Gone With The Wind (1939)
Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind is a devastating love triangle involving Scarlett and Rhett (Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh), who are simply made for each other, and Ashley, who Scarlett is pursuing in futility. And as much as you want them to be together, time plays the villain as Scarlett realises too late how much she loves Rhett. After all the heartbreaks Rhett goes through, when Scarlett turns to him and expresses her love for him, she finds out he has already moved on and doesn't care about her. In, perhaps, one of the best climax sequences, when Scarlett confesses her love, Rhett responds with what is by far the coldest response one has ever heard on screen, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
Rick and Ilas (Humprey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman) had a brief affair in Paris a few years ago, but were separated due to the World War II. Years later, their destinies cross paths again as Ilas walks into Rick's bar in Casablanca, with her husband. "Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine." defines the heartache that Rick feels when he sees Ilas once again. It is a heartbreaking story lined with some great songs like 'Time Goes By'. And just when you begin to think they might have a second chance, just as you are expecting Rick to get on the plane with Ilas, he doesn't. Rick has to let Ilas go, yet again, for he sees a better life for her if he is not a part of it.
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
Roberto and Francesca spend four days with each other but the love they have will last forever. However, she is married and unwilling to leave her husband and children, even though she would want nothing else than to be with him. The film is a graceful showcase of how love can catch you off guard and make you do things that you wouldn’t normally do. However, no matter how strong the love between the two, Francesca just doesn’t have it in her to choose Roberto over her children. The scene in the rain where she has to make the final choice can render hopeful romantics inconsolable.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Jack and Ennis, portrayed with great finesse by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger are in a relationship that is forbidden by the world. However, their love lasts many years. They both get married and have children but their love doesn't have to suffer. However, the fact that they can never truly be together as the society thinks of their love as wrong, is saddening. They live on, with only their love for each other and when Jack dies, Ennis visits his parents house in an overwhelming scene where he sniffs Jack's shirt, takes it with him and hangs it next to the picture of Brokeback Mountain --- a classic embodiment of a dialogue earlier in the film, "I wish I knew how to quit you."
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Leaving aside the complexity of a man who is aging backwards, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has a love story at its heart and a really tragic one at that. Benjamin (Brad Pitt) and Daisy (Kate Blanchett) have known each other all their lives, but unfortunately, when they met, she was only a little girl and he was an old man. Since then, their fates take an individual course and their destinies intertwine with one another, but never truly meet. An out of the world tale of how two people who were meant to be together all their lives, end up spending only a brief period with each other, when they are approximately of the same age.
Published in DNA After Hrs (Pune) on February 15, 2013