Time for my silly post! This week, I was looking at my DVD shelf trying to think of what to talk about, and my eye fell on K3G. And I suddenly remembered the one very unfinished plot point in that movie. Whatever happened to Rani’s character?
If you recall, Rani was Shahrukh’s neighbor and childhood friend. She was in love with him, their father’s organised their engagement, but of course Shahrukh was meant to be with Kajol. So Rani gave him her blessing and was never seen again in the film. But she was a nice person! She deserves a happy ending. So pick the one you like best out of the following options:
1.1. Rani decides to hide her broken heart and joins her father’s business. She throws herself into work and being a good daughter to her father, Indian-Bill-Murray. She isn’t the usual “cold businesswoman” type of character, because I hate those. Instead, we see her more like she is in Bombay Talkies. Cool and clever and classy, but joking with her underlings and befriending them. And then going to visit her father in his office and making sure he takes his pills and sitting at his feet and generally being soft and womanly and supportive to him. Her father keeps trying to get her to consider a proposal, because she would make such a wonderful wife and daughter-in-law for some lucky family. But Rani says no, she is happy just being his daughter and being “mother” to their business.
(Like this. Beautiful and glamorous, but mature)
The car breaks down one day on the way to the office, and the driver is apologetic, but Rani is nice and tells him it is no trouble, she can take a rickshaw. However, what she doesn’t know is that the rickshaw driver is an old friend of Shahid, who lives in the area. Shahid had just been joking with him, and offered to watch the rickshaw while he went and got chai. When Rani gets in, he tries to explain that he can’t take her, and Rani immediately assumes he is just holding her up for a higher rate and gets sharp with him. He is intrigued by her spice and plays along with the character of a sharp rickshawala for the rest of the ride. He also spins a story about how he is married with 6 kids, to try to get her to admit whether or not she is married. And he teases her a little about being so old and wealthy and not having a husband. At the end of the ride, he takes off before Rani can pay him, but makes note of what office he dropped her off at.
The next day, Rani and her Dad are debating what to do about funding for their new project. They could cancel it, but they have already invested so much and hired on new people. Just then, they learn that the young head of the up and coming investment firm is here, in their office! Without them calling him, he just popped up and is asking for a meeting. Of course, it’s Shahid!!!! Rani is shocked, but manages to cover. Until she is walking him out to the elevator, when she complains about the story and the children he made up and all, and he half smiles as he is getting in the elevator and says something about how with her co-operation, maybe there will be children.
Events continue to occur, Rani goes off with Shahid to supervise the building of the factory in the countryside of the Punjab, they bond with village women, etc. etc. One night, Rani gets drunk (Item Song!). And while she is sleeping it off, Shahid has to help her get to bed. He finds a photo of Shahrukh under her pillow, and a letter from him thanking her for breaking her heart and giving him up and saying that she should marry, even if she thinks she can never love again. The next day, Shahid is suddenly distant and restrained, since now he thinks Rani can never love him. Rani is confused, thinking she has somehow embarrassed herself while drunk. Shahid also says that after this first project, he doesn’t think he should work with her company again, and in fact he is leaving for America.
Rani returns home, but keeps imagining him everywhere (Love Song!).
(Like this, but with Rani playing Shahid and Shahid playing Kareena)
In the midst of all of this, Indian-Bill-Murray has a health scare! He begs Rani to marry before he dies so he won’t worry about her. Rani says no, because she is in love with someone she can’t have. Bill Murray thinks she means Shahrukh, but of course it is really Shahid! Rani finally breaks down and admits everything to the photo of her dead mother in her office. But what she doesn’t know is that her employees/surrogate children have overheard through the intercom. She goes home, all sad (Sad song!) and comes back to the office the next day to announce that she is taking some time off, to be with her father and think about her life. None of her “children” seem upset about this, which kind of bothers her. She goes outside, and her driver says he can’t take her to the hospital, because the car has a flat. She yells at him, because she is upset, and in a great hurry hails a rickshaw. And of course, it’s driven by Shahid!!!! Who was called by her employees and flew over from America because he loves her.
And, happy end credits montage. We see their wedding with smiling Bill Murray. And all the kids from the office do a big song number for them. And they go back to the village and get blessings from the old women there. And then we see a quick series of photos in the big empty house she used to share with Bill Murray, first one baby, then another with a little big sister, then another, then another, and finally 6! And the oldest is a boy and the rest are girls. Because I like to insert a little “Save the Girl Child” message in my fake movies.
(I’m not crazy, right? That’s a desi version of Bill Murray?)
2. Rani decides to hide her broken heart in an arranged marriage. She agrees to be engaged to the son of an old friend who has been living abroad, Abhishek. And then we see Abhishek, and he is getting this news from his father and looking unhappy. And then hanging up, and we see he already has a girlfriend! A white girlfriend! He tries to explain to her that this isn’t the kind of thing he can say over the phone, he will go back to India, and explain there that he can’t get engaged, because he is in love with her. The white girlfriend complains, but finally says okay, and then reaches out to kiss/sex him just as the screen goes blank (white women! So loose!).
(Okay, watch this whooooole thing, and at one point you will see a little cameo of Abhishek in character as I imagine him for my hypothetical movie)
Abhishek arrives in India, complaining the whole time about how slow and old-fashioned and everything the place is, compared with Abroad. He sees Rani, in western clothing, also at the airport. And when he has a hard time getting a taxi, and sees her struggling with baggage, he suggests that they share. And then while they ride together, he gives a big monologue about how nice it is to see someone else from Abroad, how he doesn’t know how these Indians live like this, how it is so old-fashioned, can you believe his parents are trying to get him arranged married? To some old fashioned shy girl who probably can’t even speak English, not like her, but a really sari-wearing type girl. Can you imagine? Rani just listens and goes along with it.
Rani gets off first and leaves her earring behind, which Abhishek forgetfully sticks in his pocket. Rani goes into her house and hugs Indian Bill Murray and tells him that she had a fine trip Bombay and is glad to be back, and she had the funniest cab ride with this silly boy who kept talking. She didn’t know if she should slap him for what he was saying about India, or just laugh.
And, first meeting! Rani is all dressed up and shy and traditional with the veil partially over her face. Abhishek is trying to play the good son. He can’t see her face to recognize her, but she recognizes him and gets more and more angry as he talks about how he wants a traditional wife and says all the right things. Finally, when she is sent to offer him tea, she throws it in his face instead. Everyone gets all upset and mad, Rani leaves the room instead of explaining, but Abhishek has seen her face by now and knows what is happening.
And Abhishek goes back to London and Rani stays in India, angry. Abhishek has a sexy happy song with his girlfriend, and Rani declares that’s it, she is done with marriage! She is going to pursue an advanced degree.
A year later, Rani is in Abroad, going to start an internship. She walks in for the interview, to discover that Abhishek is her supervisor! She starts to walk out, but he chases after her. And apologizes and explains that he was a fool who talks too much, there’s no reason his faults should keep her from this opportunity.
They start working together and become friends. They still fight over India versus Abroad. But Abhishek starts to see and appreciate the difference when Rani goes out with him and his girlfriend. She decides to show off and prove that she can dance just as well as the white girl (Dance Off Club Song!). Abhishek sees her in a new fun light. But, more importantly, when they are talking afterwards, Rani says that she loves going out for nights like this, but she loves more staying home, or waking up early in the morning for prayers, or going to temple. And it makes Abhishek start to think about how empty his life is. He asks her to take him to temple next time she goes.
(I’m thinking a kind of happy getting to know each other song number like this)
Abhishek starts getting more into Rani’s life, going to temple, volunteering with children, even calling his home more often (see, his parents are dead, all he has is an uncle back in India, that’s why he is so disconnected). Finally, he goes home one night to find his White Girlfriend packing her bags. She tells him she doesn’t even know him any more, he doesn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. And if he does, it’s with that girl from his office, not her. It’s like he’s falling in love with her!
This makes Abhishek suddenly realize, yes, he is falling in love with her! Fantasy Love Song! But, when he tries to bring it up with her the next day at the office, he is awkward about it, and doesn’t know how to start. But, when she says something about how her internship is coming to an end, he sees his chance and makes her promise to go out on a celebration dinner with him the next night. At the dinner, it is all very fancy and nice, and Rani is kind of trying to figure out what is happening. Finally, after much confusing lead up, Abhishek admits that he is in love with her and wants to marry her. Rani at first doesn’t understand, but whens he does, she reveals to both Abhishek and the audience that, TWIST!!! We see in flashback that Indian Bill Murray had a health scare right before she left. Rani didn’t even want to leave, but they made a promise to each other that he would take care of himself until Rani returned, and that once she came back, instead of giving up her life to her broken heart and caring for her father, she promised to return home and marry the boy of his choice once her studies were done. No matter how she feels about Abhishek, she can’t break a promise to her father.
I think we all see where this has to end, right? Rani returns home, also has a sad song as she travels. Her father tells her the boy is picked out, and today is the “auspicious time”, so they are getting married right away. She goes down, all dressed up fancy, and doesn’t even look up through out the wedding, so focused on her broken heart. Until, finally, her father puts her in the car with her new husband. And he says “You know, I really like those Indian girls. So traditional, so modest…” And of course it is Abhishek, and he is going through the exact opposite of all the things he said about Indian girls on their first ride together.
And, end credits song! I’m thinking something by Yo Yo, where we get to see them do rap moves in traditional outfits, and then traditional moves in Western wear, so it’s like meta about how the two identities merge.
(I still think this movie is brilliant and all other movies should imitate it)
What do you think? Are these good happy endings for Rani? And which is better for her?