Ten Hit Hindi Films With Terrible Endings
Raja Sen lists 10 terrific Hindi films that have terrible endings.
Sometimes, as happens frequently with me at poker, very solid films do well throughout -- only to lose it at the end.
Following this Guardian piece on great films with terrible endings, I was asked to list ten Hindi releases with catastrophic ends, and here we are. (For the record, I don't agree with the Guardian list, especially the inclusions of Superman, No Country For Old Men and Monty Python And The Holy Grail, but ah well.)
So here are 10 Hindi film hits with endings so bad they leave us unfulfilled and climaxless.
They aren't all great films, but they are successes, and make this list because their ends are either outstandingly bad, or because they let a good film down.
Pradeep Sarkar's delectably crafted ode to Calcutta's golden age is a warmly evocative and sweet film, with both romance and drama handled well enough.
Until the end, that is, when things abruptly turn unwatchable.
High melodrama surrounds a preposterously sloppy 'break-the-wall-down' scene that worked better parodied in television commercials.
Parineeta review here.
Image: Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan in Parineeta
There's so much to appreciate in K Balki's debut, a memorable and mature May-December romance boasting of great performances from the lead actors and a script with some genuine fizz.
The third act, however, is a mess from the get-go, what with the girl's father pulling an Anna Hazare, and a child named Sexy dying which leads to an unthinkably creepy line. A consoling Tabu tells Amitabh Bachchan that she wishes she were Sexy.
A weeping Bachchan consoles her back, saying she is Sexy.
Cheeni Kum review here.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan and Tabu in Cheeni Kum
The Dirty Picture
Hoisted by superlative performances from Vidya Balan and her brassieres, Milan Luthria's Dirty Picture is a breezy and entertaining slice of Bollywood masala that, while not as ambitious as it could have been, does its job quite laudably.
Except it is a film where a strong, fiercely independent woman -- an icon of her own making -- kills herself because she's too fat. Tsk.
Dieting might even have led to a sequel, evidently.
The Dity Picture review here and here.
Image: Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan in The Dirty Picture
Farhan Akhtar's Don
My feelings on Farhan Akhtar's Don remake are well enough documented, but even that travesty of a film had its fans, fans who weren't perhaps as smitten with the groovy Bachchan original.
Yet I dare anyone to justify Akhtar's bizarre final twist, which basically stated that Don was alive and pretending to be the good guy, and in the process destroying his entire empire.
Not to mention staying in character even when he was alone. Way to go full method, Don.
Kirk Lazarus would be proud.
Don review here.
Image: Shah Rukh Khan in Don
Clearly Balki has trouble ending his movies.
Paa worked for a lot of people, mostly because of Amitabh Bachchan's impressive prosthetics job.
The film was always going to end with Bachchan's Auro dying, but the hideously soap-operatic scene in the finale -- where Abhishek Bachchan and Balan take pheras around the dying child's hospital bed, making him their pyre as mantras are chanted -- has to make for the most tasteless wedding ever.
Paa review here.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan in Paa
Granted, this Rakeysh Mehra film wasn't a hit.
And nobody liked it. Yet here it stands because of what might be the most ludicrous climax of all time.
Abhishek Bachchan dies, goes to that big rooftop in the sky, shares jalebis with Amitabh -- cameoing as Jr's deceased grandfather -- and then comes back to life.
I wish I was making that up. It's unimaginable that anyone let that scene be filmed.
Dilli 6 review here.
Image: Abhishek Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor and Vijay Raaz in Delhi 6
Look, dear reader, you and I both know this was a catastrophic mess.
But this work of staggering marketing acumen notched up the numbers, and that gives us a chance to mock this Memento knockoff's final scene, where Aamir Khan, suffering from anterograde amnesia, manages not just to overcome his condition through a prolonged fight sequence but physically defy all odds and slaughter the villain.
We could only dream of forgetting.
Ghajini review here.
Image: Aamir Khan in Ghajini
Anurag Kashyap's finest film thus far, Dev D is a fantastically frantic visual ride held in place by a magnificent Amit Trivedi soundtrack.
It is a bold work of significant style, and the director's flourish sees it through.
The last one-third of the film is weaker, though, and the end, where the classic tragedy is turned on its head in utterly escapist fashion -- as Dev (Abhay Deol) and Chanda (Kalki Koechlin) ride merrily off instead of facing fatal consequences -- is a cop-out that lets the film down.
It deserved better.
Dev D review here.
Image: Kalki Koechlin and Abhay Deol in Dev D
Taare Zameen Par
Aamir Khan's directorial debut is an impressive film, showing off a director very adept at visual imagery and one with a fine control of narrative pace.
The film begins to creak under the weight of his own stardom when he steps in, though, and eventually rushes toward an end where teacher and student both win top honours in a painting competition.
It's all very mainstream smileyness, but in a film about how unimportant competition is, this is fatally irresponsible.
Taare Zameen Par review here.
Image: Aamir Khan and Darsheel Safari in Taare Zameen Par
An old one, but one that still stings.
Yash Chopra's Silsila is one of my favourite Hindi romances, a brilliant and mature take on marital infidelity which uses music more masterfully than any other film I can remember.
The performances are perfect, the awry relationships ring alarmingly real, and the strategic casting works like a charm. The climax, on the other hand, is a shameful blunder.
A convenient deus ex machina -- a plane crash worries everyone and after which they all merrily traipse to their spouses, affairs forgotten -- is always a lazy end to a film, but in a film this good, it really hurts.
Image: Rekha, Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan