OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Five Must-Watch Romances Like Sita Ramam

The Dulquer Salmaan-Mrinal Thakur love story primes you to watch other classics in the genre.

Five Must-Watch Romances Like Sita Ramam
Dulquer Salmaan and Mrunal Thakur in a promotional still for Sita Ramam

Last Updated: 02.11 AM, Oct 06, 2022


This column was originally published on 7 September 2022, as part of our newsletter The Daily Show. Subscribe here . (We're awesome about not spamming your inbox!)


The overwhelming success of Sita Ramam, headlined by Dulquer Salmaan and Mrinal Thakur, proves that romance is addictive to watch, when done right. Lieutenant Ram in Sita Ramam epitomises Lord Ram in many ways: he is virtuous, loyal, courageous and loves Sita unconditionally. Except, Lieutenant Ram never lets his Sita down. This period romance is made bewitching by the purity of Ram-Sita’s love — a powerful manifestation of the emotion that the viewer too is swept up in. Here’s a mix of old and new from the worlds of Tamil and Malayalam cinema, cast in a similar mould.


A few minutes before auditioning for a film, a nervous Appu (Aishwarya Lakshmy) realises that she is up against a popular actor, and calls Mathan (Tovino Thomas) from the washroom to ask for a pep-talk. When his gentle encouragement fails to prop her up, he decides to tell it as it is, a nasty reality check — “You need this. You are desperate.” Appu wipes her tears and gets ready to face the world. 

The exchange underlines Appu and Mathan’s relationship. It’s volatile, intense, problematic and poignant. Right from their school days, when they would steal kisses inside internet cafés, to later, when their romance goes off track, and Mathan has to crawl back into Appu’s life with apologies and wild lovemaking — their romance is tumultuous. 

But even when they go their separate ways, with long periods of not seeing each other, struggling in their careers, they never give up on the other. There is such an undeniable soul connection between them that their tragic love sears your heart and lingers like a bruise in your mind. 

Written by Syam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair, it remains Aashiq Abu’s best film and one of the greatest romances of all times.


For pre-millennials, the Thara-Aditya romance might come across as frivolous. They hobnob inside a church; several flying sparks, pithy conversations, racy bike rides, and sweet nothings later, they decide to live-in. But look closely and you see that Mani Ratnam has shown a postmodern romance, flighty and smooth, without the usual ramifications one associates with such relationships on screen. They aren’t in it for the long haul, they are content to test the waters, and live and romance for the moment.

Yet, it’s beautiful to watch, partly because of the charming chemistry between the lead pair (Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen). If only Mani Ratnam had sustained the intent till the end and not given in to the urge for a conventional closure, Ok Kanmani would have been a groundbreaking film.


Is love only about possession? Isn’t love also about letting go and living serenely with the memories of the beloved? That’s how Ram (Vijay Sethupathi) manifests his love for Janu. The day he lost her, despite courageous attempts to reach out to her, Ram simply accepted his fate and moved on. Yet in his mind, he never stops loving her. 

Meanwhile Janu is torn between familial responsibilities and the grief of losing Ram. When they meet after ages, Janu is distraught, but Ram is strangely calm. Perhaps he feels nothing amiss, because in his mind, she was always with him as a ghostly yet tangible presence. C Premkumar scripts and directs a love story for the ages, bringing together a kind, sensitive, selfless man and a woman who silently carries a torch for him, even after her marriage, and tells us that true love is unconditional and liberating.

A still from 96
A still from 96


What starts off as idle curiosity about a neighbour girl who is always doing odd jobs at home turns into genuine interest, for Solomon (Mohanlal) who is only home for flying visits. The more he sees her through the window of his home, the more he finds himself drawn to her. Soon his visits start stretching into days, inviting knowing and amused glances from his family.

But Sofia (Shari) who is battling issues at home, takes time to warm up to this compassionate stranger. And Solomon, knowing that, bides his time, quietly building her trust and eventually making her fall in love with him. A pioneering work from Padmarajan, the film subverts puritanical ideas attached to romance. Solomon and Sofia’s story makes for a romantic classic.


It’s an act of benevolence that throws economist Nathan (Mammootty) and Deepthi (Meera Jasmine), a married middle-class homemaker, together. Soon they plunge into a libidinous affair, with Nathan bailing himself out from any emotional involvement from the beginning. But Deepthi falls madly in love with him, only to get rejected. 

Ore Kadal, co-scripted and directed by Shyama Prasad, is about forbidden love and the consequences of such a union. But what makes it a cathartic, intense romance is how non-judgmental the narrative is. In the end you are just witnessing the fruition of two people in love, who are no longer worried about morality or societal censoring. As far as they are concerned, love has been a humbling journey.

Get the latest updates in your inbox