And they lived happily ever after- why we crave for happy endings in our movies?


While I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the movie, the second halfTragic bollywood movies of the latest movie Aashiqui 2, made me shed quite a few tears. And to add to my agony, it was on my birthday that I had chosen to go watch the movie. No need to mention, I spent the remaining day brooding over why the hero had to kill himself in the end?

Like me, most of the Indians prefer happy ending of movies, and so are most of the movies made in Bollywood. Although a little far from reality, but that is how we Indians prefer it. Happy reunions, victory of good over evil, homecoming of distracted characters, all make lovely family movies which are sure to break all box-office records. How much ever is the mess created in the span of two hours of the movie, a sort of happiness and peace is reestablished in the end. All Shakespearean tragedies have time and again been lavishly remade into ” Joharian feel goods” in Bollywood.

For most of us, watching a movie is sort of escapism. A time to relax and have a good time with friends and family and not to be reminded about how ruthless real life could be. Even a mindless comedy works better than a tragic movie that leaves you brooding and conflicted. Having said so, there are a few movies which in spite of having sad endings, have left their mark. One such movie is Sadma. It was as realistic as it was heart breaking to see Kamal Hassan trying to make Sridevi remember who he was and all the happy times they spent together, when she lost her memory and was going back with her parents, completely oblivious of Kamal Hassan. Rang De Basanti, Devdas, Gangster, Tere Naam are few other such movies which dared to show life’s unfairness and even succeeded in convincing the public.

But the times are changing. Now a days, more of such movies with not so perfect endings are made and appreciated by the public. Unconventional directors like Vishaal Bharadwaj, Rituparno Ghosh, Anuraag Kashyap, Imtiaaz Ali have dared to break the taboo and have made movies based on real life issues such as bereavement, drugs, life of transgender etc.. Maqbool, Raincoat, Gangs of Wasseypur, Rockstar are such off-beat national award winning movies made by these young talented directors who have made their presence felt not only in India but outside too.

While happy endings leave you satisfied and happy, tragic ones have a greater impact. The increasing trend of hit tragic movies in India shows the growing maturity of the Indian audience. But still, as Aashiquis and Ranjhnaas lock the slots among box office hits, Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwaanis will always top the list, atleast in India.

2 thoughts on “And they lived happily ever after- why we crave for happy endings in our movies?

  1. Nicely written! Bollywood’s larger than life portrayal probably stems from the fact that Indian audience largely is an escapist one. Movie to us is not art.. not a medium to engage but instead to get entertained and forget. But thankfully all that is changing now. The line between movie and cinema is becoming blurry now.

  2. Ramify says:

    Finally bollywood is coming close to hollywood in terms of script,screenplay,story telling and abstract ending. Public always love unpredictably and uncertainty. Happy that bollywood is moving away from the taboo endings..

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