Thanks Alisa! You saw the new American Little Women and complained about it which inspired me to rethink my Indian remake (already wrote it once here) when you suggested that one of the Little Women should get herself a Little Woman.
Little Women…But Laurie is Evil and Amy is Gay
My first thought was “hey! We could cast Little Women entirely with Ranbir’s girlfriends!” And then I thought, “It would be cool to have Ranbir as Laurie, but I don’t want him to end up with Alia/Amy”. And then I thought, “What if Laurie is Evil?” And then I had a whole new dark romance kind of plot in my head that made me happy
Start with seeing Ranbir and Deepika fighting. They are in her room, she is packing, we learn through dialogue that they are old friends and have spent the past 6 months together while she was in town for an internship. Ranbir argues that she most love him, she spent all that time with him after all. Deepika says no, they are just friends. Ranbir grabs her and forcably kisses her, Deepika shoves him off, he does it again, she pushes again, it looks like maybe this time she won’t manage to shove him away, and then her phone rings, she grabs and answers, looks stunned, turns to Ranbir and says “Rahul is dead”.
Sad song, we see everyone arrive for a funeral, Deepika and Ranbir, greeted by Jaya and sickly Sonam, and then bright pretty Alia, and finally sad widowed Katrina. They return to their small hill station home and talk about how it is like nothing ever changed, like 5 years ago when they all first met. FLASHBACK.
There are 4 sisters, Katrina, Deepika, Sonam, and Alia. Katrina is sweet and mature and a caregiver to her younger sisters. Deepika is smart and outspoken and difficult. Sonam is thin and sickly and doesn’t talk much. Alia is bright and flirty and self-centered. They all live with their saintly mother Jaya Bhachchan. Their father was a political radical who took them all over the world, now he is dead and they have moved back to the old family home in a hill station. They don’t fit in with the rest of the village, have created their own isolated little world at home. And then Ranbir and his tutor and older cousin/guardian move in next door, opening up their old family home for the first time in years so Ranbir can study for his entrance exams with no distractions.
The three of them become the girls connection with the outside world. Ranbir is wild and fearless and Deepika and he hit it off when they meet while stealing apples from the neighboring orchard. The guardian, Ajay Devgan, appreciates shy Sonam and draws her out of her shell. And the tutor Rahul Bose (I haven’t seen them together but I think he would be good with Kat) is the sort of mature responsible gentle kind of man that Katrina has been wanting to meet. Even Alia benefits, Ranbir is the most desirable man in the village, and with the friendship of him, she is accepted into the “cool girls” clique.
Ranbir helps Kat and Rahul finally get together. The first half ends with their wedding, Kat is going to settle down in the village in a house Ajay Devgan is giving them for a wedding present, Rahul is going to run a charity school that Ajay Devgan is helping them found, Kat will be his wife and support. Ranbir passed his tests and will be going overseas for school and returning home on vacations. Deepika (thanks to studying with Ranbir) managed to get a full scholarship to a local Indian school and will also be going away. Sonam is too sick (let’s say diabetes, something survivable but constant) to risk leaving her mother and Alia is also staying home to study and try to do well enough to get a scholarship too. And then we come back to the present day when Alia says something about how she can’t wait to start her job in Bombay now that she has finished her art school, Deepika and Ranbir must have had such fun together in the city. Deepika and Ranbir look at each other and flasback to a happy song of them spending the past 6 months together during her internship, with Ranbir constantly trying to kiss her or hold her hand while Deepika looks distressed and redirects him to just happy friendship. In the present day, Deepika smiles at Ranbir and tells him with her eyes that she forgives him.
Funeral over, Deepika and Alia and Ranbir leave. Deepika arrives in Calcutta and has housing troubles. She ends up going to stay in a house run by an old radical friend of her fathers, all the outcasts and strangers of society end up there. She meets a former professor who was fired for his radical views and now takes in tutoring students to make ends meet. Maybe Irrfan? Anyway, he is funny and smart and challenges her in a way she isn’t used to. Deepika dreams of being a writer, her family was always blindly encouraging, Ranbir kept telling her not to “bother”, that it was more important to just enjoy life. But Irrfan is the first person she lets read her writing, and he treats it seriously and criticizes it. She is offended and fights with him, but then thinks about it and realizes she appreciates his honesty. She goes to him, asks to talk seriously, sits on his bed and is awkward, and then just as she seems about to maybe confess her love, her phone rings. Alia and Ranbir are engaged!!!! Flashback to them, back in Bombay Alia and Ranbir, it is the same as when he was with Deepika (maybe even a reprise of the same song?), he takes Alia to the same bars and the same beaches and gives her the same speeches, but when he reaches to hold her hand or kiss her, she doesn’t shove him away. And then one day Alia shows up for a dinner date with Ranbir to find him passionately talking on the phone with someone. He hangs up, Alia asks if everything is okay, and Ranbir says yes it is, and he wants to marry her. Alia is shocked, but Ranbir starts talking about how he will take her to see the world, they will be rich, and so on and so forth. She can’t resist, and says yes. In Calcutta, instead of confessing her love, Deepika ends up asking Irrfan to come to the family wedding, when he can, she really REALLY wants him there.
Everyone goes back home again for a big BIG wedding, happy arrival song and INTERVAL
Deepika goes to Ranbir’s room in the middle of the night, just like when they were younger, to tell him congratulations. Ranbir begs her to have one drink with him. She reluctantly agrees, gets a little tipsy, and then he grabs her and tries to kiss her. She slaps him, and Ranbir starts whining about how Alia is so prissy, will let him kiss her but no more, and now he has to be “good” because they are engaged and everyone is watching him. Deepika, as a good sister and a good friend, should help him find some “relief” before the wedding. Deepika is horrified, knees him between the legs, and runs out. She returns home, crying, and Katrina hears her. Deepika tries to pretend it is nothing, but Katrina seriously asks “is it Ranbir? Did he get you drunk and try to kiss you?” Deepika is horrified! And then Katrina tells her own story.
5 years ago when they were all young, while professing to love her sister and knowing she and his tutor are in love, Ranbir went out alone with Kat on a trip into the nearest city and, while there, convinces her to drink a little bit with him, and then tries to kiss her. Kat fights him off and yells at him. The next day he apologized and sobs, talks about his struggles with his unloving parents, how he is trying to be a better man, and so on, finally falling at Kat’s feet and begging her forgiveness. Kat forgave him, and swore she will never tell a soul what happened. But it has bothered her ever since, she saw Ranbir continue to pursue Deepika, and then Alia, and wandered if he was faithful? If he was kind to them? She encourages Deepika to tell Alia her story while they are shopping for wedding clothes the next day.
Problem is, Deepika tries to tell Alia what happened while Alia is happily spending Ranbir’s money. Alia refuses to believe it. She yells at Deepika that it must have been her fault, that maybe Ranbir couldn’t help it, that she wants Deepika to stay away from her and Ranbir, that only by never being together can her feelings go away. If they just stay apart, Ranbir will forget her and learn to be happy with Alia.
Deepika and Alia return home, not talking to each other. And Deepika is thrilled to see Irrfan there waiting for her, along with his friend Arjun Rampal. Irrfan explains that Arjun is an investigative reporter, Irrfan brought him along to help, he will find evidence that Alia can’t ignore. And for cover, Arjun is here with his young daughter, pretending he just leaped on the chance at a hill station family vacation. Arjun’s young daughter starts running around with Katrina’s young sons, and the two of them meet. Arjun is shocked later when Irrfan reveals that the woman he needs to talk to and hear her story of attempted rape is Katrina. He gently gets the story from her and is so kind that he makes Katrina feel better about what happened, that it wasn’t her fault even if she drank and had fun in the city alone with Ranbir.
Arjun starts investigating and hears the story of Ranbir’s “romantic” proposal, suddenly after a call with his guardian. He also notices things no one else notices around the house, like how everyone just accepts that Sonam is “shy” and how Ranbir’s gaurdian is strangely uninvolved in the wedding preparations. Finally, he finds Sonam and Ranbir’s gaurdian together, with Sonam upset, and gently encourages them to tell him their story.
Years ago, when they first met and Sonam was shy and young and innocent, Ranbir’s gaurdian invited her to use the piano in their house. Ranbir introduced himself to her and slowly pulled her out of her shell. And then one day when everyone else was away from the house, Sonam was home sick and Ranbir pretended to be sick to stay with her. And seduced her. A month later at a routine medical check-up, Sonam learned she was pregnant. The doctor warned her that having the baby could kill her, she didn’t know what to do. She went to Ranbir, he told her that it wasn’t his problem, he didn’t care, she was ugly and boring and sickly, she was just a time pass while he worked on her “pretty” sisters, the only worthwhile women in this depressing little town, but he will pay the doctor’s bill just to keep it quiet. Sonam was so hurt by what he said that she was ashamed of the whole thing and hid it away inside. She had the abortion, but it left her weaker than ever before. The doctor kept it a secret, just told Jaya she had to have a “procedure” and that she would be sicker after that. Sonam never told anyone until just recently. She finally trusted Ajay Devgan with the truth. He was furious with Ranbir when he found out and called him and yelled at him as an immature worthless man, he was cutting him off. Ranbir, in desperation, proposed to Alia knowing that his trust fund would come into play once he was married even if Ajay cut him off. Arjun is horrified, thanks them for their story, and rushes off to find the doctor and get the medical records that will prove Sonam’s abortion and that Ranbir paid for it. Once he leaves, Sonam and Ajay look at each other and we get another flashback. Back 5 years ago, we see that Ajay was brusk and rude when Sonam snuck into their house to use the piano. He made her cry and he immediately softened and comforted her. They made each other happy, enjoyed being together. After Ranbir left, for the past 5 years thye have stayed friends. On Ajay’s birthday this year, Sonam was the only one who remembered, she snuck into the house at midnight and woke him up and wished him happy birthday with a cheek kiss. In a moment of weakness, Ajay kissed her on the mouth and Sonam kissed back, and they had sex. The next morning they woke up happily together and Ajay told her he always loved her but didn’t think he deserved her, and Sonam started to cry and say she is the one who doesn’t deserve him and finally confesses the whole story of Ranbir seducing and abandoning her, that she fell in love with Ajay after that over the past few years but knows she isn’t worthy, this one night is enough happiness for her. Ajay is furious, begs her to marry him, she refuses and runs off, that is when Ajay called Ranbir.
Now finally Sonam has told someone else her story, Arjun, and he has agreed with Ajay’s opinion that it wasn’t her fault and Ranbir was horrible to her. Once he leaves, Sonam turns to Ajay, crying, and agrees to marry him. They kiss.
But it is Alia and Ranbir’s wedding day! Arjun is rushing to stop the wedding with the proof from the doctor, Ajay and Sonam wake up post sex and crying and realize they also have to rush to the hall and stop it. Deepika and Irrfan have convinced Kat she must tell Alia her story as well, the three of them are rushing to the wedding. And then just as they all arrive, while Alia and Ranbir are about to start the ceremony, a stranger stands up! Kiara! And she declares, “Alia, I love you, I want to be with you in front of everyone, don’t do this!”
And then, Alia flashback! Just before Deepika started to talk to her, Alia saw one of the old rich girls from the village that she was trying to be close to and pulled Deepika away, seemingly she was reminded of her past as the “poor girl” and it made her commit even more to Ranbir. But now we get a flashback. The girl, Kiara Advani, was pretty and confident and Alia couldn’t stop watching her in school. One day Kiara’s driver didn’t show up and Alia offered to show her a short cut to walk back to her home. The two girls walked through the field and ended up falling in a pond, Kiara just laughed, but Alia was embarrassed because her worn out clothes looked even worse when wet. Kiara reassured her that she was beautiful, and stroked her cheek, the two girls shared a moment, and then kissed. In a beautiful love song, Alia keeps sneaking away to meet Kiara in secret. Her family thinks she is obsessed with being part of the cool crowd, but actually it is just wanting to be with Kiara. Until finally Kiara tells her she is going away to college, Alia swears she will study and find a way to join her. 2 years later, Kiara is sadly sitting in her hostel when she gets a call that someone is waiting downstairs, it is Alia! She is there for art school. They rent a room together, have sex, are happy. Until Kiara graduates. Alia still has a year left in art school. Kiara gets a job in another city, Alia is furious that she isn’t going to be staying here, that Alia means so little to her. Kiara argues that Alia can just get a job in the same city after graduation. Big stupid fight that turns into a fight over who loves who more, who is more committed to this relationship, and finally Alia bursts out that she doesn’t want this, she wants a relationship she can acknowledge in public, one she can tell her family about. And then we see a year of Kiara and Alia reaching out and the other one ignoring their calls, Alia meeting Ranbir and leaping on the idea of him, forcing herself to endure his kisses and caresses. And now, in the present, Alia runs from Ranbir to Kiara and the two of them embrace.
HAPPY ENDING. Quadruple wedding, Alia and Kiara, Ajay and Sonam, Irrfan and Deepika, and Arjun and Katrina.
How awesome is THAT? Right????
Any casting changes you would make? Plot alterations?