From ‘Tholiprema’ to ‘Premam’ and ‘Roman Holiday’, here is what Tollywood celebrities picked as the one romantic film that made a huge impact on them.

We asked Samantha Adivi Sesh and others for their favourite romcoms heres the list
Flix Tollywood Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 11:42

Long before Valentine’s Day was reduced to a punchline, cinema has had a huge influence on how we perceive romance. Starting from the epic romantic tales of the yore to modern classics, there’s quite a lot of stuff to choose from to mark the occasion. So, we asked some of the popular actors and directors from Telugu film industry to name their favourite romantic films. Here’s what they said.

Roman Holiday – Samantha, Actor

I was in class 10 when I watched Roman Holiday for the first time. Back then, we had a VCR at home and I must have seen the film at least 20-30 times. My love affair with Audrey Hepburn began with Roman Holiday, and when I was young, I didn’t know that she would have a huge influence on my life. I could relate so much to her. Unlike the other popular actresses of that era, she was so elegant and beautiful in so many ways. And when you see her on screen, your gaze won’t go below her neck. Roman Holiday is just perfect. It makes you want to believe in fairy tales.

Notting Hill – Aditi Rao Hydari, Actor

Notting Hill has this almost fairy tale like quality but yet it’s so real. It’s almost like the writer can read your thoughts. Since I’m an actor, some of the things shown in the film are so poignant and everything rings so true. And that one line makes me clap and tear up every single time – “I’m just a girl standing in front of a guy asking him to love her.” It’s the sweetest, most vulnerable, disarming and honest thing I’ve come across in a film.

The Apartment – Indraganti Mohan Krishna, Filmmaker

I was doing my Masters in Fine Arts at York University, Toronto, when I discovered the works of Billy Wilder. I was 26 back then, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Wilder’s writing. I love the economy and simplicity of his works, and how well he can extract performances from his actors. The Apartment is one of my all time favourite romantic films, the ending is just beautiful. Every time I hit a roadblock when I write, I ask myself what would Billy Wilder do in such a situation. He’s almost like my cross-check when it comes to writing. Then there are also films like Roman Holiday and Amelie, which are quite romantic without being too sentimental. That’s a hard trick to pull off, but Billy Wilder does it really well.

Notebook, Pride & Prejudice – Raashi Khanna, Actor

I am fond of love stories, and I can’t have enough of films like Notebook, Pride & Prejudice, and P.S. I Love You. There’s this beautiful scene in Notebook where Noah asks, “Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want. What do you want?” Every time I see that film, it hits me how amazing and real the emotion between the two characters is.

And then there’s Pride & Prejudice. I love books, and I loved Pride & Prejudice right from the day I read it. Darcy is totally my kind of guy. He’s so charming and nice. Another favourite film is P.S. I Love You, which shows how far a guy can go to love someone. These love stories really spoil you.

L’Appartement, Tholiprema – Adivi Sesh, Actor & Writer

One of my favourite romantic films is L’Appartement, a French film directed by Gilles Mimouni. What I find really fascinating about it is the idea of being able to love someone who isn’t there, even at the risk of your own life. It’s a dark feeling, and it has a layer that is quite universal. And on the other end of this spectrum is Pawan Kalyan – Keerthy Reddy starrer Tholiprema, which I believe is the most romantic Telugu film made in the last 25 years. The innocence of love is portrayed quite beautifully in this film.

If Only – Lavanya Tripathi, Actor

I don’t really watch too many romantic films because I tend to get too emotional. Moreover, sad endings in such films have a huge effect on me for days together. But there’s one film which I wouldn’t mind watching over and over again – If Only (2004). It’s all about second chances and what you would do if you get a chance to spend time with your love interest one more day.

Pretty Woman – Taapsee, Actor

It’s one of my favourite romantic films. The contrast of characters and no forced mushy moments made for a very surreal love story.

My Sassy Girl, Premam – Tharun Bhascker, Filmmaker

My Sassy Girl (2001), a Korean romantic film, is a fan favourite when I was studying. Despite the odds, I found myself rooting for the guy and wished that the couple get together in the end. Another film that blew my mind in recent times was the Nivin Pauly starrer Premam. There were no subtitles when I saw it in a theatre. Beyond all the technicalities in terms of how it was shot, the music, performances and direction, the film stirred a lot of memories for me and I was really inspired by how natural everything looked.

Four Weddings and a Funeral, Alaipayuthey – Rahul Ravindran, Filmmaker & Actor

As a member of the audience, I have a different favourite romantic film, but as someone who is a part of the cinema industry, one of the films that truly fascinated me was Four Weddings and a Funeral. That was my first taste of Brit rom-com. I went on to watch Notting Hill later, and that has a bit of American film grammar and British romantic grammar fused together quite seamlessly. On the other hand, Four Weddings and a Funeral was such an original tour de force for me, in the sense that so many American and Indian romantic comedies that I had seen until then had a predictably similar construct. They all hit the same notes, which is why it’s not really my favourite genre because it’s quite predictable and emotionally manipulative, in terms of making us feel something. But I felt Four Weddings and a Funeral was quite different, even though it hit the same notes. To give a musical analogy, it had picked up a different scale and it played a different set of instruments. It was such a breath of fresh air. As audience, I pick Alaipayuthey. I remember watching it as a teenager in Chennai and it had swept us off our feet back then. The music, colours, scenes and acting… everything is so beautifully done. Another favourite is Pretty Woman. It’s a very, very nicely done film. Julia Roberts is radiant on screen. The writing is quite sharp and it has beautiful lines. I must have seen it at least 10 times.

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