I’ve got a couple of story ideas, but I’ve got vacation brain so I can’t fully work them out. You get to help me with that! It’ll be fun!
Skin Tone Romance
Okay, I’ve got the loose outlines of the plot I want, but I don’t have all the pieces pulled together. Based on our conversation a few days back about skin tone issues.
Our heroine is dark-skinned, darker in tone than the rest of her family. Her sister is the “pretty” one, she is the one that everyone worries about. And she has learned to believe in their worries, to always be quiet and humble and so on.
(I want someone legitimately beautiful, like Shaun Romy in Kammatipadam, just with darker skin)
Meanwhile, our hero was raised by his old-fashioned grandmother. His older brother had an arranged marriage with a model-beautiful type woman, who went on to be super disrespectful to her in-laws and eventually convince her husband to break with the family because they were “disrespectful” to her and they left the family home never to be seen again. So the grandmother declares that her younger grandson will marry a girl she picks out who will be humble and sweet and respectful.
I have the broad outlines of how I want it to go from there, they get married, the hero is very silent and hard to read, the heroine keeps trying to please him and her in-laws, the grandmother dies, the heroine feels guilty that this big prize boy was married to ugly her and now his grandmother is dead so there is really no reason for her to be in the household. He encourages her to go back to school, and she feels like it is just to get her out of the house.
And then stuff I haven’t figured out happens, but what I went it to end with is her having a big hysterical conversation with her husband saying she knows what he was thinking the first time he saw her, that she was ugly and didn’t deserve him and so on and so on, but none of that is true, she has realized she is a wonderful woman and deserves husband who wants her. And him responding that what he thought the first time he saw her was that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. And then the day of the wedding, he overheard her talking with her parents and realized she was being forced into this marriage because her family had convinced her she should give up her dreams and spend her life trying to please her husband and her family who were so generous to be willing to marry hideous her.
And then more stuff I haven’t figured out (maybe she moves out into an apartment with classmates, has a white guy teacher fall in love with her, but can’t forget her husband? Maybe she decides to pay back all her husband’s kindesses by tracking down his brother and his brother’s wife and learns they have gotten divorced and realizes that her marriage is a lot better by comparison with what theirs was like? Maybe the husband storms out of the house after the fight and she spends the night alone in their house worried about him and finally realizes she loves him? Something like that). But it ends with a jump into the future to them having a daughter who also has dark skin and the husband saying how beautiful she is, “like her mother”.
Wrong Couple Gets Married at Mass Wedding
I came up with this idea years ago when watching Dum Laga Ke Haisha where they get married as part of a mass wedding. And then again after watching Om Shaanthi Oshaana where it is a big plot point. In case you haven’t run across this before, it’s not like a Reverend Moon mass wedding, it’s just combining the cost of a wedding between multiple couples. So there is a big reception and fancy hall and all of that, but it is shared between dozens of couples instead of just one.
As I see it, there’s a rich couple having a semi-arranged marriage. That is, they are good friends and grew up together and “dated” for the past few years, but also their parents supported and encouraged the match and it was sort of understood by everyone involved since childhood that they would be together. And their families are also really good generous people who donate some of the money for the group wedding every year, especially the rich boy who really likes doing things to help the workers at his factory and is generally a good person. He comes up with the idea that they should just get married at the mass wedding, and donate the money they were going to spend to charity. The rich girl doesn’t like this idea, but goes along with it to be accommodating, even though secretly she is disappointed not to have the big wedding she always wanted.
On the other hand, there is a semi-poor couple. She is very young and is getting married to an older man who has a little shop and doesn’t want a dowry just to take some of the strain off her family. He is older and shy and doesn’t really want to get married, but he feels bad because the bride’s father was his friend and he promised to take care of her. He could afford a nice wedding, isn’t as badly off as other people at the joint wedding, but doesn’t want to embarrass the bride’s family by offering them money to help out, so goes along with the wedding they can afford.
(Yes, I am picturing Shahrukh. But more Raees Shahrukh than Rab Ne. Kind of rough around the edges, older, would be scary to a young inexperienced girl, but might be kind of disgusting and then intriguing to a rich girl whose been around)
And then of course the wrong people marry each other. There’s a confusion, all the brides are wearing the same sari and have veils over their faces, and heck, let’s say they are both drunk too! Oh! They shared a flask! The rich girl was secretly getting drunk because she had last minute jitters and was trying not to be disappointed by the wedding, she befriended the poor girl and gave her a drink (her first drink of her life) to help her get through this wedding she really doesn’t want. So the end result is that both brides are hustled into their cars without really being aware of what is happening and by the time the mistake is discovered, they are both almost all the way home.
And then stuff happens that I haven’t figured out. But the end result is the rich girl realizing the slightly older man with the decent store will spoil her and treat her like a queen and make her the center of his world, which is what she wanted from marriage and never really got from her rich boy boyfriend who was always forgetting dates and generally not caring what she wanted. So they are happy, she doesn’t need trips to Paris and rich people stuff, she just needs someone who brings her a little present every day and takes her out all day on Sundays to the park. And the older man realizes he is much happier with a wife who has seen parts of the world he never knew about and who tells him clearly what she wants, instead of the shy little girl he never felt like he really knew. In the end, when they have the option of rectifying the mistake, let’s say the lawyer made them live together for six months or something before giving them a divorce, they are both really sad. And she can’t face it and ends up crying in the bathroom of the lawyer’s office.
And the poor girl and rich boy get along too of course. She is actually interested in his charity work and happy to help him with it, which makes him feel like he finally has someone who understands him. And he learns about how her mother and siblings are struggling and insists on bringing them into his house to live with them. Rich boy has learned to love her and is self-aware enough to know that he is in love, but also knows thanks to an earlier conversation that she felt forced into marriage and too young and didn’t want it, so he is all set to divorce her but also settle money on her so she doesn’t have to worry about taking care of her family any more. The poor girl, meanwhile, couldn’t understand what she was feeling for a long time, but then after a conversation with the rich boy’s saintly grandmother about how she came to love the rich boy’s dead grandfather, she understands what is happening in her heart and goes to cry in the bathroom too. And the two girls meet each other in the bathroom again, share a flask and get a little drunk again, and then have an idea. Hmm. How could this work? Okay, how about, because this whole thing is a little embarrassing, the rich girl’s family is trying to keep it quiet. In order to keep them happy, both women agreed to come to the lawyer’s office in burkas so no one would recognize them or know they married the wrong people. So they go back to the office, sign the papers, and then go home. And only after arriving do they reveal that they traded places!
And then over the end credits, rich girl finally gets the big wedding day she wanted, and poor girl and rich boy are there as guests with poor girl already pregnant.
Shahrukh and Madhuri as Sexy Equals
We talked about this in the comments, that SRK and Madhuri have great chemistry in real life, but not so much in movies somehow. So the key, I think, is to cast them as something a little more similar to what they are in real life. Equals, mature, confident, and familiar.
How about, Madhuri is married to Shahrukh’s good friend Jackie Shroff. Madhuri and Jackie are happy together, but Madhuri and Shahrukh also flirt constantly. He is always playing her elaborate compliments that are clearly false, like saying that he never got married because if he couldn’t have her, why settle for any other woman? Jackie just laughs at this, it is clearly a little joke between the 3 of them and nothing more.
And then I don’t know where to go from there. I want to keep it light, and I also want Shahrukh and Madhuri to end up together. So Jackie can’t die, unless he dies in a way that doesn’t make Madhuri sad. Hmmm. What if he has a disease? So, like, Shahrukh and Madhuri are both standing by to support him and are equally sad when it is over, but also it is kind of a relief, instead of that sudden shock of an accident. Yes, I think that could work.
And then I want a kind of spy versus spy thing with Madhuri and Shahrukh both using their charm. How about, Madhuri bumps into Shahrukh months later and sees him with a new young woman who is clearly a gold digger. So she decides to “rescue” him by convincing the young woman that Shahrukh and she were having an affair for decades. Shahrukh finds out what she did, but forgives her because he has realized he was tricked by the young woman and agrees to only marry someone she approves. But then Madhuri’s daughter ends up engaged to a boy that Shahrukh knows is no good. But he is the boy that Jackie picked out, so Madhuri won’t hear anything against him. So Shahrukh does the same trick, convinces the boy’s family that he and Madhuri were having an affair for years, the daughter may not even be Jackie’s and kills the wedding. And Madhuri forgives him, and is grateful, once she realizes what garbage the boy was.
In gratitude, she agrees to finally find Shahrukh a bride that is perfect for him. And she does, she finds a young woman who is smart and confident and classy and just right, and Shahrukh agrees to the wedding and the planning starts. Only in the middle of planning, Madhuri is helping Shahrukh learn his first dance and they are getting sentimental, he admits that he was always a little truthful in his joke compliments, she really is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, she admits that she always liked his compliments, knowing a man as charming and exciting as him was interested in her. And then they kissed.
Luckily, Madhuri’s kids see this, and take charge, managing to convince the bride’s family to back out last minute by spreading the same rumors of a decades long affair between Shahrukh and Madhuri. Once the wedding has ended in confusion and anger and big scenes, Shahrukh and Madhuri are left in the wreckage, and Shahrukh points out, so long as everyone in the world things they are in love, maybe they should give it a try. And Madhuri snaps at him for saying “give it a try” instead of something more romantic, but eventually after some back and forth, they kiss again. HAPPY ENDING.
Okay, that’s all I got this week! You pick casts, fill in my plots, do all the other work this time around.