Love Storiyaan Review: Ode To The Power Of Love

Love Storiyaan comes alive in the courageous and fearless voice of six spirited romantics speaking direct dil se, applauds Sukanya Verma.

Six real-life couples share the story of their coming together and love that broke all norms, overcame challenges and grew stronger in Amazon Prime Video’s Valentine’s Day anthology, Love Storiyaan.

Inspired by the candid romantic records posted on the online platform, India Love Project, founded by journalists Priya Ramani, Samar Halarnkar and Niloufer Venkatraman, Love Storiyaan is an apt ode to William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116.

All its six episodes featuring a rock-solid pair prove that, for some, love is, indeed, an ‘ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.’

Refusing to cower in an environment dictated by hate and hostility when differences in religion, caste, community, ethnicity and sexual choices crop up, these life-affirming love stories belong to common folk, plainly but powerfully highlighting how their progressive stance stood them in good stead.

Authenticity is the core of Love Storiyaan‘s throbbing heart as it unravels beyond the filmi notions of larger-than-life romance limited to meet cute culminating in marriage.

Produced by the reinforcer of those beliefs, Karan Johar’s digital subsidiary, Dharmatic Entertainment, the anthology conceptualised by Somen Mishra features six directors at the helm of bringing in their unique voices but uniform vision to the project’s forward-thinking ideals.

An Unsuitable Girl by Hardik Mehta captures the North-meets-South dynamic between Aekta and Ullekh as they power through the burdens of an unpleasant past to create a beautiful future.

Complications arise as Aekta has two preteen daughters from her previous bad marriage.

Both Ullekh’s mother and Aekta’s kids have a hard time accepting their union, until a furry intervention or two turn this potentially dysfunctional scenario into a picture perfect postcard.

Vivek Soni’s Love on Air explores the romance between a pair of radio jockeys hailing from Meghalaya and Assam respectively when a prank planned by a common friend takes the shape of cupid.

Nicholas J Kharmani and Rajani K Chhetri cue in their son about the bumpy road to their togetherness over the course of divorce, drinking problem and parental objection.

Both speak straight from the heart and break down reminiscing the tough times they’ve seen through the journey ending in a tender reunion of friends.

Pyaar dosti hai, remember?

But it’s the reunion between an elderly Bangladeshi immigrant couple and their friends and family as they revisit the country they once called home and walk down memory lane — from where they first met to placating an upset sibling in Shazia Iqbal’s Homecoming that turns on the waterworks.

Against the backdrop of the liberation movement, feisty Sharmila (then Farida) and poetic Sunit Kumar discover their relationship is strong enough to defy both social obligations and religious difference.

The duo eloped to India and made Kolkata their home where a world of hardships awaited the young couple.

But old, torn-up black and white photographs are telling of their resolve as much as their togetherness.

Akshay Indikar’s fascinating Raah Sangharsh Ki documents the marriage of like-minded souls in Subhadra and Rahul’s inspiring liaison.

A protest rally is an unlikely venue for love-at-first-sight attraction but for these two 1991’s Narmada Bachao Andolan is where it all started.

Subhadra’s Dalit identity and Rahul’s Brahmin status posed a huge stumbling block, but the fiery rebellion in them fought every prejudice and discrimination by staying true to their collective socialist dreams.

One could hear Rahul and Subhadra chuckle and chatter endlessly, their ease and openness around each other is the kind of healthy equation couples aspire for.

Faasley, directed by Archana Phadke, recounts the horrors of love in the time of civil war.

Back in 1997, Kabul was under the Taliban’s control and it was impossible for Indian Dhanya Ravindra to connect with her Afghani husband Homayun Khoram.

The duo fell in love in Russia when they were students of engineering in St Petersburg University.

Once she arrived in Kabul though, it got difficult to leave.

Despite the ongoing crisis, Faasley never becomes a sob story.

Rather, it’s their determination to create a life right in the midst of it and support each other over the course of personal and professional changes that makes their relationship a gentle celebration of individuality.

The simple truth in ‘Love is Love’ lingers on in Collin D’Cunha’s Love Beyond Labels.

Tista and Dipan first met on a day commemorating Transgender Visibility.

It’s like Sunit spoke of his chemistry with Farida — she understands me, I understand her — Tista and Dipan faced a similar degree of scorn growing up when they found themselves increasingly disillusioned by their original body.

Affection born out of sensitivity, respect and humorous bantering, Tista and Dipan’s journey from pals to partners is one of the sweetest instances of love as a transformative force.

Love Storiyaan comes alive in the courageous and fearless voice of six spirited romantics speaking direct dil se.

There’s enough genuineness and heart in their documentary to squeeze in ham-fisted dramatized accounts of their reality, which is my only grouse against this otherwise compelling watch brimming in melodious scores of diverse cultures.

Segments that make bare minimum use of this creative technique are the strongest in emphasising that partners looking out for each other is the key to long-lasting love in Love Storiyaan‘s precious compilation of happily ever afters.

Love Storiyaan streams on Amazon Prime Video.

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