Toronto: ‘Romance’ a Perfect Example of Modern-Day Bollywood Mainstream

Perversely, the most interesting feature of “Random Desi Romance” (aka Shuddh Desi Romance), which plays as a gala premiere later this week, may be its ordinariness.

“Romance” is not one of the mold-breaking “Hindie-indies” or new Indian arthouse pics. But it’s a perfect example of the modern-day Bollywood mainstream.

Mainstream Bollywood has often got away with being more radical than most people imagine. In a country where arranged marriages are still prevalent, Bollywood usually promotes love matches.

Helmed by U.S.-educated writer-director Maneesh Sharma, the standard-fare love triangle, played by mid-level stars Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor, gets slightly radical in its openness about premarital sex and onscreen kissing.

“We don’t normally show our films to festivals, so we were very gratified that Cameron Bailey liked it,” says Avtar Panesar, head of international at the film’s producer, Yash Raj Films. “The message is that it doesn’t matter where you live — you are as modern as you think you are.”

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