Timeless Romance: 5 Romance Movies That Play With the Idea of Time
By Chitra Kalyani
We all love a romance that stands the test of time. But what happens when time is an illusion? In these five films, time plays with the lives of the characters, and we all come out learning some timeless lessons about life and love.
1. 'About Time'
The time trick: Men in Tim Lake’s family have an uncanny ability to travel in time, but only backwards.
When Tim learns from his father that he can go back in time, he uses it to fine-tune the way his life is going. The men use time travel for things that may seem both large and small: Tim goes back in time to win over his love. On his wedding day, Tim’s father goes back again and again to deliver the perfect speech. Tim’s father asks him to live each day twice without changing much. Simply notice how sweet life is, despite its tensions and worries. Tim goes one step forward and instead of going back to relive the day, cherishes each moment, and finds joy in routines which give him the chance to live each day as if he were living it for the second time.
The time trick: Life takes a different turn for Helen based on whether she catches the train or not.
When the train doors close on Helen, she takes longer to come to the realisation that her boyfriend is cheating on her. When she boards, she both meets the man she will fall in love with, and then sees her boyfriend cheating on her. In parallel lives, Helen eventually leaves her boyfriend behind. In either case, destiny still finds its way in bringing her together with the love of her life.
Even if you miss that train, your destiny will find you anyway. And as someone said, sometimes it is better to take the longer road home.
The time-trick: On his 35th birthday, Larry Burrows finds himself living the life he would have lived if only one incident in his life were different.
If only he had hit a home run, Larry Burrows is sure his life would be better. Well, his wish gets granted by none other than Mr. Destiny. But what Larry had not bargained for was that his job, friend, life, and wife would all be different, too! Taking a different route with Mr. Destiny, Larry realises that what he already had is what he really wants, and now he wants it back!
Time trick: Two characters fall in love, separated by two years, not in age, but in time!
Kate and Alex live in the same house, but at two different times. When Kate leaves a letter for her future tenant, it reaches Alex who is living there two years back in time. Slowly the couple realise that are communicating through the mailbox two years apart. The two can't help but fall in love, and make a date to meet in the future. The chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves who play the lead characters is terrific. Not even time can stand in the way of these lovers who find themselves in two different times.
Time trick: Benjamin Button is born old and grows younger till he dies a baby at the age of 84.
Sometimes we are headed in completely different directions, not just in space, but also in time. Such is the case of Benjamin Button and his love, Daisy. As Daisy matures, Benjamin grows younger, and in-between their growth and youth there are snatches of time where love is made, learned, cherished. As Button himself says, there is no time limit for things. It’s never too late to change things. You can stop right where you are, and begin again.
In these extraordinary lives, romance plays out in different realms of time. Yet we learn lessons that still apply to us: where you are is already precious, already correct, and it is never too late, especially when it comes to love.
About the Author
Chitra Kalyani began her writing career as an arts & culture journalist in Cairo, Egypt. She received the Gabriel Garcia Fellowship in Cultural Journalism in 2014. She now lives in New Delhi, where she pens stories at an unhurried pace. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she also advocates mental wellness and organises workshops around art and mental health with Sahaayta Foundation
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