I love sequels. I always want to know what happened next and to whom. What about the kids? What about five years later or ten years later? Of course, usually it is more of a franchise than a sequel, taking the central idea and remixing it, but I can live with that too.
Laage Chunari Main Daag Sequel
The original ends with nice wealthy man Abhishek telling our heroine Rani that he knows she is a call girl, has known all along, and loves her anyway. But is it really that simple?
I think, in keeping with the tone of the original, a mostly happy love story with great songs and just a few moments of darkness. A young girl traveling in Europe is mistaken as a prostitute by a young boy who wants to “save” her. She is drunk and confused the first time they meet and accidentally confirms his suspicions. And then is so embarrassed when she realizes what he thinks that she runs away rather than correcting him. Later, they end up missing a train together (classic DDLJ!) and she has to rely on him to help her because he has money and can speak the language and stuff. She decides to let him keep thinking she is a prostitute because it is easier and she needs his help. But she doesn’t lie about anything else, talks about her childhood and stuff honestly. They have adventures and fun songs and at the end of 3 days, he is in love and proposes. Only, he proposes in a way that makes it sound like he is taking pity on her and trying to “save” her. She is in love too but thinks he doesn’t really mean the proposal and so she turns him down and then disappears on him.
Back in India, she is depressed about things and tells her parents to go ahead and find her a “nice boy” to marry because she is done with being free and making her own decisions, she just makes mistakes. On the other hand, he is back in India determined to find her, sure that she only turned down his proposal out of shame, he just has to find her and convince her that he truly doesn’t care about her past. His family guilts him into meeting at least one potential bride before he takes off hunting through villages for this mystery girl. And of course, she is the bride they want him to meet. He doesn’t say anything in front of her family, but is furious once they are alone. Clearly she wasn’t a prostitute, because she is a rich girl from a rich house and the whole story of “I’m doing this to save my family from losing their home in the village” was fake. She tries to explain that it was just a misunderstanding and she feels terrible, but he isn’t having it. Until he goes home and talks it over with his older sister who works at an NGO who helps sex workers (that was the connection with her family, Rani gives a lot of money to the NGO), who points out that he is upset because the woman he loves DIDN’T go through a terrible experience, shouldn’t he be happy about that?
Engagement is on, it’s all great, until at one of the events his uncle recognizes her mother as a former prostitute. Yes! Her parents are Rani and Abhishek!!!! The engagement falls apart spectacularly, she is furious with her mother, confronts her at home, asks how she could do this and shame the family and put a stain on them that will never be washed out. Rani tries to explain, but she isn’t having it, rushes out of the house. Sad Song. And then the hero tracks her down and shows her video interviews his sister did at the NGO so she better understands why women feel driven to sex work. Chastened, she returns home. And meanwhile, the sister is giving a lecture to his family about how they shouldn’t judge. As the heroine is tearfully reuniting with her parents, a car pulls up and it is the hero and his family, here to apologize and ask for the proposal to be back on. HAPPY ENDING.
Aaje Nachle has a stupid stupid ending. Madhuri puts on her show in her small town and then there is this random voice over saying she is taking her daughter to go find her estranged parents and get their forgiveness for eloping. But we don’t actually get to see that! We just get the voice over, and then randomly see Madhuri rehearsing again New York and Akshaye Khanna bringing her coffee.
We just need to fill in the gap between the voice over and Akshay showing up in New York. We see Madhuri and her daughter find her parents. Her parents are resistant at first, Madhuri rents a room across the street from them and slowly wears them down. At some point Akshaye comes to visit her and she is offered marriage to him and a happy ending, but rejects it because she broke her parents’ hearts once by choosing marriage over them, this time she is sticking it out until they forgive her no matter what. Akshaye leaves, seemingly forever. They finally come around, Madhuri takes them to America with her, and then we have a happy tag of Madhuri rehearsing in America only to be surprised by Akshaye showing up, clearly having decided to forgive her and pursue a relationship after all.
Such a sad ending! Hrithik reunites with his little sister and his mother just before he dies. I want to see what they do afterwards. Especially the little sister who has been through A LOT.
I think the little sister would be estranged from her mother, angry that her rigid notions of morality separated the family. She goes to the chawl where Hrithik lived and tries to live in his memory. She goes to med school and opens a woman’s clinic there. And one night a police officer stumbles in, on the run after a shoot out with gangsters, shot. She takes care of him because he is sick and keeps him hidden in the clinic while he recovers, but has no sympathy for him. They have long conversations about how her family suffered and the law did nothing to help them, they had to help themselves, she doesn’t believe in the police. But he argues that nothing will get better unless she gives them a chance, he is an honest police officer trying to help people. They both learn from each other and see both sides.
And then the situation is reversed, a corrupt cop does a sweet of the neighborhood arresting all the women as prostitutes. She stands up to him and demands evidence and warrants, in anger he throws her in with the other women and takes them all to the police station. Our good cop finds out she is arrested and is furious, insists she be released. But she refuses, says she won’t leave until her friends are released as well. She stays in jail over the weekend with them, the good cop comes by and brings food for them and keeps them company and makes sure they aren’t beaten, just as she protected him in her clinic. And in return, he asks for her to go out to dinner with him once. They have a wonderful time, and start to fall in love. But it falls apart when she goes to her mother’s house for their required once weekly meal and is surprised by the cop and his family there as well, he went to her mother to try to arrange their engagement. She is furious that he went behind her back, and immediately prejudiced against him since her mother likes him. She runs away from the engagement back to her clinic to talk to a photo of her dead brother Hrithik and promise she will always be true to him and on his side. But a wise woman from the neighborhood who knew Hrithik overhears and talks to her and reminds her that Hrithik always wanted family and peace. If she truly wants to honor his memory, she should not carry the feud forward, but instead forgive her mother while her mother is still living and try to build a family of love and kindness. This convinces her, and she agrees to the engagement. HAPPY WEDDING SONG.