Raagam' and Murali was so convincing as the pining lover in 'Idhayam' that he was typecast in many films after that. 'Panneer Pushpangal',  'Kadhal Desam', 'Ullam Ketkume', 'Sillunnu Oru Kadhal'm 'Kalloori' and 'Oru Kallooriyin Kathai' are some of the automatic choices in the list.

4) Childhood  Love

Love that grows along with the lovers from childhood creates some of the strongest bondings in real life as well and Kollywood has walked down that lane too.  Bhagyaraj painted his humorous touch to 'Darling Darling Darling' in which the heroine has to be awakened to her childhood friend who has turned lover without even seeing her for years.  'Azhagi', 'Paruthi Veeran', 'Neethane En Pon Vasantham' and more recently '96' have taken viewers down memory lane to the most innocent form of love.

5) Love Sacrifice

This is another favorite of the eighties and nineties and there is no gender bias here as both the heroes and heroines competed with each other in sacrificing for each other.  In 'Andha Ezhu Naatkal' Bhagyaraj walks away from his ex-girlfriend who is the wife of another man to uphold the culture, while Suhashini gives up her love as well as her child to Sivakumar and Sulakshana in 'Sindhu Bhairavi'.  Karthik ends up as a murderer so that his girl can live on with her husband in 'Idhaya Thamarai' while Vijay and Suriya suffer humiliation and employment opportunities to serve their girls in 'Poove Unakkaga' and 'Unnai Ninaithu' respectively.

6) Lovers who do not meet till the end

This genre was pioneered by Ahathiyan in 'Kadhal Kottai' starring Ajith and Devyani which spawned many clones in that season including 'Kalamellaam Kadhal Vaazhga', 'Kadhalar Thinam' and Cheran's poetic 'Pokkisham'.  Vijay's 'Thullatha Manamum Thullum' too depended on this element to move the screenplay.

7) Revenge Love

In this type of film the love that unfolds between the hero and heroine seems so real until the climax or interval twist reveals that in truth one if trying to wreak revenge on the other using the age old tool of romance.  Saroja Devi did it to Sivaji in 'Puthiya Paravai', Vijay Shanti to Rajini in 'Mannan', Simran to Vijay in 'Once More', Ajith to Trisha in 'Mankatha' and Trisha got her own chance in 'Kodi' going to the extent of killing Dhanush's character.

8) Love story that ends in Tragedy

One of the if not the most favorite sub-genres that filmmakers loved especially in the bygone era is wringing the audience dry inside the theater and sending them home with a heavy heart.  'Vasantha Maligai' the Sivaji Ganesan classic had a sad sad song "Yarukaaga" in the climax that had your thaathaas and paatis weeping silly while Balachander did the same to your moms and dads by killing lovebirds Kamal and Revathi in 'Punnagai Mannan'.  'Bharathi Kannamma', 'Sethu', 'Paruthi Veeran', 'Kaadhal', 'Tamizh MA', 'Mynaa', 'Kumki' and even '96' had audiences coming back with new hand kerchief's to soak with tears.

9) Taming of the Shrew

The male chauvinistic mindset of the past millennium is on full display as the movies of the period were full of "Hero putting the heroine in her place" theme that was a part of even mainstream cinema while some were exclusively devoted to that.  Sivaji Ganesan and MGR have subdued Jayalalitha in films such as 'Pattikada Pattanama' and 'Thedi Vantha Mappillai' for example.  Rajini teaches the headstrong businesswoman Vijayashanthi more than a few lessons in 'Mannan', Kamal the villager poses as a hip city boy to teach rich spoilt brat Amibika in 'Sakalakalavallavan' and Madhavan in 'Priyasaki', Jayam Ravi in 'Sakalakalavallavan' and others too have had their hands inside this pie.

10) Middle Aged Love 

Very few movies in Tamil have focussed on middle-aged love and the first one that comes to mind is Bharathiraja's 'Mudhal Mariyadhai' starring Sivaji Ganesan and Radha as the star crossed lovers.  The interactions between the two and the subtle expression of the love that grows on them is brilliantly captured by the director with Isaigniani Ilayaraja and Vairamuthu chipping in with immortal songs.   In recent times 'Irudhi Suttru' explored the same theme quite convincingly with Maddy and Ritika Singh while 'Un Samayal Araiyil', 'Vettaiyadu Vilayadu' and a very tiny glimpse in Rajinikanth's 'Petta'.