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What’s up with lead heroes kicking the bucket in films?

Are imperfect love stories the latest success formula in Bollywood?
By Pankit Narang
Fri, Jul 12, 2013 03:45:36 GMT
 

What’s up with lead heroes kicking the bucket in films?
What kind of love stories do you like: the mushy ones where everything is a fairytale and lovers get married and live happily ever after, or the incomplete ones where lovers are separated by death or destiny?

History has it, for a love story to become an epic, the lovers mustn’t end up together; for what is a love story if it doesn’t have a dramatic finish. Lovers walking hand-in-hand into the sunset may look ideal, but such a climax doesn’t stab your heart the way the sweet pain of a tragic separation does.

Even in cult Hollywood films like Titanic, If only, and P.S. I Love You, the lovers were ultimately separated by the death of the lead actor. English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley rightly said, ‘Tragedy delights by affording a shadow of the pleasure which exists in pain.’ Not that we are implying that the success of these films prove that most humans are sadists, it’s just that the audience is better able to relate to such imperfect love stories.

While the lead hero kicking the bucket in a romantic film isn’t a new phenomenon in Bollywood (Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), Devdas (2002), there have been a slew of more such releases of late!

While Aashiqui 2 released in April and Raanjhanaa in June, Lootera released this July. All the three films have not only been appreciated by critics but have also managed to rake in a decent amount at the box office, with Aashiqui 2 entering the coveted Rs 100-crore club. One can recall that the 2012 release Ishaqzaade, too, set the cash registers ringing.

Indubitably, Aditya Roy Kapur (Aashiqui 2), Dhanush (Raanjhanaa) and Ranveer Singh’s (Lootera) snuffing it on screen took a tug at our heartstrings. It certainly won’t be wrong to say that imperfect love stories are timeless, even though they may come in or go out of vogue in Bollywood. Right now, they’re in.
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