Last week I had the GENIUS realization that Dear Zindagi is clearly a sequel to Josh, in which Shahrukh’s bad-boy biker had gone through intensive therapy to resolve his anger issues, and ended up becoming a therapist himself. From some of the comments, it sounds like I am not the only person who plays around with the idea of what would be the best possible sequel-continuation of a certain story. Feel free to share your own ideas in the comments, and read the post if you want to know mine!
First, a film that probably maybe hopefully will actually get made at some point in the distant future, Don III:
Since both Om Puri and Priyanka are no longer available, let’s focus on the one relationship that is left from the original, Shahrukh and Boman Irani! Boman kills Priyanka and Om in the first 5 minutes through an elaborate fancy scheme. Shahrukh, in peaceful retirement with his vast wealth from the last heist, is informed. He realizes that Boman never got over being tricked in Don I and has just been biding his time for revenge all along, finally taking away the one thing he knows Shahrukh truly cares about, Priyanka. And also Om Puri, because Om is dead for real so his character can’t come back, although I kind of would have liked to see Om’s honest cop and Don team up to avenge Priyanka.
Instead, it is Don alone who tries to finally bring down Boman. Maybe with some conversations or flashbacks to fill in all the things that made Don-Don (was he a youthful pickpocket picked up and trained as a loyal second in command by his boss who he seemed to hate? Did he have his own gang all along and was only an outside contractor until he took over the bigger group?). To succeed in his plan, he puts together a team of Boman’s innocent victims to help him. He defeats Boman and then in a surprise twist, gives all the wealth to the innocent victims and walks away. In an epilogue scene, we see him living as street performer in Bombay, thereby completing the circle and turning from Don back into Vijay.
(huh? huh? Brilliant, right?)
Then, a movie which is much less likely to be made in the future, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai 2: Rise of Little Anjali:
Now, theoretically, Little Anjali herself could play this role. But although I like her a lot better as an adult actress than as a child actress, I still don’t want her to be a heroine. Instead, how about Little Anjali’s Student of the Year co-star Alia Bhatt?
(Boy, SRK has really changed in the past 18 years too, hasn’t he?)
Now, I kind of had a theory when watching KKHH that Little Anjali would grow up to marry Salman. But I was told that this theory was GROSS GROSS GROSS, so I stopped sharing it. I still think it would have worked if K2H2:2 had been made a few years back. But right now, I do agree, Salman would look much much too old opposite Alia Bhatt. So instead, let’s Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania this sucker and re-imagine it for a new age!
Little Anjali Alia Bhatt goes off to the same college where her parents met, with her grandfather still serving as principal. Because he is principal (and also this school has a long history of terrible student supervision), Alia is allowed to run wild, staying out late, dating boys, doing dangerous stunts, having a wonderful time. The only person who can really reign her in is sweet sensitive Varun, her best friend. Just as Varun starts to wake up to the idea that he might love Alia “that way”, a new student arrives on campus, macho cool guy Arjun Kapoor. Alia is immediately taken by his rough demeanor and fearless attitude and doesn’t notice that Varun is trying to change their relationship into a romance. In the end, Alia confesses her love for Arjun to Varun just as Varun is about to admit his own feelings for her. Varun hides his pain within his heart and goes away to join the army.
(I know Arjun has more of a feminine vibe, but I like Varun and Alia together better. So let’s make Arjun the gender-normative one in the first half, so Varun can really “win” in the end)
4 years later, Arjun has died doing something macho (street fighting? drag racing? stuntman?). Alia has matured and lives with her grandmother Farida Jalal while her parents are overseas somewhere (put SRKajol in for more than a cameo, and the whole movie would end up being about them). A year after Arjun’s death, his last letter is delivered to her, in which he tells her that Varun loved her all along, she just didn’t see it, and in fact Arjun had come between their love story. Alia rejects this idea (one life, one heart, one love!), but Farida sneakily signs her up for an adventure camp, where Varun works now, putting bored housewives and office workers through an imaginary bootcamp. They rediscover their old friendship, etc. etc. But! Alia does not know (although the audience does) that Varun is engaged to Ileana D’Cruz (why not?). After they finally come together and Varun has the woman he loves in his arms, he glances down and notices his engagement ring, thunder thunder!!!
(They seem good together, right? You can see them as a couple? But not as good a couple as Varun and Alia)
Finally, in the end, with the encouragement through phone cameo of her parents, Alia goes to break up Varun’s wedding and confess her feelings. Varun is still conflicted, after all he made a promise. But as he is preparing to leave on the white horse, his older brother senses his internal conflict and drags him to the horse only, in the end, to pull it over to Alia while he gives a big speech about how although it is his dream to marry Varun to Ileana, Varun himself wants something else. And who plays Varun’s big brother who gives this big speech? Yes, that’s right!!! SALMAN KHAN!!!!
(I still think they make a cute couple, and if The World won’t let me put them together, at least she can move into his house as a sister-in-law. Shut up, you’re the creepy one!)
And finally, a recent one that is just crying out for a happier ending, Ae Dil Hai Mushkilier: Ayan’s Story:
The ending part of ADHM kind of reminded me of Love Story in some ways, so why not complete the parallel and make an Oliver’s Story option?
(Obviously the better sequel to Love Story would be if we followed the most interesting sexiest character of the original, Ray Milland. Way way cooler than his stupid spoiled brat boomer son!)
We pick up right at the end, Ayan leaves his interview, caught up in his memories. He gets a phone call from his father, who asks him to come home. His father is dying! Which lets us explore the new territory of all the family stuff that the original film carefully ignored.
Ranbir is sad over his father’s death, especially as they finally become close towards the end. After their conversations about why his parent’s marriage broke up, in his grief, Ranbir is inspired to track down his mother. He finds her, living in an idyllic small hill station, only to learn that she is also dying. He manages to build a relationship with her before the end, and learns more about what happened in his parent’s relationship to make it fall apart. It came apart because they rushed into it and loved each other too much but never really respected or understood each other. Helping Ranbir to understand all these concepts is the young woman who lives with and cares for his mother, her friend’s daughter who calls her “auntie”, Sonam.
(Do I even need to say that Ranbir’s real life parents play his onscreen parents? Or did we all just take that as a given?)
In the end, after his mother dies, Ranbir proposes to Sonam. But she has her pride and says that although she has grown to care for him deeply, she can’t just be a substitute for the woman he can never forget, or someone to give him back the family he lost. Ranbir goes away and starts traveling again, randomly bumping into Aishwarya. Who is now happily re-married to Abhishek (obviously). They talk, and he learns that while Abhishek fell in love with her, she resisted at first. But finally realized there are many different kinds of love, and what she felt for him was different but just as strong as what she had felt for Ranbir and SRK. With this idea in mind, Ranbir rushes back to the hill station, only to learn that Sonam is about to marry someone else. He breaks into her room and gives her an impassioned speech about how she wants something he can’t give, his love for Anushka will always be there, but he has something else to offer her which is even better.
And then it turns out he mis-understood what he had heard, there is a wedding in the house, but it isn’t Sonam getting married, she is just helping the bride get ready. And he and Sonam decide to marry and live in his mother’s house and have the kind of marriage he didn’t know he wanted but knows he needs.
(Do I want Ranbir to go through this same journey in real life and end up back with Sonam? Yes, I kind of do.)