Madhavan Is Desperately Looking To Do An Age-Appropriate Romantic Story

Dec 28, 2021, 18:38 IST


Madhavan has never been to your house, but he’s pretty confident that he can tell exactly how you’ve been consuming content for the last two years. “Initially, when COVID started, we were all sitting at home and watching stuff on our own private screens. Slowly, the bloody chair that you used to sit and watch TV on started hurting your back, so you got up and pretended that you wanted to be closer to the family. Then you realised that everything was fully morbid. So, you went back to watching Friends and Modern Family and Hrishikesh Mukherjee films. Everyone just wanted something uplifting and positive. So, if you give me a film that is going to tell me something about a social upheaval or a social injustice, I’m like, ‘Yeah, okay, I got it man, ho gaya’. But don’t bring me to the theatre to make me feel morose. Make me forget about all this.”

He predicts that this trend of largely consuming low-stakes, feel-good content will continue for the next couple of years, including in cinema. And then he says something that will make those who have never gotten over Maddy from Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein very happy. He “desperately” wants to do a romantic film. “I am desperately looking for a post-COVID romantic story that is age-appropriate. I’m really dying to do a romantic film, like a Pretty Woman, but these scripts are difficult to come by. Because the writers are also reconditioning themselves. So, it will be a while before the scripts start coming up.”


Until that happens, you can catch him doing the opposite of romancing on screen. Madhavan was seen this month in the Netflix original series Decoupled, opposite Surveen Chawla, where they play a couple pretending to be in a happy marriage for the sake of their daughter. Refreshingly, the separation is not portrayed as a tragedy. The couple lives together and is largely cordial with and respectful of each other.

Madhavan says this was a deliberate choice, because a break-up does not always mean an absence of love. “When you’re young and in a relationship, you have the exuberance to be what you want to be seen as. But, over a period of time in a relationship, you stop being who you want to be and become who you are, because you just can’t hold on to that false front for too long. Sometimes, the love is strong enough for people to accept and adapt to the person that you become; at other times, it’s a shock. There are divorces because of abuse and cheating and all that, but there are times when you really care for the person, really love the person, but you don’t want to live with that person. You suddenly realise that this is not the life you want to live, and maybe this love is not strong enough for you to chuck your dreams and make all the compromises in the world. And then you realise that this might turn you bitter and ruin both of your lives, so you realise that you need to separate,” he explains.

This is, of course, true to life but rarely explored on screen, which is what drew him to the script in the first place. He has also been exceptionally busy in 2021, with the release of his Tamil language film Maara earlier this year and the work he’s been putting into his directorial debut Rocketry, which he’s also producing and starring in. That is a lot to deal with at once, but, after 25 years in the industry, having worked across languages, one would assume that he has a tradition for how he celebrates a hit and moves on from a miss. Turns out he deals with both the same way. He explains, “If the film is a blockbuster, then, for that one day, my wife says I’m intolerable because I am like, ‘I am the king of the world, I am the best, nobody can do that’. I have a couple of drinks, become boisterous, party and dance. Then I go to sleep, forget about it, and get up the next morning with a sinking feeling in my stomach about what’s next. Similarly, if there is a disaster – thankfully, in my life, at least in Hindi films, those have been minimal – it hits you hard. For that one day, I’m depressed and nasty, wondering where I went wrong. Because, eventually, it comes on the lead actor’s head. So I’m very depressed, I eat a lot, then I go to sleep. And the next morning, I get up with a deep sense of fear of what’s next.” 

We might not ever fully understand the kind of stardom Madhavan enjoys, but this feeling in the pit of our stomach about the future, which hits us out of nowhere, is one we can all relate to. You know what they say: stars – they’re just like us!