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10 Tamil Romantic Films On OTT

March 05, 2024 14:42 IST
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In the mood for romance, but don't know which movies to watch?

Tamil cinema has a lot to offer on OTT, and Arjun Menon lists his favourites.

Pannaiyarum Padminiyum (2014)
Director: A U Arun Kumar
Featuring: Vijay Sethupathi, Aishwarya Rajesh, Jayaprakash, Tulasi
Where to watch? Amazon Prime

This sweet romance revels in the fleeting moments of love between an elderly married couple, who come across an old model of the Premier Padmini car.

Pannaiyarum Padminiyum is the kind of delicate love story that traces the process of falling in love with someone, with whom you have spent the better part of your life.

Pannaiyar and his wife live alone in their big house; their only daughter is married and lives in a nearby town.

They rarely complete conversations without getting on each other's nerves but they can't fathom being away.

This film featuring Jayaprakash, Tulasi, and Vijay Sethupathi is the kind of cozy, feel-good movies that can make you fall in love with the little things in life.


O Kadhal Kanmani (2015)
Director: Mani Ratnam
Featuring: Dulquer Salman, Nithya Menon, Prakash Raj, Leela Samson.
Where to watch? Amazon Prime

O Kadhal Kanmani strikes a chord for the relatability of the complexity and messiness inherent in modern-day relationships.

The film inverts the stale template of the runaway romcom by focusing the narrative on a live-in couple contemplating their feelings for each other, as they observe the love that sustains over years in another elderly couple, where the wife suffers from Alzheimer's and the husband sets aside his life to take care of her.

O Kadhal Kanmani is a study of the two modes in which relationships operate in the current age, and how love transcends all sorts of barriers we lay down on ourselves.

The youthful album by A R Rahman, accompanied by the effective chemistry between Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menon, and the winning turns from Prakash Raj and Leela Samson, as the older couple, who represent selfless, immortal love define the drama in this romance.


Kaatru Veliyidai (2017)
Director: Mani Ratnam
Featuring: Karthi, Aditi Rao Hydari
Where to watch? Amazon Prime Video

Maybe the most contested title belonging to this list, Kaatru Veliyidai is a love story that is also a cautionary tale about the adverse effects of abusive relationships.

Again directed by Mani Ratnam, this romance has all the prerequisite elements of his brand of films: Picturesque songs, stunning locations and peerlessly staged intimate scenes, dealing with the token of a mentally abusive relationship between a hot-headed fighter pilot and a doctor.

Kaatru Veliyidai deconstructs many of the suppressed notions surrounding toxic masculinity and the innate sense of patriarchy that lies at the heart of many flourishing relationships.

But the film is careful in the exploration of the traumatic residues left behind by such relationships.

Kaatru Veliyidai, like all Mani Ratnam romances, has a swooning finale where things turn out well but the journey is what stays with you.


Raja Rani (2013)
Director: Atlee
Featuring: Nayanthara, Arya, Jai, Nazriya Fahad
Where to watch? Amazon Prime Video

This breezy romantic drama explores the fate of romance that is not destined to work out in the best possible scenarios.

Raja Rani is an exploration of two star-crossed couples, whose life take a turn when they are forced to enter a marriage.

This film, told in flashbacks, is the tragic story of how lost love can somehow be the best thing that can happen in your life and how we get paired with the unluckiest of people.

Arya and Nayanthara play the troubled couple, reminiscing about their lost love. Their slow acceptance of each other's company throughout a shaky marriage is the best stretch in the film.

Director Atlee, on his debut outing, makes us care for these two characters.

Raja Rani pulls off the delicate balance of being poignant without being overly manipulative in its plot.


96 (2018)
Director: C Prem Kumar
Featuring: Vijay Sethupathi, Trisha
Where to watch? SonyLIV

The most popular love story to have come out of Tamil cinema in the last decade, 96 is also probably the most low-key emotional entry in this list.

This tale of long-lost lovers, catching up to their present selves is the most haunting of all love stories.

96, set against the backdrop of a high school reunion, is the kind of romance that delves into the long-lasting wounds and emotional turmoil that entails a tragically cut-short connection between two people, separated by fate.

Ram, a travel photographer, comes to terms with his true feelings for his lost love with Jaanu, a married woman with a daughter, who carries similar resentment for the way things turned out between them.

This nostalgic trip down memory lane is a powerful predecessor to the heartbreaking Oscar-nominated romance in Celine Song's Past Lives (2023), by way of its restraint in examining a what-if scenario, between two people who can never be the same without the other.

96 services its central love by the glances, eye rolls, and quiet moments of introspection spoken not as much through words but through prolonged silences.


Sillu Karuppatti (2019)
Director: Halitha Shameem
Featuring: Manikandan K, Niveditha Sathish, Sara Arjun, Sunaina
Where to watch? Netflix

This anthology combines different love stories of people hailing from various social strata to comment on the universal nature of love.

The film eschews any traditional glossiness in its narrative in favour of rooted, well-written oddball characters, for whom love is what happens in between the busy hustle of daily life, in the most unexpected of corners.

Sillu Karuppatti, composed of four intimate love stories, tackles themes of class, fate and urban loneliness through ciphers like a garbage pickup guy falling in love with a wealthy wannabe musician, hope emanating between two people sharing the same office cab, grandparents falling in love in the course of their hospital health check-up visits and an emotionally distant married couple finds ways to appreciate and acknowledge each other.

Debutante Director Halitha Shameem, finds interesting ways to deftly tie together the big thematic ideas with a flair for the exploration of poignant human experience.


Dada (2023)
Director: Ganesh K Babu
Featuring: Kavin, Aparna Das
Where to watch? Amazon Prime Video

The most recent entry in the list is a coming-of-age of two people who fell in love at the wrong juncture in their lives when they were not equipped to make decisions for themselves.

Dada deals with two college students, who fall in love, only to end up with an unexpected pregnancy.

Their life takes a turn when the mother leaves the newborn baby and the dad for no apparent reason. The rest of the film deals with how fate brings them back together after a series of misunderstandings are cleared.

Dada is a pretty straightforward romance that deals with the little gestures that make up for the voids in a relationship and also maps the coming-of-age journey of people.


Love Today (2022)
Director: Pradeep Ranganathan
Featuring: Pradeep Ranganathan, Ivana
Where to watch? Netflix

Undoubtedly, the funniest take on modern relationship problems from this grouping of romcom entries, this film is also the most expendable entry in the list.

Love Today makes its way into this pantheon for the sheer entertainment value it offers in the way Actor-Director Pradeep Ranganathan infuses levity in the serious issues plaguing relationships in this day and age.

Love Today, as the name suggests, deals with the fissures that sneak up in relationships through the excessive dependence on mobile phones, which has come to be the very platform for many breakups and misunderstandings.

The film takes the life of a seemingly normal couple whose mutual trust and love are put through the wringer when the girl's father comes up with the most intriguing condition to their marriage: They will have to swap their phones for a week.

Love Today mines humour from this instantly funny plotline, and passes lighthearted commentary on how excessively online culture can ruin trust in a relationship.

Subtlety is not the film's preferred storytelling mode but one can't resist the imaginative turn of events.


Natchathiram Nagargirathu (2022)
Director: Pa Ranjith
Featuring: Dushara Vijayan, Kalidas Jayaram, Kalaiyarasan
Where to watch? Netflix

Natchathiram Nagargirathu is a Brechtian chamber piece that follows the love, conflict and ideological imbalance that fuels the interactions between members of a motley theatre group, who are working on a new play redefining the norms of relationships.

The film is a loud, angry rebuttal against the stale conventions of love that have come to be defined by pointers like sexuality, caste and class in today's increasingly intolerant society.

Pa Ranjith, as with his other films, is engaged with the societal inclusion necessary for all kinds of relationships to be accepted as legitimate in the ever-changing landscape of our lives.

Natchathiram Nagargirathu follows Rene, a determined revolutionary who aspires to an inclusive world where all tokens of love and camaraderie are based on mutual respect.

The film traces her attempts to impart her vision of an equitable world to two suitors within the theatre group, who are head-over-heels in love with her rebellious streak.

Natchathiram Nagargirathu can get a bit didactic and caught up in its political excess at times, but you won't get many mainstream romances that deal with such touchy topics with such artistic abandon.


Thiruchitrambalam (2022)
Director: Mithran R Jawahar
Featuring: Dhanush, Nithya Menon, Raashi Khanna, Priya Bhavani Shankar
Where to watch?Netflix

This Dhanush starrer is the story of three men from three generations of a family, coming to terms with a tragedy from their common past.

In addition to that, Thiruchitrambalam is also about how two childhood friends mistake their concern for each other in between heartbreaks and life-altering revelations about each other.

The film is a breezy, comfortable watch that tackles relatable aspects of our lives.

There is minimal judgment reserved for the loner characters, trying desperately to fit into their respective spaces in the world.

Thiruchitrambalam is the kind of understated romance that can tug at your heartstrings and yet make you feel hopeful for the way things ultimately pan out for the characters.

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