This article discusses two Romeo and Juliet adaptations from Kerala, Annayum Rasoolum (dir. Rajeev Ravi, 2013) and Eeda (dir. B. Ajithkumar, 2018). Both films situate the lovers in a regional milieu which challenges notions of progress, as representations of political and religious contest suggest. Taking Ratheesh Radhakrishnan’s claim that the Malayalam film prioritises Keraliyatha or ‘Kerala-ness’, I suggest that songs and rituals are crucial to the films’ imagining of the lovers in relation to local cultures. Annayum Rasoolum and Eeda hold out the prospect of different futures, yet, ultimately, fall back on ambiguated conclusions and spectacles of separation and precarity.