If everyone in Hindi film just sent all their scripts to me for a final pass before filming began, everything would be so much better. I can fix it all! Just give me a chance before you spend crores and crores of budget on a movie with an ending that MAKES NO SENSE. Oh and Kalank spoilers, obviously, only read if you have seen the movie. And if you have seen the movie, please give me your opinion and suggestions for other better endings!
Kalank Without Alia
Alia’s character is, frankly, kind of a brat. We are supposed to sympathize with a young woman who insisted on a marriage taking place that no one else wanted, and then complained incessantly after marriage. And who seems to feel no concern for anyone else as she falls in love with someone very inappropriate, not even sympathy for the perfectly nice dying woman she is living with and her grieving husband. But what if our central character and central love triangle was around Sonakshi’s character instead?
Sonakshi and Aditya have been married for ten years, most of that time living in London. They love each other very much and are happy, but feel a sorrow because they still have no children. Sanjay calls them back to Lahore and the strain increases as he begins to challenge Aditya to have a second marriage in order to have children. Aditya throws in his face that perhaps they are childless as punishment for Sanjay’s rejection of his own child. Sonakshi, feeling lost as Aditya shuts her out in an attempt to protect her from what Sanjay is asking, goes into the city and begins taking singing lessons from Madhuri, unaware she is Sanjay’s former mistress.
Varun sees Sonakshi in the city and learns she is Aditya’s wife. He determines to seduce her and destroy their family. He goes to her asking her to help her husband understand the problems of the people. Sonakshi is kind and caring, she starts spending more and more time with Varun trying to help him and his neighbors. Varun flirts with her outrageously, but she laughs it off because she is so secure in her love for her husband.
But then she overhears Sanjay talking to Aditya and misunderstands it to mean that Aditya would be happier with a younger fertile wife, that she is standing in his way. She decides that the only way to free Aditya is to go be with Varun, allowing Aditya to reject her without guilt. She goes to Varun and offers herself. But he has learned to love her and rejects her for her own good.
Varun, heartbroken over rejecting Sonakshi, and Aditya, heartbroken because his marriage is falling apart and he doesn’t know why, meet without knowing each other and share a happy song. Aditya also tells Varun about how his marriage is falling apart and it is wrong to be forced to marry someone you don’t love (meaning the potential second wife his father wants him to take), while Varun says he is in love with a noble married woman but rejected her and sent her back to a husband who doesn’t really want her. Sonakshi comes to take Aditya home and Varun sees her and realizes she is Aditya’s wife, and believes Aditya was telling him that he does not love her.
Varun is inspired and confronts Sanjay and Madhuri, pointing out that Sonakshi is miserable and unwanted in her home, he wants her, they should give him permission to take her and make her happy. Sanjay and Madhuri disapprove (Sanjay wants her to stay in the household for the sake of appearances even though he also wants Aditya to remarry). Madhuri goes to talk to Sonakshi and tells her that Varun doesn’t really want her, it is all vengeance, and reveals that Varun is Aditya’s half-brother. Sonakshi, in the opposite movie of Alia, reacts by moving out of the bedroom and no longer sharing Aditya’s bed. The next morning she calmly suggests divorce, and says that she has fallen in love with someone else, Varun who Aditya was dancing with. Aditya recognizes the name as his half-brother and puts it together with Varun’s story of loving a married woman, and agrees (although it breaks his heart), thinking that Varun will care for her and that he owes it to Varun because of what their father did to him.
Sanjay leaves to prepare for Aditya’s second marriage, Sonakshi prepares to leave the house, Varun believes he will never have Sonakshi and is miserable, SAD SONG. And then just as Sonakshi is preparing to leave forever, a mob appears outside the house. Varun comes to save her and she insists that they go to save Aditya as well. They rescue Aditya from the mob and all flee to Madhuri’s house. Madhuri turns them away, saying they are not safe there, but she wants to remain with her courtesans and try to protect them. As they are leaving, surprisingly, Sanjay appears. He heard of the violence and rushed back, to Madhuri, as the world burns around them he wants to be with her. Aditya and Varun and Alia leave Sanjay and Madhuri together. But their words made Aditya and Sonakshi and Varun all think about how they feel for each other. Aditya and Sonakshi look at each other and Varun realizes that they truly love each other. When they reach the train platform, he sacrifices himself so that Sonakshi and Aditya can go on together and be happy.
Gypsies Instead of Partition Option:
A bigger rewrite! No Partition or Lahore setting. This time, Aditya’s family is the local landlords. Sonakshi and Alia are both from the same neighboring village. Sonakshi knows of Alia and thinks she would be a good second wife for Aditya. She begs her to consider the marriage, Alia agrees. Alia arrives in the village and tries to figure out all the people. There are the farmers and villagers. There is also a gypsy camp nearby. In the village is a little blacksmith enclave near the gypsy camp. Alia pushes for the freedom to visit the gypsy camp and learn gypsy singing. Sanjay resists the idea, but Sonakshi stands up for it and Aditya supports her, which is the first time Alia really notices him. Sonakshi asks Alia, in return, that she spend some time with Aditya getting to know the land and the people in the village. Sonakshi is too ill to visit them any more and they need to see the landlord and his wife.
Madhuri is the beautiful gypsy queen, Varun is the angry blacksmith and her secret son. He sees Alia going into the camp and waits for her to come out and offers to escort her home, warning her that it is dangerous to travel alone. Alia resists his attempts to flirt and seduce her, but then somehow starts to feel things for him. She feels guilty, because she has also been bonding with her husband, and tries to stop her singing lessons and spending time with Varun. But Aditya mentions how happy he is that she is doing this, they have always had bad relations with the blacksmiths and the gypsies, he is glad they are getting along with her so well. Alia can’t explain why she won’t go back, so she is manouvered into returning to spend more time with Varun. She is brought to the point of admitting her love for him, and Varun denies his own feelings and sends her away. Alia returns to Aditya, gets closer and closer with him, and finally they sleep together. And right after that, gypsy woman Madhuri sneaks into the mansion to find her and tells her that, years earlier, she and Sanjay had an affair and he cast her aside. She left Varun in the village with the blacksmiths and went away. She came back to try to win back her son only to find he hated her and his father and everything. But now he has found true love with Alia, she can tell. He was planning to seduce her, him turning her down is really a sign of love. Alia is conflicted again!
It all comes to a head when a fire starts in the fields. Sanjay rushes to the Gypsy camp and saves Madhuri, finally admitting his love. Alia is leaving to be with Varun when the fire starts, they both rush to the fields and save Aditya from the flames then join with him to fight the fire together. At the last minute, Varun/Aditya is about to die and Alia’s emotions crystalize and she realizes she really loves him, not the other one. The other one risks his life to save Varun/Aditya. The happy ending is the two of them supervising the rebuilding of the village and the fields as the mansion is turned into a make-shift hospital. The other one is terribly injured but is being cared for by them and staying with them in the house. The Gypsies have disappeared and Sanjay has gone with them.
Light modern romance version:
This time, no Madhuri and Sanjay, they bring on too many complex layers for a light film. Also, this time only Sonakshi in flashback, having her being noble and dying around makes it too deep. Instead, Sonakshi dies and then we flashforward a year to seeher lawyer Varun come looking for Alia. Alia was Sonakshi’s junior in college and in her will she left a sizable bequest, with the condition that Alia has to live in her home with her husband for a year, starting one year after her death. She knows her husband will resist ever falling in love again and she doesn’t want him to be lonely, she believes that if Alia and Aditya live together and work together for a year, they will end up falling in love.
Alia is angry at this whole idea, but goes along with it because she wants the money. Aditya is depressed and grieving and tells her the night she moves in that he will be polite to her, but nothing more, he will never be able to love again. Alia starts working at Aditya’s factory and meets Varun again, he is a lawyer for the worker’s in a labor/management dispute. Not a coincidence that Sonakshi hired him, she knew he was Aditya’s opponent and so would be sure to carry out her wishes over Aditya’s protests. Alia acts out by spending time with Varun and the workers instead of management. She starts to feel things for Varun, goes out clubbing with him and is caught by the gossip press. Aditya doesn’t care or blame her in any way, is nice about it and just tells her he is glad she is having fun. Alia starts to catch feelings for Varun, but at the same time has begun to respect Aditya and to see that it is humiliating for him for this young woman in his house to be going around with his legal enemy. She backs off from Varun, only to go home and have Aditya encourage her to keep seeing him, it is good for someone from the management office to show a friendliness with the workers’ side. Alia is trapped and goes back to Varun and, eventually, admits her love and that she wants to be with him. Varun, knowing the terms of the will, rejects her so she can get the money at the end of the year. Alia is hurt and goes home to Aditya and, for the first time, invites him to have dinner with her. They slowly build up a friendship and trust and finally have sex. And only after that does Alia learn through piecing things together that there was a hidden codicil in the will, all the money goes to charity if Alia is unfaithful to Aditya during the year, which she realizes is why Varun turned her down, he loves her after all.
Alia is now turn between her new little seedling of a love story with Aditya, and Varun. She goes to sleep and dreams of Sonakshi, talking over the whole problem with her. Sonakshi tells her that a good partner means someone you can be yourself with, but also someone who helps you grow into a better self. This makes Alia realize that her true love is Aditya who helped her grow into a better person/Varun who she could really be herself with. She sets up a meeting in Varun’s office with Aditya and herself and explains that she is officially breaking the trust, she wants the money to go to charity. Her decision is without regard to the money, she is just following her heart when she chooses Varun/Aditya.
It ends with a happy wedding to which the loser in love comes and brings a present, showing there are no hard feelings, and Sonakshi appears as a ghost smiling on them all, and the loser in love gets a potential new love when he is introduced to Alia’s friend from college (continuing the pattern of Sonakshi bringing in Alia and now Alia bringing in someone), Kriti Sonan.
Okay, those are total rewrites, but it really gets down to a few slight changes that Karan could have included SO EASILY and would have made the whole film better:
At the end when all the violence starts, Sanjay rushes to Madhuri, commits himself to her, if the whole world is burning he wants to go down with her. Sanjay’s character is redeemed, and the lesson of in the end love being all that matters is upheld. Instead of it ending with a whimper when Sanjay goes off to Amritsar and Madhuri disappears into Lahore and their issues are never quite resolved.
And then the love triangle needs a definite resolution, Alia ends up with one or the other and finds happiness. Either:
When Aditya realizes Varun is his brother as Varun is running for the train, he lets go of Alia’s hand and slips out of the train car, taking the knife meant for Varun and telling him to “run!” Aditya dies with a vision of Sonakshi in front of him, Varun and Alia are united. Ten years later, they are living in Amritsar and raising a son named for Aditya.
When Varun comes for Alia, she tells him it is too late, she has learned to love her husband. She and Varun go to save Aditya, Varun dies looking at Alia, the woman he loves even if she doesn’t love him back. Ten years later, Alia and Aditya are quietly happy together raising a son named for Varun.