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Bollywood's Top Ten Sad Endings

Last updated on: November 16, 2011 16:39 IST

Image: A scene from Devdas

Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar has been embraced by audiences and while we won't tell you just how the film ends, it isn't a spoiler to know that the finish is a sad one.  

We've dispensed with spoiler-alerts entirely, however, for this feature where we look at 10 different kinds of tragic endings Bollywood has choked us up with over the years.

There are plot details in full but if you haven't seen these films yet, maybe the end will convince you to.

Click on, if you dare. 


A heartwrenchingly sad end was to be found in every version of Devdas (save Anurag Kashyap's revisionist Dev D), but the saddest of the lot was in Bimal Roy's 1955 version, with Dilip Kumar breathing his last under a tree, unable to see his love Suchitra Sen one last time.

Mukaddar Ka Sikandar

Image: A scene from Mukaddar Ka Sikandar

Prakash Mehra's highly melodramatic Muqaddar Ka Sikandar ends in high tragedy with many a casualty.

Amitabh Bachchan storms into Rekha's house only to see her kill herself -- by swallowing a diamond! -- and later, sings himself to death in best buddy Vinod Khanna's arms.


Image: A scene from Deewar

Crime doesn't pay, and Amitabh Bachchan's arrogant smuggler Vijay might have had the panache through this film full of one-upmanship with his brother Ravi (Shashi Kapoor), but the film ends with Vijay very memorably dying in his mother's arms after she finally chooses Ravi over him.

Ek Duje Ke Liye

Image: A scene from Ek Duje Ke Liye

One of the best films about star-crossed lovers divided by region and family, K Balachander's 1981 film gives us terrific characters in Kamal Haasan's Vasu and Rati Agnihotri's Sapna, setting the stage for a lovely romance before pulling the carpet devastatingly out from under our feet.

He's thrashed, she's raped, and the two heartbreakingly jump off a cliff.


Image: A scene from Anand

This Hrishikesh Mukherjee masterpiece didn't rely on the surprise of tragedy but rather the inevitability of death.

We meet Rajesh Khanna's Anand knowing soon enough that he is to die soon -- the words "lymphosarcoma of the intestine" are impossible to forget -- but are soon lulled into wishing for a happy ending, one which never comes.

Dil Se

Image: A scene from Dil Se

Mani Ratnam's passionate epic tells us about a young radio journalist (Shah Rukh Khan) who falls in love with an enigmatic beauty (Manisha Koirala) who turns out to be a terrorist on a fatal mission.

There are no comebacks here as Koirala, with a bomb strapped to herself, is climactically and explosively embraced by Khan.

Rang De Basanti

Image: A scene from Rang De Basanti

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's film about youngsters who decide on controlled anarchy was never going to be an easy one, and it chooses a cruel end after making us, the audience, care about its young protagonists so.

They hold up an All India Radio station and are gunned to death inside, martyred by the media as the country watches.


Image: A scene from Vaastav

In Mahesh Manjrekar's gritty tale of a young man who turns into a gangster, Sanjay Dutt's Raghu maintains his innocence as he rises up the gangland ranks, but at the very end of the film, has lost control.

Reema Lagoo, playing his mother, steels her heart and shoots her son dead.


Image: A scene from Omkara

Vishal Bhardwaj's masterful take on Shakespeare's Othello followed the Bard's play to the letter, and ended in supreme tragedy as Ajay Devgn's Omkara, plagued by doubt, chokes wife Dolly (Kareena) to death in a scene that grabs the audience by the throat and squeezes, hard.

Kaagaz Ke Phool

Image: A scene from Kaagaz Ke Phool

In the stunning final film directed by Guru Dutt, the master-director plays a famous filmmaker called Suresh Sinha, one who has his heart broken, falls into drink and gradually erodes into insignificance.

The end sees him thinking back on his glory days and dying alone and ignored.