Monday, March 24, 2008

GAALIPATA - Alternative Ending

NOTE: If you have not seen 'Gaalipata' and would not like to know the climax then please do not read further. Else...enjoy.
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Gaalipata – Alternative Ending
©2008 ShaKri


THERE ARE MANY REASONS why I wanted to write this piece. For starters, it is not every day that a Kannada movie gets my attention these days. ‘Mungaru Male’ was an exception – albeit with its own set of inefficiencies as I later realized – and considering the same team was coming together for ‘Gaalipata’ needless to say my hopes for this feature were equally high. It seemed like an exciting wait to see what refreshing things Mr. Yograj Bhat might have added to his latest concoction.

During my brief visit to India this February I managed to watch the movie with the family. And yes – it was almost everything I had expected it to be – fun, adventurous, funny, romantic, melodious, and visually appealing with a tighter script than ‘Mungaru Male’. Yes – almost.

The reason I say almost is because apart from the usual stereotypical things you might have read in ‘Gaalipata’ reviews, there were a couple of key points in the movie which had me wondering why Mr. Bhat had lost faith in his audience. Let me begin with the first one, since the next one is connected to it.

Soumya losing her husband.

This was a very important aspect of the story considering she was the one Ganesh was interested in. I do not have any issues in believing Soumya and the deceased Srinivas were very close. It happens all the time around the world where a boy and a girl are immensely close growing up and eventually fall in love. Fair enough. But was there really a need to emphasize a point that made it clear that the marriage was not consummated? Honestly, what groom would go sight seeing along the roaring river bank on his marriage night? Least of all try to save a kid from drowning and give up his own life! Sorry, Mr. Bhat. Not realistic at all. If you really wanted to see if Ganesh had the character to accept the girl as she was, then you should have done the following….

You wanted to kill off the husband…fine. You had to since then Ganesh would not have anyone to impress. But how about having had the man in Soumya’s life for a few months – or even a year or two before doing so? Maybe then one evening on his way back from somewhere he could have seen a kid drowning and given up his life. Why would this have been ideal? Read on.

The second thing that made me feel short changed was the climax. The girl – Soumya – despite her smiles and giggles and various other indications that she does like Ganesh, somehow manages to do a complete U-turn when officially asked. I mean the scene where her in-laws and Ganesh’s parents almost beg her to agree was pretty unrealistic considering she is so adamant about her decision. Okay...we can live with that too. But the climax had to emphasize and justify why it was she had been so reluctant. And this is where my alternative ending kicks in. So read on.

So Ganesh and Soumya are driving back to Bangalore when they meet ‘Dracula’ on the way who informs them about the kids. They decide to say one last goodbye before they leave and start rowing across the river. Ganesh pours out his heart and tells her everything he had always wanted to. He then pulls out the ear ring and tells her he had always kept it with him and asks her if he can keep it. She says she always knew he had it. He is shocked to hear that…to which she responds, ‘I like you a lot as well…but…I am three months pregnant now…’

The moment she says that a few things become very clear. A) Her rigid reluctance to marry the man thinking it would ‘spoil’ his life as most ‘filmy’ girls tend to believe. B) Her obvious liking towards Ganesh considering we can assume she did not know about her condition back then. C) Ganesh’s character and integrity – does he really have it in him to accept a widow with a baby on the way? Is he really man enough for that kind of reality considering he spends most of his time in dreamland flying kites and making fun of others?

Now let us move on. The boat immediately takes a jolt before Ganesh has a chance to react to what she has just revealed. Whatever follows is the same as in the movie. But the true issue is during his act of trying to save himself and the woman, Ganesh’s mind is filled with questions. His initial instinct of course is to save their lives, but what after that? So he brings her to safety and as they are catching their breathe she continues to want to talk about their earlier conversation to which he stops her and says…

‘Listen…if I had only saved your life I would have walked away in peace. But now that I have saved both your lives…what do you say we get married?’

She is stunned to hear his words. All these days she was underestimating his maturity about these things and so was uncertain but here he is, making such a bold decision!

And that’s it. They hug and credits roll.

I had another ending in mind which saw them both getting killed, but considering ‘Mungaru Male’ was already a tragedy, I wanted to give Mr. Bhat and Ganesh and breather.

Your thoughts on this is appreciated.


..ShaKri..

3 reflections:

Prasanna L.M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prasanna L.M said...

Hi Shakri, Nice thoughts. I agree, What ever you thought about the climax seems to be more meaningful one than the current version. However i doesnt agree with your thoughts on 'crossing the river on the first day of marriage'. I dont think Mr.Bhat has used words something similar to 'sight seeing' in the movie. He just seems to have said 'while crossing the river' ( or something similar). There are few places in Karnataka where the couples need to cross the river after marriage if they wish to come to the Groom's place on the same day of their Marriage. So, i think the sequence 'death on the first day of marriage' can be considered as a natural one. Well, this was my opinion. Do read more of my thoughts about the movie Gaalipata' in my blog if you get time.

Odette said...

Well written article.

 
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