The Bewitching Charm of Toxic Men

Love and Sex

The Bewitching Charm of Toxic Men

Illustration: Namaah


s I watched Kaatru Veliyidai, Mani Ratnam’s grand romance between VC, an Indian military pilot, and Leela, a doctor, set against the backdrop of the Kargil War, I was reminded of The Twilight Saga. The teen vampire romance couldn’t offer a more remote comparison, save for the fact that their main protagonists are entirely similar – and entirely toxic for the women they are with. Of course, VC is not a bloodsucking vampire like Edward Cullen, but both men’s love is certain to kill their sweethearts (in Edward’s case, quite literally).

In a scene in Kaatru Veliyidai, VC drags Leela to the registrar’s office and asks her point blank to marry him. When Leela hesitates – perturbed by his routine hot and cold behaviour toward her, and confused over the emotional manipulation followed by the endless cycle of apologies – he tells her to meet him at the same spot the next afternoon if her answer is yes.