"Aambalaikkum Pombalaikkum" track from the tamil movie "Kazhugu (2011)" offers a metric to appreciate the state of affairs of romantic relationships in a society - the number of suicides (resulting from "love failures"). The more the number of suicides, the better it seems.
Shocking it may be, the lyrics actually read ...
காதலெல்லாமே ஒரு கண்ணாமூச்சி
இதில் ஆணும் பெண்ணுமே தெனம் காணா போச்சு
காதலிலே தற்கொலைகள் கொறஞ்சே போச்சு
Our cinema always relished opportunities to idealize/idolize human emotional exchanges like boy-girl romance (Vikraman films for example), marriages, friendships (Thalapathy, Karnan for bromance), brotherhood, fatherhood, motherhood, thaai-maman (Kizhakku Cheemayile quite obviously) etc. This usually rendered a lot of scope in beefing up the melodrama and the hero delivering monologues romanticizing whatever that came on the way. They did demonstrate a definitive framework/blueprint on how any relationship should look like. While it can be argued that they are reflective of the collective ethic of the society, I have a feeling that our cinema always went overboard.
Limiting our discussion to only the boy-girl relationships, it would be interesting to observe how our cinema is going to evolve portraying them from here on. We agree or not, there is already a certain degree of "westernization" or we may call it "pseudo westernization" in place, in our societies (well may be, the metropolitan cities only or the IT sector only). This might gradually change the way we perceive relationships and at some point our society (as a whole) will come to terms with the existing notions of "true love" and "successful marriage". In a land where Lord Ram, Devdas and Ambigapathy are the folklore, there is a certain fixation with the current values system espousing ideas like "divine love" and the whole "kallanaalum kanavan" discourse (for marriages). These simply result from the fact that we tend to give more importance to the status of the relationship than to the happiness of the individuals who are a part of it. NO, I am not judging which one is better - Just read it as an observation.
As the society evolves, our movies will evolve or the other way around is also possible. Two recent movies will settle the discussion i suppose. First - "Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (2010)" idealised the relationship, it pretty much romanticized the obsession. Second - "Leelai (2012)" set in Chennai IT circles, the protagonist is quite a girl-chaser and dabbles with many a relationships before settling into one.
A very confused post I would say, I was lost analyzing the relevance and political correctness of stuff I mentioned. I think if somebody gets a bigger picture of what I have been trying thus far, that should make my day.