Imtiaz Ali birthday: 5 times he made poignant statements on love | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Imtiaz Ali birthday: 5 times he made poignant statements on love

By | Edited by Neeshita Nyayapati
Jun 16, 2024 06:12 AM IST

Imtiaz Ali has made numerous films on love and self-reflection, but he often admits in interviews that he doesn’t understand it completely.

Think of director Imtiaz Ali, and you can’t help but remember his iconic love stories tinged with angst and love ballads that will make you bawl your eyes out. Who doesn’t love the relationship between Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) and Tara (Deepika Padukone) in Tamasha or Aditya (Shahid Kapoor) and Geet (Kareena Kapoor) in Jab We Met? (Also Read: Imtiaz Ali says he was ‘moved’ when he read Rig Veda and Bhagavad Gita as a child: ‘I understand people better’)

Imtiaz Ali might not understand love, and yet he excels at showing romance on-screen.
Imtiaz Ali might not understand love, and yet he excels at showing romance on-screen.

While you might be convinced that Janardhan's (Ranbir) journey to becoming Jordan in Rockstar was due to a broken heart, Imtiaz has often admitted in interviews that he doesn’t fully understand what love means. And despite making numerous films exploring love, the director hasn't changed his stance. On his birthday, looking back at five times, he poignantly spoke of love.

‘I don’t use the word love in my personal life or movies’

In 2009, Imtiaz told Hindustan Times that he didn’t think his films are romantic. He also said that when he was young he thought love was ‘constant and unchanging’ - a sentiment that changed as he grew older. “I feel that there are so many aspects to it: what is love for one person is not the same for the other and love at one point for someone may change at a later time for another. So, I just got confused by this word, and so I do not even use it in my personal life or in my movies; you will never see any of the characters saying 'I love you' really seriously.”

‘The absence of love stories in my life’

While promoting Highway in 2013, Imtiaz told PTI that the ‘absence of love’ in his life is what drives him to make unconventional love stories. The director was separated from his wife Preety then and was dating actor Iman Ali. When he was asked by the publication how he came up with ideas to explore love in his films, he quipped, “The absence of love stories in my life.” Highway, while being a travel film, explored the idea of love through Stockholm syndrome.

‘I used to feel guilty about it’

In 2015, while talking to Open Magazine, Imtiaz admitted to being ‘obsessed’ with love. He even blushed when the interviewer pointed out that he looks like someone who’s in love ‘most of the time’. He said, “I’ve always been fascinated by men and women. Perhaps because I grew up in a household with no sisters, I’ve always felt like women are special. They are not regular and ordinary like us. As a young boy, I was very eager to get on with the first one I liked. Earlier I used to feel very guilty about it. Now, I am old enough to admit it. That’s the only difference.”

‘The universe moves because of love’

While promoting Love Aaj Kal 2 in 2020, Imtiaz spoke about love at the trailer launch of the film and said, “I don’t know what the relevance of love is, but I feel everything in the universe somehow moves because of it. I feel that if a man and a woman are in love, it is through their love that the universe is moving around. I want to explore these things more.” The film explored relationships between youngsters who want to focus on their career instead of personal relationships.

‘I still don’t use the term love, I don’t know what it means’

Talking to Indian Express ahead of the release of Amar Singh Chamkila, Imtiaz admitted that he still doesn’t know what love means despite exploring the emotion in his films. He said. “I don’t know what this word means, honestly. Being a director, I can never instruct an actor that, ‘You love her,’ because it manifests in nothing. I can say that, ‘You want to be with her’ and as an actor that guy will understand. ‘Oh, I want to be with her.’ He can act that. Or that ‘You miss her or him or it.’ But I’d never use the term love at all.”

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