I don’t know why, but I am feeling very contrary today. I have this strange desire to take light things and turn them dark, and dark things and turn them happy. Thank goodness I can work it out through fanfiction instead of going to the park and throwing things at pigeons.
I did briefly consider a DDLJ sequel with drug addiction, empty marriages, and prostitution. I won’t give you the details, so it won’t taint your head. And with that in mind, I decided I would only do this for movies that I don’t think anyone really “loves”. But if you do love them, DON’T READ THESE!!!! They are very mean spirited.
Taal: (if you don’t remember/haven’t seen the film, at the end innocent village belle and talented singer Aish marries wealthy but sensitive globe-trotting Akshaye Khanna) Things turn bad almost immediately. On the honeymoon, in fact. Akshaye takes Aish to London, his hometown. And he notices for the first time how little she has to say about, well, anything. He takes her to his favorite museums and bookshops and all she does is smile and nod. More worryingly, she continues to be passive and guilt ridden whenever things turn sexual. Their first time, back in her village, it was endearing and original, but now that they are married, it starts to make him feel like he is attacking her, like she doesn’t enjoy his touch.
Aish is nobly putting up with his advances, and following him around to all his boring places, and is frustrated because it just doesn’t seem to be working, she can see that he is getting sadder and sadder and doesn’t know what more she can do, since she is being a “proper wife” by all the measures she was taught. She is happier with Akshaye than when she was a superstar singer, she never liked that attention, but she finds herself thinking that maybe she was happiest of all back in the village before she met him.
After their return to India, it just gets worse. Aish locks herself up in her house, as she has been taught, and spends her days singing to herself and playing classical music and occasionally getting letters from her sisters. She is jealous of their lives, they are still in the village, which means they are surrounded by family and old friends, able to interact with the world without losing their “Sharam”, while she is in the city, not feeling it proper to leave the house without her husband or father or father-in-law as escort. A brother or uncle-in-law would work just as well, but they are all rich and evil, so she can’t spend time with them.
Meanwhile, Akshaye has finally joined his father at the office and is discovering a joy in burying himself in his work, just to get away from his odd wife. He and his father slowly become closer than ever, and they are doing good things with their company, not just making money but starting foundations and bringing industry into the countryside. Amrish lets Akshaye chase his own visions and start up new wings focused on products from traditional artisans. Akshaye feels like he is making a difference and accomplishing something at work, and has a harder and harder time dragging himself home to Aish. They are sleeping in separate rooms now and barely touching each other, and both are afraid to admit to themselves that they are happier that way.
Finally it all ends not with a bang but a whimper. Akshaye takes Aish back to her father’s house for a combined family and business trip. He is checking out some artisans in the region and suggests she stay with her father while he goes on his overnight trips. Eventually, he has to return to Bombay “just for a few weeks” and she says “as you wish” when he suggests she stay back at her father’s, which he has learned means she would prefer it. He returns, and then leaves again and is gone longer. And then longer the next time. And the next. Finally he tells her he will be in London for a while working on setting up a new export group, and she says “as you wish”, so he knows she doesn’t want to come with him. 5 years later, he meets a nice girl who runs an NGO in London and admits to her on the 4th date that he is technically already married and tells her the whole story. She understands, tells him they were both young and he shouldn’t blame himself, and it sounds like it is better this way. They get married, and have a wonderful life together, eventually having two children. Akshaye conscientiously sends money and letters back to Aish in India once a month and occasionally gets a reply, usually something simple wishing him happiness and reminding him he is in her prayers.
Dilwale: (if you don’t remember, SRKajol are both ex-gangsters who are reunited after 10 years apart when their younger siblings fall in love) Things are good for a while for SRKajol. They share a house with Varun and Kriti, the two couples are constantly ducking each other to hide their mutual sexual adventures, which of course just adds to the excitement. Plus, SRKajol are brought closer through keeping the secret of their shared criminal past from Varun and Kriti. Kajol especially, it almost seems like she wants to be found out, she drops so many hints.
But then after a year, Varun gets an opportunity abroad and he and Kriti move away. And suddenly it’s like they have nothing to say to each other. Kajol just sits there, will barely look at him, will give him a pallid kiss but nothing more. Shahrukh goes to his friends Anwar and Shakti for advice, they suggest it is empty nest syndrome, she needs something to care for. Shahrukh hires a new kid at the garage and suggests him come over for dinner. Kajol isn’t interested, Shahrukh has to do all the job of hosting, and cooking the dinner, and picking up the house. Their guest arrives, and she can barely look at him (let’s make it Rajkummar Rao, because he did such a good job being an uncomfortable guest in Talaash). Until he asks something about where Shahrukh learned to cook, and Shahrukh almost slips up and says something about Prague. Kajol suddenly leaps in and pressures him to say more until it becomes harder and harder to avoid telling the truth. They get through the meal somehow, and as soon as Rajkummar is out the door, Kajol pounces on Shahrukh and their sex life is back.
(Clearly, they thrive on tension and difficulties)
As he thinks about it at work the next day, Shahrukh realizes that it wasn’t empty nest syndrome, it was the danger she craved. After all, that’s what brought them together in the first place, the danger and the lies. Even when they came together again as adults, the first time she softened to him was when he grabbed her by the hair and threatened her with a gun. So if he wants to keep her, he will have to find a way to bring that danger back into their lives.
He starts small, suggesting a drive after dinner, but then hotwiring a car from one of the tourist hotels. They have hot sex in the back seat, and then Kajol insists that instead of returning it to the hotel, they should send it off a cliff into the ocean, and Shahrukh goes along with it. Soon they are trolling bars looking for danger, Kajol inciting fights just so Shahrukh can defend her. And her excitement feeds into his until it becomes a joint obsession.
In the end, Varun returns when Anwar and Shakti have called him home. Shahrukh has neglected the business, he is constantly showing up hungover and covered in bruises, one night he even came banging on their door to wake them up at midnight with a bullet wound. And at 3am Kajol showed up looking for him and demanding to take him home with her.
Varun tries to talk to Shahrukh, but Shahrukh isn’t hearing him. Varun says “this isn’t you!”, and finally Shahrukh lays it on the line “This is me! Those past 10 years when I was living for you, that wasn’t me, but now I have found myself again and I won’t give it up. Not even for you. Not for anyone.” At the same time Kriti is talking to Kajol, telling her that she has to stop this, she is driving Shahrukh to do things he doesn’t want. And Kajol lays it out for her “You think I want this? I would be happy living a simple life in a simple house so long as I had the man I loved! But I was losing him, he needs the danger, and wouldn’t even admit it to himself. ”
6 months later, they’ve started life anew in Caracas, Venezuala (world’s most dangerous city). They have a variety of disguises, because the criminals of the city have started spreading the word to look out for the Indian couple. Every night, Kajol goes out as bait, limping along, asking directions, fumbling with a map. And once she gets a group to follow her, she draws them to Shahrukh. After a quick brutal take down, they make out passionately over the bodies. Once this town gets too hot for them, they will ask Varun and Kriti to send money and start anew. There are plenty of dangerous places in the world. Someday they may be too old and slow to keep going, sometime Shahrukh may pick a fight with the wrong man and not survive it, but until then they will feel alive every day.
Okay, just to flip the script a little and end on a “happy” note, let’s take a dark one and make it happy. I’m gonna Rajshri the heck out of Fan! (if you don’t remember, Gaurav, an obsessed fan of superstar Aryan Khanna stalks him, terrorizes him, and finally Aryan turns the tables and drives him to suicide, although at the last minute he feels kind of bad about it)
We pick up right after the epilogue of the film. Aryan has returned to his house after his birthday viewing and announces “now we are going to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Delhi, yaaaaay!!!!” the two kids cheer as well, and a dance number starts immediately. The kids dance around their room with toys and candy, the parents flirt in a family friendly way. Aryan’s wife is dressed in an elaborate silk sari, and packing up food in the kitchen along with the servants. They all pile into a big van as the song continues, dancing through the van with the kids and servants and snacks. Oh, and a family pet, of course! Let’s go outside the box, we’ve had parrot and dog before. How about a goldfish? Swimming around in a bowl that the kids always carry with them, with the occasional goldfish reaction shots to funny lines.
(This kind of song)
And finally the song ends with “grandma” and “grandpa” joining in! Guarav’s parents, of course. They join the big family dance number and then we cut to all of them sitting around late at night in the tiny apartment, the Gaurav’s mother massaging Aryan’s head, the two kids asleep on Gaurav’s father’s lap, Aryan’s wife serving snacks. As they talk, the subject of Sunaina comes up. They ask if she is still working so hard as Aryan’s assistant, isn’t there anyone in her life? Aryan says no, not since her girlfriend in school. She says she works too hard to meet anyone. Gaurav’s parents sigh about what a pity that is.
(Remember this character? Totally deserves a happy ending!)
The next day, picnic! Family picnic outing! With songs! And games! And when they return, who should they see but Neha! Gaurav’s old friend/girlfriend, back from New York! They insist on her joining them that night for dinner, along with her parents. At dinner, her Dad is teasing her about how she never wants to be set up, always saying “I’ll find my own girl”. Aryan’s wife and Gaurav’s mother exchange glances.
(Neha also totally deserves a happy ending!)
The next day, humorous scene while Aryan’s wife and Guarav’s mother give him notes and directions as he is on the phone with Sunaina, pretending that he has a sudden work emergency and she has to join them in Delhi. Actually, as his wife and Gaurav’s mother remind him, not in Delhi, at a heritage hotel outside of the city, that he is considering for a location shoot for his next film.
Next, of course, he has to convince Neha to go with them as well. She resists at first, but she can’t say no when the children beg her. And so the stage is set for a sweet romance. Things don’t start well, Sunaina thinks that Neha is just a tough Delhi girl with no class, Neha things Sunaina is too elegant and classy. But then they get separated from the group on a mountain hike, and Sunaina sees that Neha is scared of snakes, and Neha falls in love when Sunaina pulls off her fancy heeled boots and kills the snake threatening her.
(This kind of song happens. Only with one of the couples being two ladies instead of a man and a woman)
Everything moves very fast after that. Aryan serves as Sunaina’s family, and Neha’s parents come out from Delhi, and they have an official engagement complete with songs. There is some humor when Sunaina and Neha take the kids out for the day, Aryan and his wife flirt in a family friendly way, and Sunaina and Neha end up being run ragged and decide no kids! Not for a long while!
The wedding plans are coming together, the hall has been rented when at the last minute, disaster! Right on schedule for a Rajshri film, 40 minutes before the end. Aryan gets a call that there is a problem with his next film, he has to fly back to Bombay right away. His wife tells him he shouldn’t go, he has to stay, and they almost have a fight. But then Gaurav’s mother steps in as the wise mother-in-law and reminds her that it is her job to support her husband and keep the family together, to face these difficulties as a team. And of course she sees the wisdom of that. And Neha has been listening to the conversation and, following the same reasoning, encourages Sunaina to go with Aryan. After all, it’s just a few weeks, they can keep preparing here, and Sunaina will be back in time for the wedding. There is a cute “missing each other and talking on the phone” song.
(This kind of song, but with two ladies0
But then on the day they are supposed to leave for Delhi, there is one more delay. And they just can’t make it. Aryan feels terrible about it, but Sunaina tries to tell him it’s fine, and calls Neha. Neha understands, but her father doesn’t. He is tired of his little girl being jerked around like this! And he declares that if she goes through with the wedding, it is against his wishes. Neha, torn between family and love, of course choices family, because this is a Rajshri film after all. She writes Sunaina a note and leaves for Delhi, planning to go from there back to America.
Sunaina gets the note and is heartbroken (song!), but then Shahrukh finds it as well, when the goldfish flips out of his bowl onto the note to attract his attention to it. Shahrukh reads and understands, and then puts on an act of being a “big scary boss” to Sunaina the next day. He insists that all the plans will have to be put on hold, he has a very important meeting that he needs her at in Delhi. Sunaina sadly goes along with him. Only find when they land in Delhi, Neha is waiting! Along with all the family and friends! For a quick marriage in the airport terminal, and then the two of them happily board the private jet and wave good-bye as the family does one last family song on the tarmac. And a final shot of the goldfish swimming happily, having survived his suicidal efforts to bring about the Happy Ending.