I already posted a quick spoiler-less review, and another spoiler-full review. Now it’s time for a full summary! Which will probably be my shortest one yet, because this thing was like one third musical montages.
We open with Aditya Roy Kapoor setting an enormous slingshot on fire. And saying “This all started 15 years ago, during the worst winter Kashmir had seen in years.” The time in this movie is all out of whack, by the way. Both in terms of characters ages, and the history of Kashmir. The present day stuff looks like it is filmed in the present day, like 2016, but the 15 years ago is I think supposed to be at the start of the recent militant movements, so that would be like mid-nineties. And then Tabu’s flashback to her youth seems like it might even be in pre-Independence time.
Also, the terrible winter line didn’t really land for me, seeing as I was watching it at a theater outside Chicago on the fourth negative degree temperature day in a row. Oooo, it’s a little chilly and you have a light dusting of snow on the ground! Cry me a river!
In a more charitable frame of mind, I also understand that it is not so much the actual weather, but that it is so exceptional for the area, meaning there is less preparation for it. For instance, in an American film, an ominous opening might be “it was the hottest summer in years”, because we don’t have the infrastructure to deal with heat.
And then there is the bit I already used as an example in my spoiler review, with our saintly typical Kashmiri boy being grabbed and forced to help a terrorist on the run. Ajay Devgn plays the terrorist by the way, and he is phenomenal. When we first see him, his face is all screwed up and covered with hair, but I recognized him from the way he said his lines. Only Ajay can convey such pain, desperation, and fierceness all at once.
The next morning, after the terrorist has presumably left, our little boy hero is working on sketches in the workshop with his brother-in-law, a carpenter. His sister comes in to yell at him for staying out all night, and not finishing the embroidery designs he promised her, and then to tell her husband the local “Begum” has called him to her house to fix a window, thank goodness because they need the money.
Little boy and brother in law ride a motorcycle through beautiful Kashmir winter while the opening credits play. The arrive at the house and are greeted by one of those silent and loyal retainers that mysterious mansions always have. While they are preparing to leave for the day, our little boy hero sees a little girl riding a beautiful white horse. He stars at her, she gets off and walks over to him and orders “Aankhen Neeche!”. Which the subtitles translate as “stop staring!”, but of course is really “Eye’s down!” He won’t look down, so she steals his slingshot. And then looks down and notices the hole in his shoe and reacts in a way that I am not clear about. And then walks away.
(The reason I know what “aankhen” means)
Is it that she felt bad for taking his slingshot because he has holes in his shoes? Or that she thought he should have more pride in his appearance? Who knows! The character is a blank slate, start to finish! It’s really the perfect Katrina role.
The next day, he comes back with patched shoes. And the Begum calls for him and his patched shoes to come to her room. Yay! Tabu! She is lying down, sucking on a hookah, and listening to old-time music on an old time record player. Again, it feels like she is supposed to have been a young woman in like 1946-51 type of era, but that doesn’t match with any of the other times in the film! I am so confused!
Begum asks the boy to sing her something to amuse her, and he starts “Bumbro bumbro”, which the subtitles identify as “a Kashmiri folk song.” But which the audience in the theater recognizes with laughs as a Hrithik Roshan song. From a slightly less hamfisted and over the top Kashmir film.
Begum is impressed, however, and offers him a job in the stables. And she tells him to be friends with her daughter, Firdaus, but be careful not to fall in love! Which is an odd thing to say to two children, but okay. Tabu pulls it off just right, with a sort of cobwebby but sweet way of talking, that makes you think she is being reasonable when actually she is saying crazy crazy things.
That night, his sister gets him ready for work the next day, dressing him carefully in new clothes, and reminding him that this is his big chance. I think this is also when we see her sneak up to pet his head while he is sleeping, and gently leave a new sketch book and pencils on his table. Because although she may be harsh, she loves him deeply. Which is a huge huge departure from the novel, but I will allow it, because it always kind of bothered me that Pip’s sister was such a shrew in Great Expectations.
And, song! Little kids, playing together, she reads him Dickens, they visit her horse, they lie together in the snow. There is one moment in the whole song that I actually found interesting. They are riding in the car, the two kids sitting in the backseat and the faithful retainer up front. The kids are laughing together (this is the one moment in the whole sequence where I actually find them believable as children, and not as some idealized version of childhood romance), and the little boy sees his brother-in-law riding a motorcycle down the road, and sinks down in the seat until he is out of sight. It’s a nice sign of sort of shame at being with the higher class, and how this closeness with wealth that isn’t his is destroying his sense of self. And also, like I said, the child actors get to be actual children!
And then the song is over and so is winter, which of course brings us to fall. Because that’s how the seasons go, right? Scenic beautiful winter makes way for equally scenic and beautiful fall, with nothing in between? The little girl ties a scarf around his hand and makes him swear to always remember this day, because she is officially making him her friend. And also, he has to come to her birthday party on Sunday. He is all excited, and goes to buy a new outfit with his brother-in-law. They promise not to tell his sister how much it cost, because she would scold. And then the leave the shop, and see his sister limping down the street towards them (no idea why she has a limp, something metaphorical about how Kashmir Our Mother is weakened by losing the territories to Pakistan?). She sees his new outfit and smiles. And then, BLAST! EXPLOSION! She is knocked aside, brother-in-law grabs the kid and hits the ground, the kid tries to run to his sister, but she is clearly dead.
Funeral. Subtitles identify the dialogue as “prayer for the dead.” I really wish they wouldn’t do that, just tell us the actually words! We can figure out what it is in general from context clues! There is a really great shot sequence here though. We see the men gathered around the coffin with the prayer going. And then we see the little boy’s hands clasped, not held up. Pull back, we see that the rest of the group has their hands in prayer position, but his are stubbornly down. And then he runs away, crying. So, I guess he isn’t a practicing Muslim any more! (also, the actions of the Muslim terrorists have merely served to turn Young Kashmir away from the religion rather than making them more devout. Because nobody is just a character in this, it is all a Big Statement)
And, having been hurt by violence and lost faith, he turns to a vision of the beauty and promise of Kashmir as it was created by the antique aristocracy instead of dealing with his emotions and trying to improve the world as it is. Which is to say, instead of running to his saintly brother-in-law for comfort, he goes to the mansion and calls out for Firdaus. But, she isn’t there! Tabu has a great monologue here. She starts out all lowkey, saying that Firdaus left, it is getting to dangerous for her, she had to be sent away (the violence of Kashmir is driving away the beauty and “paradise” it could be, blah blah blah). And then she goes on to say that he should hold on to his heartbreak, he should feel it burn. But the way she does it is to stand, in magnificence, with her hair long and loose, dressed in a black Kashmiri style long woman’s top with a red embroidered placket down the middle . And when she talks of heart break, and how it burns, her hand subtly goes from waving near her heart to a sweep down her body indicating a much more sexual place. It is, again, disturbingly inappropriate, but in such a way that you never quite realize it.
And he runs out of the house, talking about how it does burn, and sparks! On the screen! And a RIDICULOUS BODY! I think there were some news stories about how Aditya is getting in shape for this thing? Anyway, he is like Hrithik-level skinny with ropey muscles. And it doesn’t really make any sense! He is supposed to be a manual laborer, like a blacksmith, but that should give him big muscles, not cut muscles. I could see just plain skinny too, because he is supposed to be youthful and suffering, but that doesn’t really match with skinny and a million muscles. Oh, and also, he is supposed to be 23 and he looks really really not 23. Which is kind of important, because his character is supposed to be still sort of young and foolish and innocent. But it is a lot harder to figure his subsequent stupid and selfish actions when he looks like he is really 30! And a rich 30, who spends all his time at body building gyms, drinking protein shakes and getting his chest waxed.
(not a 23 year old metal worker from remote Kashmir)
His brother-in-law, who he still lives with, comes in to say he is going down to buy dinner, Aditya should join him later. Aditya says he is going to keep working (apparently, he is now a metal-worker? Although he still has sketches all over the walls, many of them of a young Katrina). Moments after brother-in-law leaves, Aditya hears a noise, but when he turns, it isn’t brother-in-law, but instead Tabu and Faithful Retainer! Tabu does more awesome and entertaining nutty talk, saying that she has been sending over art books to him, but he never comes to visit her. Aditya is respectful. She turns to go, and he can’t stop himself from asking about Katrina. Aditya! Why so obvious? I am embarrassed for you! Tabu is, of course, pleased. Even if Aditya is too focused on maintaining a perfect six-pack to think through these things, it is already obvious to the audience at least that Tabu gets some sort of sick pleasure by watching Aditya suffer and encouraging his love just enough to keep him suffering. Which she does again here, by telling him that Katrina has finished school in London and is now in Delhi, and was asking about him.
And we go straight from that to the local lawyer talking with Aditya and brother-in-law and telling them that Aditya has won an arts scholarship, he can go to Delhi with room and board all paid for, and a mentor assigned to help him in his work. The way the two scenes are structured, both the audience and Aditya assume that this is Tabu’s doing, that she has arranged for him to continue his art and to be close to Katrina. Oh, and also, at some point in that interminable “youthful love” montage song, little boy Aditya had seen Tabu fighting with her relatives and the family lawyer, and it is this same lawyer who is now explaining the terms of the scholarship. So the assumption is easy to make (although we who have read Great Expectations know it is incorrect).
Delhi! For once, they don’t use that huge statue of Hanuman as an establishing shot. He is shown his rooms, which are big and empty and in some fancy old courtyard building. He can’t sleep all night, because there is music and loud talking and all downstairs. The next day, he goes downstairs to discover a huge breakfast buffet laid out and various young people lounging about, a couple of desis and the rest miscellaneous Eurotrash looking. The young Desi introduces himself, he lives here as well, he is sorry for the noise, but is happy to share the breakfast food with Aditya as an apology. Oh, also, he happens to be Tabu’s nephew and Katrina’s cousin. And he also seems to be gay, since he is spending a lot of time massaging and caressing a shirtless white guy who is also having breakfast with them. But he generally seems like a nice enough guy, and he invites Adi to a party that night.
(This statue. It is really cool, if they have to use something in every film to indicate “Delhi”, it might as well be this)
But first, Aditya has to go to the gallery to meet his mentor, a curator. It’s Lara Dutta! She is all smooth and sophisticated and beautiful and shows him his space in the gallery and tells him that he will be able to put whatever he wants there in 6 weeks as part of their next show. Boy, that was easy! Time to party, since his career is basically set!
The party his roommate/Kat’s cousin takes him to is the same party that was in Bobby and then Maine Pyar Kiya after that. Apparently there is just a constant oddly lit and sexually liberated party going on somewhere in India in order to open the eyes of our young heroes to the wild side of life, and also to contrast the sweetness and purity of their love with all the other shallow folks. And, just like in all those other movies, our hero sees his true love across a crowded room, and all the other people sort of fade away. In this one, Kat is coming down the stairs, and the music fades as Aditya looks at her. It’s not as nice as the first meeting in Bobby, when Rishi is inspired to sing “Main Shayar To Nahi”, but it is pretty nice!
(So it’s like this party. But in slightly more boring clothing, because it’s not the 80s any more)
Grown up Kat greets him in a cool and sophisticated manner, and is still a blank slate, but a beautiful one. He is all eager to talk with her, she says her mother warned her to look for him and take care of him. And she also warns him right off the bat that she has a boyfriend and will be officially engaged soon. But he is all in love with love and ignores that.
They bump into each other again the next day, or shortly after (again, time in this film! So unclear!) when he is talking with people at the gallery, and she happens to be there as well (she’s got a degree from London School of Design, you know. Because interior design, fashion design, and medicine are the only acceptable jobs for Indian film heroines. Oh, and teacher). She makes fun of his shoes, because he is wearing dirty sneakers, so the next time he sees her, he is wearing new shoes, and a whole new look, courtesy of his roommate who helps him pick them all out.
And, song! Yet another montage I can basically skip! They visit various famous locations in Delhi (although still not Hanuman) while wearing flowing pastel clothes and making perfect beautiful faces at each other. And it’s not a waste of time, because the whole love thing inspires him in his work and he’s got all sorts of things ready for the opening.
After the opening, Kat and his roommate and he are traveling on the train together, the roommate sits down, and Aditya leans in kind of like he is going for a kiss with Kat (what is it with Kat and trains and kisses?), she shoves him off and reminds him she is engaged. He doesn’t care or pay attention. Again.
(like this, but with Aditya instead of Shahrukh. So, way less sexy)
And I think it is that night that she gets a call from Tabu, and finally has a chance to do some acting. Maybe because there was nothing for her to do but look remote and beautiful up to now, Kat really sells this. Or maybe it is because being opposite Tabu inspires her. It becomes clear that Tabu is forcing Kat to call every night and tell every detail of her day, that she is encouraging Kat to spend time with Aditya at the same time she constantly reminds her that she is fated to marry her high powered boyfriend, and that Kat is trying to keep one small part of her life private and hiding how much time she is spending with Aditya.
Aditya meanwhile is buying a very expensive car. The money in this movie is also a little unclear. He had his first big gallery show, and he had no debts, so I guess that is all pure profit for him? But, what about planning for the future? Buying materials? Having something to live on until his next big show? Nope, big romantic gesture, first he is going to buy the exact same car that Kat had when they were kids!
Kat recognizes it immediately and goes for a drive with him. And, of course, they land up at the Taj Mahal. Because you can’t have a love story in Delhi and not eventually have a scene at the Taj Mahal. It’s like Bombay and India Gate or Calcutta and Howrah Bridge. And he almost kisses her. But before he can, his phone rings, and he takes it. Not so romantic, I have to say!
It’s Lara Dutta, telling him he was accepted to a big gallery show in London! Oh boy! And, party! In the courtyard of their building. He seeks out Katrina and tells her he loves her, she tries to distract him, to remind him this is all temporary, and finally dances with him. And then they go up to his room and have sex. Which isn’t that shocking, sex scenes, who cares, all golden lighting and funky angles and stuff. No, what’s really shocking is what comes after! The next morning, she is sitting on his balcony in his shirt and SMOKING! With no warning below! But, how will I know that smoking is injurious to my health?
He wakes up, sees her, and comes out wearing only a pair of cargo shorts and the scarf she gave him as a child tied around his neck. His body still looks way too skinny for my taste. He says again he loves her, she says again she can’t, but almost seems to be weakening, when her phone rings, and it is Tabu. Who is calling her and asking when she will come back to Kashmir? In a way that makes it clear Katrina has been putting off this visit for a while, probably because she is in love with Aditya. But she doesn’t tell Aditya that, she just says it was work and she has to leave. And then she disappears into the bathroom for like 30 seconds, and comes out perfectly dressed! It’s stunning! Took me completely out of the movie for like 5 minutes trying to figure out how she did that.
I think this is when with get the Aditi Rao Hydari flashback? Boy, Aditya and Aditi on one set, that must have been confusing! Although actually, not on one set, because their characters were never on screen at the same time. Tabu is starring into space, fingering her locket, and remembering when she was given the locket. And then we cut to Aditi, so it is clear, even if you didn’t see the pre-release publicity, that Aditi is playing her. She does a pretty good job! It is the younger, more delicate and slightly less insane, version of what Tabu is doing in the rest of the film.
Aditi is secretly meeting a very handsome young man who gives her the locket. The actor, apparently, is Viviek Oberoi’s cousin, so of course he is handsome! And, love song! Fall leaves, riding pillion on his motorbike, you know the sort of thing. And then it ends and she is sneaking glances at him over the shoulder of her fiance. Apparently, Handsome Man is her father’s assistant, and her fiance is some hoity-toity type from Pakistan. Handsome Man has promised they can be together soon, but not yet. But then it has to be soon, because she is pregnant! Which we learn when she sits up suddenly and grabs her stomach. So, she throws all her jewelry into a bag, leaving behind the emerald necklace that was her engagement gift, and runs for the bus. Handsome Man meets her and seats her on the bus, and takes the bag from her. She turns away for a moment and coughs, he hears her and hands the bag back, offering to get her some water. And, of course, never comes back. She gets off the bus to look for him, and only when she can’t find him, thinks to check her bag. Which is of course filled with clothes, but no jewelry. How did he DO that? She only turned away for like a second! He had to reach in, find the jewelry, take it out, and hide it on his person in just that long! Do you think the baby will turn out to be Katrina? Did she inherit her quick change abilities from her father?
Back in the present day, Aditya is getting a tattoo of Katrina’s name. The tattoo artist person says “she is a very lucky girl!” and Aditya looks all smug. I know these aren’t really characters, they are just representations of the forces at work in Kashmir, but man! If they were, she would most definitely not be a very lucky girl! And the fact that Aditya thinks she is, just because he is getting a tattoo, proves how unlucky she is! A tattoo of her name is a nice gesture, but really, it is more about the guy than the girl. Just like all those pictures he drew of her that he showed her in his room before they had sex, or his crazy obsession with every detail of their childhood interactions, or any of that! It just feeds his passion, it doesn’t actually make her life better in an discernable way.
And I wish it was because of all of that that Katrina has left him a good-bye letter. But no, of course not, because of course she really loves him but Tabu is manipulating her and blah blah blah. And you can even tell that from the letter! If you listen to what she actually says, instead of just being disappointed that it isn’t living up to your perfect fantasy, like Aditya is reacting. She says that their time together was wonderful and she will cherish it, but it is time to return to real life, she will always care for him and keep him in her prayers. Which is a pretty nice good-bye letter! I really don’t know what more he was looking for.
But Aditya is all in a snit, so he follows her to Srinagar. Where his brother-in-law sees him driving by and calls him all “you’re home! I’m so happy! When can you come by the house?” Aditya puts him off and ignores him, and I am back to trying to figure out the time line. Doesn’t he have a show in England to get to? Isn’t that what the party was for? And how long has he been away from home? Like, 6 weeks? Or 6 months? Or 6 years?
Of course, visiting Tabu doesn’t help, because time has stopped in her house. Not literally, like Mrs. Havisham and her clocks, but metaphorically with all the elaborate furnishings of her youth still perfectly in place. Tabu greets him and then asks him to call out for Kat if he wants her, just like he did as a little boy when his sister died and Kat had already left. He calls, and Kat shows up, but is all formal and remote with him. He tries to break through, and she sticks with “that was then, this is now.” So he leaves and goes back to Delhi. And in one of the few scenes that actually created a real emotion in me, we see his brother-in-law back at the house, party lights up and a “Welcome Home” sign on the door, sitting with his old dog, waiting for him to come by. Which of course he doesn’t.
Back to Delhi! Aditya is being yelled at by Lara because he has no work for an upcoming auction. Meanwhile, Kat is interacting with her fiance. He is all fancy and polished and apparently a rising politican in Pakistan who’s father is also a politician. He is in Delhi as part of a peace conference. Oh boy, our representative of young Pakistan! All ready to take possession of the beauty and purity of Kashmir, even though the living breathing active young Kashmir wants her. Oh, and his father apparently was engaged to Tabu. That’s kind of a huge coincidence? But his Dad also loves Katrina in a gentle and paternal way. Because noble aristocratic gentle Pakistan of the past also loves the beauty of Kashmir.
And, auction! Aditya is sitting with Lara Dutta and Kat’s cousin when Kat and her fiance come in and sit down. He keeps starring at her, until eventually she feels uncomfortable and leaves. He follows her out and corners her. She tells him, again, that it is over, she is marrying someone else, leave it alone! He ignores her, because he is a dangerous stalker. Oh, sorry, I meant “romantic.” Lara notices that he is drinking and sends Kat’s cousin over to stop him (when did he and Kat’s cousin become best friends? They basically just had one scene together and then it was all them hanging out in a group.). He almost succeeds in stopping Aditya, but Aditya shakes him off and goes back for another drink, then sees Kat leaving with her fiance and yells after him “Pakistan! You can’t take my Kashmir! 66, 73, even 99, we always stopped you!” (if those years are wrong, it is because I made a mistake, not the film. The film is pretty clear on what they are talking about). And then he adds the “Khoon mangoge kheer denge, Kashmir mangoge toh cheer denge” slogan. Gee, Abhishek Kapoor, your movie is just too subtle for me! Is it possible that this love triangle in which a Kashmiri boy and a Pakistani politician are fighting over a beautiful Kashmiri girl is actually a metaphor for something?
(A metaphor for this, perhaps?)
And then Aditya is arrested. Photographs in the paper, huge scandal. Really? An artist getting drunk and rowdy at an opening is enough to cause a huge scandal? I would have thought it would make his stuff more valuable! Any publicity is good publicity and all that. But, aww, his brother-in-law came to bail him out and has been waiting 2 days for him. Which means it is time for him to go home and return to his solid and real roots! Which I know, because he has a conversation with his brother-in-law in which he explicitly says “I was all caught up in love and high society, but now I have learned my lesson and want to return home.” This movie really doesn’t want you to have to work at understanding anything.
Back in his childhood bedroom, he is preparing for the trip to London, because it is “his only hope for a future”. (So, the UN and neutral nations should provide outside negotiation for the Kashmir question again?) But, while he is packing, he provides the second, and last, moment of real emotion in the film when he finds the notebook his sister had bought for him years ago. On the front cover, she wrote “Noor-you are good artist”. It’s the lack of article that gets me. This under-educated woman, struggling to write in English so it would be a message worthy of her educated brother, and to give him the best compliment she can. Aditya is also over-come and starts to cry. His brother-in-law comes in and sees what is in his hand and looks understanding. Not sure if this is the first time he has seen the book and his brother-in-law put it there for him, or if it is something he pulled out and studied often over the years but had forgotten about, but either way, this scene really works.
Before London, Delhi! Again! To beg his friend, Kat’s cousin, to come to London with him and help him navigate everything. Okay, if Aditya is Young Kashmir, and Kat’s cousin is Young Urban Cosmopolitan Delhi, is this saying that Kashmir needs India/Delhi’s international connections and diplomatic skills, but nothing else? Also, back to the actual characters, when did they get to be such good friends again?
Because this guy is a really really good friend! He goes all the way to Delhi goes along when Adi visits the art space, and comforts him when he sees an article about Tabu in London also, to buy jewelry for her daughter’s wedding. But it doesn’t do any good, because of course Tabu comes to the opening. In an awesome wig! She’s had long and loose hair this whole film, but now she has tight red curls all over her head. Also, she is wearing the same black with red streak outfit that she had on years earlier when she first talked about love with our hero.
Of course, she is talking about love to him again. Even though Aditya’s friend tries to prevent them from speaking. She is admiring his artwork, which is all sad about the death of true love, a big statue of a white horse foundering, and a huge slingshot with a scarf stretched on it. Would anyone actually appreciate these things if they hadn’t seen this whole movie and knew the backstory of his perfect love affair? Or even if they did?
Tabu likes the art, at least, because she is getting off on his pain. He is beginning to figure her out and when she drives off without telling him anything about Katrina, he chases after her, trying to get a response. He can’t catch her car, but another car pulls up next to him, and it is Ajay Devgun! All cleaned up, in a fancy outfit, with earrings! He doesn’t want to get in the car with Ajay (why? It’s Ajay!), but does when Ajay drops the name of the lawyer who arranged his scholarship. And then they go back to Ajay’s restaurant and have the conversation I described in my spoiler-full review. Ajay reveals that he is the terrorist, he came to London and became rich by “working hard” (I work hard! Why aren’t I rich?), and used all his money to provide for the boy who was kind to him. And Aditya rejects him entirely! Because Young Kashmir is disgusted by the actions of the past terrorists and wants nothing to do with them, even in the ways they have benefited the country!
After this whole illogical in character terms but necessary for the political fairy tale confrontation, he zips off for his next required confrontation, with the dying aristocracy of Kashmir who pretend to help the country while really just enjoying its beauty and pain. That is, Tabu. Tabu is a little out of it at her hotel. She starts to hallucinate that he is her past lover, and explains that she has finally gotten revenge, by making him fall in love with someone he can never have! That this time the girl will marry the rich fiance instead of running off with the poor boy! And then, flashback! Apparently, when she came home after the failed elopement, her parents found out she was pregnant, and her father beat her until she lost the baby. And then they left her in the mansion. She got more and more out of it, and then her maidservant gave birth. The midwife told Faithful Retainer that the maid (apparently his wife?) died in childbirth, but she had a daughter. Faithful Retainer takes the baby, wakes into the room where Aditi is vaguely humming while sucking on a hookah, and drops the baby in her lap. It is just that sudden, very “here, I give up my rights to the soul of Kashmir and leave it to the wealthy, unaware that they are not to be trusted.” Also, on the character level, this means that Kat and Aditya are actually equals, she is the daughter of a maid and a trusted servant, just as his family is a carpenter. I know, she was raised wealthy and all that, but for the purposes of Indian film, the reveal that they are of equal stature by birth is a big deal.
Adi doesn’t get all of that, but he does get that Tabu orchestrated the whole relationship just to break his heart for her own crazy vengeance reasons, and his whole life has been a lie. So he goes down to the yard where his statues are on display and sets them on fire. Which is where the film started. And which is also a super stupid thing to do. Aditya! What are you going to live on? Oh, and Tabu is so out of it, that she falls off the balcony and dies.
Funeral time! Back at the mansion, the men are outside doing the religious ceremony with the burial, while Kat is inside looking through all her mother’s things. Her fiance comes in to talk to her, and she asks him if he can arrange for her to see Aditya, since Aditya was one of the last people to see her mother. Fiance freaks out! All “you’re mine! Mine! Young Pakistan is a threat to Kashmir as it wants to possess rather than appreciate it’s beauty!” Meanwhile, fiance’s Dad was all “Even though I never got to marry Tabu, I always loved her, and love is always a beauty and a blessing, even for something you are never destined to have, treasure it.” Yeah, Pakistan! Give up on ever fully possessing Kashmir, just appreciate and honor your past relationship with it!
After these two super upsetting interactions, Faithful Retainer comes in and hands her Tabu’s jewelry box. She is upset, so she hugs him, and he briefly hugs her back, and touches her head in blessing. Wait, does she know he is really her father? Have they had this odd unspoken connection this whole film? The only scene that seemed to hint at it is actually that one moment I liked from the childhood bits, when they are riding in the car. He is driving and the two kids are in the backseat laughing, and it looks like a nice family outing with Dad in front and two equals in the back. Which is actually what it was!
(Kind of like this, but less disturbing and unhealthy)
Kat opens the jewelry box and sees the locket sitting on top. She opens it and finds photos of Aditi and Handsome Man. Which somehow tells her that love lasts forever or something? But this was a terrible love affair! It left Tabu broken and insane, and that guy never loved her at all anyway! Maybe Kat just knew that the movie was going to end in about ten minutes and she needed to find any random reason to finally choose love? Which she does. By running downstairs to hand her engagement ring to her prospective father-in-law, and then running off to Aditya’s house, calling out for him. We haven’t seen Aditya since the whole London fire thing, so I did have a moment of thinking “what if he’s dead!” But, no, he comes out, sees her, goes to her, puts his cloak round her shoulders, and they kiss. Oh good! Now that old aristicratic Kashmir has fallen off a balcony, Young India has taken Young Kashmir to London so he can definitely reject a globalized future, Young Pakistan has been firmly rejected, and gentle Old Pakistan has been gently rejected, and with the blessings of the last generation of Kashmiris who handed over the baby of their future to the wealthy, finally the Young Dream of Kashmir is able to come together with Young Active and Manly Kashmir.
And even more happily, I am finally done with thinking about this movie, because if I wanted to think that much about Kashmir’s future, I would just read the news!