No happily ever after: Bollywood films are opting for ambiguity

  • Sneha Mahadevan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 11, 2015 12:57 IST
Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Varun Dhawan in Badlapur.

And they lived happily ever after... While Hindi cinema mostly catered to such endings before, this trend is now changing. Recent movies like Badlapur, Dil Dhadakne Do, Piku, Katti Batti and Talvar are proof of this trend. Besides doing well at the box office, these films also didn’t have a very conventional ending.

Badlapur changed the game for actor Varun Dhawan who took a 180 degree turn in the film with his character. Zoya Akhtar’s family drama, Dil Dhadakne Do portrayed dysfunctional relationships with an open ending. Though Katti Batti wasn’t received very well at the box office, the ending was not something that was very conventional.

A still from Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do.

The recently-released Talvar presented three sides to the controversial Aarushi Talwar case and left the viewers to make their own interpretation of the truth.

Shoojit Sircar’s Piku was one of the biggest hits this year and allowed the audience to draw their own conclusion of what happens with the lead pair. He explains, “If you see (Satyajit) Ray’s films, they were always unpredictable but at the same time, real. I’d like my films to be real and simple. I would like to leave it to the audience to create their own perception.”

Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone in Piku.

Trade analyst Atul Mohan says Gen Y does not believe in fantasy. “They are more practical and prefer to see things according to their outlook. The filmmakers too, I guess, have realised that this is what the audience wants and hence we see this attempt to have endings that are unconventional. Also, most of them toy with the idea of a franchise, so, it’s obvious why they would like their films to end abruptly.”

Kangana Ranaut and Imran Khan in Katti Batti.

Anubhav Sinha’s Ra.One with Shah Rukh Khan playing a superhero left the ending open to the audience for interpretation. He says, “These days, in a lot of films we do see endings that are open to interpretation from the audience. But those are mostly films that are open to walking away from the Bollywood tradition. But, I truly suspect it is a process which will spread fast with success.”

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