The climax is the highpoint of a film. Whether triumphant or tragic, it leaves the audiences with a sense of finality. But some films end in an ambiguous yet riveting manner compelling the audience to wonder about the various possibilities and arrive at their derived conclusion. There have been several such ‘open-ended’ movies in Bollywood – something which has also contributed to their perennial appeal. Here’s listing five recent Best Bollywood movies that had an open ending.
Director: Sriram Raghavan
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu and Radhika Apte
Release Date: October 5, 2018
Making murder mysteries today is a challenging job as the audience is an evolved and discerning one. Being exposed to various genres of cinema, they can immediately spot a ‘borrowed’ scene. That’s why, Sriram Raghavan steered away from the tried and tested in his Bollywood movie. Ayushmann Khurrana plays Akash, an apparently blind musician. Even though he’s not born blind, he maintains that he turned blind after being hit by a cricket ball in his childhood. But through the course of the film, we realise that he’s not blind as he witnesses a murder and wants to report it. This in turn makes the suspect Simi (Tabu) damage his eyesight by deception. After a dangerous cat and mouse game, in which Tabu is finally vanquished, we see Ayushmann back as a musician albeit in London. While he’s still blind, he hits a can on the road with his walking stick. So, can he see afterall?
As Simi was killed in an accident where the car blew off, there’s less chance that her cornea could have remained undamaged and capable of being transplanted to Akash. Akash could see a little with his one eye (which he mentions to Simi in the movie). Is that why he could spot the can? Also after becoming successful in Europe, he might have undergone cornea transplant, but must still be acting blind for creative ‘focus’ as he did back in Pune at the beginning of the story. The Bollywood movie leaves you with these ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. It plays on the metaphor of sight. Who is blind? The one who cannot see or the one who cannot see beyond the apparent?
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan
This was a comedy drama. The nuances that occur in a bittersweet relationship between an ageing father (Bhashkor played by Amitabh Bachchan), a self-centred patriarch obsessed with his bowel movements and his bachelorette daughter (Deepika Padukone as Piku), were well-depicted.
However, we also got glimpses of an unspoken romance between Piku and driver Rana (Irrfan Khan) though there’s no explicit declaration of their love for each other. After Piku delivers an emotional yet humorous speech at the prayer meet for her late father, she attempts to move on in life.
In the last scene of the film, she is shown to be enjoying a game of badminton with Rana. During the game, when Rana asks her whether she would be able to live all by herself, Piku replies, “My father has prepared me for this.” While this proved that Piku could take on life, it left the future of her relationship with Rana to our imagination.
Director: Imtiaz Ali
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri
Ranbir Kapoor plays Janardhan, a middle-class boy in Delhi, who dreams of being a rockstar. However, he comes to learn that one could create good music only after one suffers heartbreak. So, he sets out looking for heartbreak by chasing the most popular girl in college Heer (Nargis Fakhri). His proposals of love however lead to a close friendship between them instead. Heer gets married and moves to Prague, which makes way for Janardhan’s (Ranbir Kapoor) transformation to Jordan, the heartbroken rockstar. His romantic dilemma with a married Heer and mood swings give an edge to his music. In the climax of the Bollywood film, we go back to where it all began with Jordan singing Nadaan parindey on stage.
An ailing Heer has slipped into a coma. During his performance, he sees a vision of Heer (who has presumably died) walking on the stage towards him, smiling lovingly. As he watches her with desperate tears, the audience cheers on, oblivious to his anguish. Jordon has everything that he wanted, but he’s lost his love.
The Bollywood film ends with a line from Rumi, which when translated in English says, “Away, beyond all concepts of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” It hints at an abstract and ambiguous union.
4. Udta Punjab
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh
This Bollywood film spotlighted the sorry state of Punjab ravaged with drug peddling and abuse. It’s the story of pop star and cocaine addict Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor), a Bihari migrant (Alia Bhatt) alias Mary Jane (referring to marijuana), policeman Sartaj (Diljit Dosanjh) and Dr Preet (Kareena Kapoor Khan) and how their lives are destroyed by the demon of drugs.
In the climax, when Tommy calls Mary Jane from the jail, we don’t know if they finally come out of drugs to be with each other. On the other hand, Sartaj watches his brother weeping with regret for killing Preet, a symbol of devastation. The open end of the film conveys a message of both hope and helplessness. Whether the characters achieve a catharsis is for the audience to decipher.
Director: Neeraj Ghaywan
Cast: Richa Chadda, Sanjay Mishra, Vicky Kaushal, Shweta Tripathi and Bhagwan Tiwari
Masaan is a film set in the holy city of Benares and revolves around a few ordinary people, whose lives intertwine in tales of love and loss. Director Neeraj Ghyawan throws you right into the tragedies of these people from the start of the film. The intensity is so substantial that a feeling of discomfort takes over you literally five minutes into the film.
Four lives intersect along the Ganges: a low caste boy (Vicky Kaushal as Deepak Kumar), who can’t get over his dead love (Shweta Tripathi), a daughter (Richa Chadha as Devi Pathak) ridden with guilt because of a sexual encounter ending in tragedy, a hapless father (Sanjay Mishra as Vidyadhar Pathak) and a spirited child (Jhonta as Nikhil Sahni) yearning for a family. A series of events find force them to reflect on their past and explore their future through each other.
Marred by narrow mindsets, Devi leaves Varanasi and joins a course in Allahabad University. She comes to the banks of the Ganges to immerse the gift her dead lover (Saurabh Chadhary as Piyush Agarwal) had given her. Deepak, who is also sitting by the bank, notices her crying and offers her water. A boatman beckons, offering them a ride towards Sangam. They sit in the boat and strike up a conversation. The cremation ghats of Benaras play an important part in the film as it symbolizes the burning of grief and also guilt to find a rebirth… The climax ends on a new journey…