It’s Saturday, why think? I’m just gonna do a quick post based on a discussion in the comments, and also because I love writing fanfics (it’s like stretching after running).
Amy just rewatched this and in the comments asked if I could see Oleksandr and Kangana getting together. My first reaction was “no, definitely not, it could never be more than an unspoken thing because they are too different.” But then I started thinking about it, and I think I can see how it might work.
It’s two years later. Kangana took that office job her uncle offered her, and also started taking night classes in Russian. She and Oleksandr have stayed Facebook friends, he posts pictures of his travels and she comments, and she posts pictures of her family and friends and new life in Delhi (she has made friends through the office job, and sometimes goes to concerts and out to clubs all by herself, no boyfriend or chaperone needed) and he comments. Now Oleksandr’s travels have taken him to India and they arrange to meet up through Facebook.
Kangana feels suddenly shy and asks her little brother to come with her one more time. She dresses super modern and western at first, and then changes last minute to regular every day sari and cardigan, she isn’t going to pretend to be anything different. Oleksandr looks the same when they meet and speaks English much better, admits that he has been practicing. Kangana and he smile at each other and are shy, her little brother takes over and starts suggesting places to go. Slowly they loosen up as they go to India Gate and other landmarks. At the end of the day, Kangana takes a leap and invites Oleksandr home to meet her family.
Everyone is surprised, but greets him warmly when he is identified as Kangana’s friend from Europe who helped her. Oleksandr just smiles and enjoys watching them all and being in this warm family household. They insist on him spending the night instead of finding a hostel, he sleeps in the kitchen/living room and Kangana sneaks out in the middle of the night to talk to him. He confesses that he ran away from home at 16 after another fight with his father. His mother died when he was little, he never felt like he had a family. He has been traveling for so long, it is nice to find a place that feels like “home” again. And Kangana agrees, explains that she didn’t appreciate what she had until she went away and came back. She had all those adventures in Europe, but nothing was better than coming home to her family. And then she holds his hand and tells him that he can stay here as long as he wants.
Next day, Kangana has to go to work, the rest of the family fusses around Oleksandr and promises to entertain him. Kangana goes to work where her co-worker teases her about her “secret boyfriend” who is visiting and she is flustered and shy. At lunch, Oleksandr shows up with her brother and surprises her. Her brother fills in on what all they had him do that day and how he seemed to enjoy everything from playing cricket to helping her grandmother set up for Puja. Kangana is really happy to hear that Oleksandr is happy, but keeps checking with him to be sure this is all he wants. And he keeps saying yes, yes it is.
That night, her brother suggests that Kangana and Oleksandr go out for dinner together. They both resist, but he pushes it through. And then once the three of them are out of the house, he takes off explaining that he just wanted to go to a party at a friends’ house and used them as an excuse, he will see them at 1am when he is ready to come home.
Kangana and Oleksandr with no other option end up just walking around talking. Neither of them are hungry. They talk, but the streets are crowded and noisy, Kangana points out a small hotel and somehow she and Oleksandr end up getting a room. At first they just talk. Kangana admits that she took Russian classes and tries out some lines, he is touched and praises her. He admits that he asked her brother for help learning Hindi that day. His phrases are “you are beautiful” and “I like you” and then finally “I love you”. Kangana moves to sit next to him on the bed, and kisses him. He kisses her back very gently, and they reach for each other. They make slow carefully dimly lit love on the bed. After, they lay together tangled up, and Oleksandr asks if that was all right, if she is all right. She says yes, she is more all right than ever before.
They return home at the 1am time limit. Her brother is waiting outside and doesn’t even look at them. Her family is sitting up waiting (of course), but they don’t have to talk, her brother spins a whole tale of a dinner and a movie and on and on. Everyone moves towards bed, Kangana and Oleksandr just have time for a look before she leaves and Oleksandr is hustled into his guest bed in the living room. But Kangana lays awake, waits until the house is quiet, and then sneaks out and crawls in to bed with him, just to sleep, chastely and fully clothed.
The next morning, the family discovers them there. There is a lot of upset, Oleksandr can’t follow what is happening with all the Hindi shouting, but finally leaps in with the one phrase he knows “I love you!” Everyone is stunned. Oleksandr grabs Kangana’s hand and says it again. Kangana says it back to him. And then her brother whispers to Oleksandr, prompting him with the next phrase, “I want to marry you”. Kangana glares at her brother, but it is too late, her family is already excited. They wanted something different for her, but after the disappointment of the first wedding, they just want her to be happy, and Oleksandr seems like a nice man who truly loves her. Kangana manages to stop the run away train by suggesting that they don’t get married until Oleksandr has a job and a place to live.
Kangana and Oleksandr are now “engaged”, but really they are still just dating. With her help, he gets a job teaching at an art school. She brings him lunch every day and they eat it together. He still doesn’t have a place to live, but they are searching hard. They get to know each other better, they like each other more, things are moving along. But they are both still cautious about marriage, about doing such a crazy risky thing as trying to join together their two backgrounds.
Until everything comes together. Oleksandr has been offered a gallery show. And at the same time, Lisa Haydon is visiting from Paris. She shares Kangana’s bed and they whisper secrets to each other. Lisa is thrilled that Kangana had sex with Oleksandr and encourages her to be brave and admit what she wants to herself and ask for it, instead of being careful and not sure of Oleksandr really wants her. Lisa goes with Kangana to watch Oleksandr set up for his show. The gallery owner is flirting with him outrageously, and suggesting an outfit to wear (instead of the nice outfit Kangana helped him pick out) and when Kangana gently asks about it, Oleksandr just says that she is a very nice woman and is helping him a lot. Kangana still keeps it inside until the opening night. She sees Oleksandr being surrounded by socialites, all of him love the novelty of this sensitive young Russian artist. She drinks more and more champagne (Lisa keeps handing it to her) without noticing and finally she has had enough. She storms across the room and shoves the gallery owner away and tells her to leave Oleksandr alone, that is her to-be-husband, she can’t have him. Oleksandr is surprised and concerned and hurries her out of the room. And Kangana drunkenly finally says what she really wants, she wants to marry him but she doesn’t want to leave her family. She wants him to move into the room with her instead of sleeping in the living room. She wants to have babies, but she doesn’t want another wedding, she just wants to be married to him and that’s all. And he keeps saying “okay…okay…okay” until it finally gets through and she asks “okay?” And he says “yes, okay, all of this, okay. It is good”.
And a year later we see their happy household, Oleksandr teaching and painting and taking care of the baby with the help of her mother and grandmother and brother, while Kangana keeps working.
Happy Ending for Kedarnath
It was so close to being happy! And only 2 hours long, they could have easily tacked on just a half hour more to bring it back home. The end of the “real” movie is Sushant sacrificing himself and dying in the floods while Sara watches, and then three years later Sara is still living in Kedarnath with her father, listening to the radio where she called in a request for Sushant’s favorite song.
But then! In my version! We cut to Delhi, a truck yard. The packers are gathered around warming themselves by a chai stand and listening to the radio. And there is Sushant!!!!! He hears the dedication on the radio and has a sudden flash of being in the cave with Sara singing this song for her. But he shakes and rubs his head, and his friend grabs his shoulder and says “you all right?” He kind of shakes it off and nods and walks away. Another worker asks his friend about it, and his friend explains that they met in the refugee camps. His whole family died in the floods, he had nothing. But Sushant had even less than that, he lost his memory as well. He and Sushant made their way to Delhi together to start over. Sushant says he has flashes sometimes but he isn’t sure if they are true or a dream.
Sushant is still working, but he keeps hearing the song in his head and keeps flashing to Sara. He tries to shake it off, shakes his head again and again, but it distracts him and a huge box falls on his head!!!! The other workers rush to him and take him to the clinic. He wakes up in a bed with his friend leaning over begging him to wake up. He looks at his friend and says “Who are you? Where is Sara?”
Sushant and his friend slowly piece things together. Sushant starts to remember his current life and his friend, flashes of the refugee camp and it all comes together. He still doesn’t remember details of his life in Kedarnath, but he is now sure in his heart that Sara isn’t a dream, but something real and he must get back to her. His friend tries to convince him this is crazy, even if she is a real woman, how will he ever be able to find her without remembering her last name or anything else? And how can he be sure she survived the floods too? But Sushant knows he has to go to her. So his friend agrees, after all he has lost everything, Sushant is like a son to him, he might as well go see if they can find his daughter-in-law.
In Kedarnath, there are a series of frustrating missed connections as Sara goes about her life and Sushant searches for her. We also see more of Sara’s life. She is in charge now, not her father. She decides where the guests sleep and what food to make and sends her father off to the market to buy the food she orders and clean the rooms and carry the water. Her father is a broken man after the floods, he never had much strength, but Sara is carrying them both.
Her father is the one who brings them together, in the end. He sees Sushant in the distance in the market, and chases after him. It is progressively painful and difficult, he stumbles and rolls down a steep street, hits his head and is bleeding but keeps going, finally falling at Sushant’s feet and gripping his legs refusing to let him go. He is so breathless and injured now he can barely speak clearly, but begs them to follow him. Sushant and his friend take pity on this poor crazed man and follow.
Sushant and his friend follow him to the house, as he opens the door Sara starts talking without turning around, giving directions for the rest of the day, asking why he was so long in the market, telling him they have new guests. Sushant flashes back and forth from the present to the past, all the other times she talked at him, he saw her hair, saw her move her hands, and so on. Finally Sara turns around and sees him and stops, stunned. They stare at each other. And as they look at each other, the radio plays Sara’s request again, their song. Over the end credits, we see their quiet register marriage, and then returning to Sara’s home to finally be welcomed by her father and Sushant’s “father”, as the camera pulls back to reveal the devastation and rebuilding of the valley, that just like Sara and Sushant, the whole region is finding itself again and somehow starting over.
And it only would have taken another half hour, max!