Sad Endings: the New Bollywood trend?

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In recent years there have been many a film that ended on a sad note and not the usual everyone-lives-happily-ever-after Bollywood ending. Some of the films that have portrayed this sad ending recently are: Omkara, Fanaa, Woh Lamhe, Gangster, and Red. Many prefer these endings because it some ways they are more true to life…that life is not always so rosy.

“Entertainment should have some reality. Things don’t end on a happy note each time. This doesn’t mean that sad ends sell, but the truth is that films with sad ends normally do well because the audience is able to identify better with such a climax,” according to Kunal Kohli director of the heartrending Fanaa.

Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta agrees and said “I think unhappiness is closer to reality and as an idea sells better. All-time hits like Sholay and Mughal-e-Azam have proved this.” But he also says that a powerful script is just as important.

Of that same opinion is scriptwriter-turned-producer Ikram Akhtar. He added, “If a script is crafted well, any kind of a climax would sell but a filmmaker shouldn’t ignore the fact that there are some emotions that are more influential than others. If an unhappy emotion touches the audiences’ sensibilities they naturally appreciate it more.”

But there are also many who disagree with the idea that sad endings are better. Many people watch films to escape and go to another world and they want that world to be happy and have everyone happy in the end.

Rumi Jaffrey, a scriptwriter of many terrific comedies: Golmaal, Chal Mere Bhai, Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge, Haseena Maan Jayegi and Biwi No 1 agrees with this. “People go to watch a three-hour flick to relax. If a film ends on a happy note, the audience leaves the cinema hall smiling and that speaks volumes about a film’s success. The audience might appreciate a sad climax if it gels well with the film, but I still feel that dark endings don’t sell with every age group,” said Jaffrey.

Anees Bazmee concurs. The filmmaker behind the hysterical movies No Entry and Deewana Mastana, to name a few said, “I’ve always loved stories that end on a blissful note. Although I’m not averse to sad endings, I prefer happy ends in my films. There’s a fictional liberty in films, that allows you to choose your end and happy climaxes serve as stress relievers.”

Whether you love to be joyful or despondent at the end of a film it seems now Bollywood is going to be able to cover your every mood! I for one will see you at the Happy Endings!

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