Some films take you right till the edge of your seat and leave you hanging there, wishing for more. Some do better, they pull you all the way down from the cliff, making you believe that everything is now in free fall, until that final moment. Here’s the list of the best climax scene.
AK Lohithadas’ Kireedam, directed by Sibi Malayil with a performance of a lifetime from Mohanlal, continues to be eulogised for that cracker of a climax scene, a heart-wrenching closure to Sethumadhavan’s complete submission to his macabre fate. It also has one of the most well-choreographed fight scenes, which has Sethumadhavan, awaiting his nemesis, Keerikkadan Jose, in the middle of a bustling market, kneeling against a bullock cart. Weary and helpless with the world for victimising him, and as Jose charges towards him, he is seized by a blinding sense of rage, beating him unconscious and later stabs him to death. Perhaps the heart-breaking moment occurs a few minutes later, as his father (a brilliant Thilakan), who has nursed a million dreams about him, begs him to drop the knife.
An unusual love story, written and directed by Padmarajan, Innale is about a woman who has suffered memory loss, metaphorically named Maya (Shobana) by the hero (Jayaram) who instantly falls madly in love with her. Just when you think fate is playing cupid comes the moment of truth—her husband comes in search of her, clutching their wedding photos as proof. He stares at her as she places a cup of tea in his hands, but her smile shows no sign of recognition. As she stands between them, oblivious of the cruel twist of fate, we feel a rising hatred for her lover, who is selfishly keeping the truth from her. The husband (Suresh Gopy) sits blankly for a few minutes, the reality yet to seep in. But then just as quickly he gets up and walks away without a backward glance. If this isn’t Greek tragedy, what is?
Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha (1989)
The MT Vasudevan Nair scripted historical period drama is a retelling of Chandu Chekavar. The film opens to a greying Chandu (Mammootty) being challenged to a duel by his nephews and then travels through his past, which shows him as someone who falls prey to the dubious games of the ones he trusted. In the penultimate scene, when Chandu realises that his nephews have no intention of backtracking without finishing the duel, he chooses to commit hara-kiri, to save them from the embarrassment of being defeated by him. For someone who has only seen failures, that final act of sacrifice gave resonance to his claims, giving him the closure of an epic hero.
Again, MT Vasudevan Nair scripts a victimised hero, a terminally ill writer who walks back from death but eventually commits suicide. There is a terrific scene (directed by Hari Kumar) before the macabre climax, which was apparently inspired from MT’s own life—when he opens his office drawer and scribbles the date of his own previously drafted obituary. That final scene, where after bidding farewell to his wife and lover, he treads calmly onto the railway track will remain a haunting cinematic memory.
In this all-time great classic directed by Fazil, written by Madhu Muttam, the film reaches its zenith of glory with its stunningly staged climax. After a lengthy monologue where Dr Sunny (Mohanlal) explains the truth about Ganga (Shobana), we are led to a spell-binding climax, where Nagavally, her alter-ego, has completely taken possession of her. For a first-time watcher, it’s a chilling sight—a dishevelled Nagavalli leading her “imaginary” lover into the midst of the shocked villagers. What follows is a brilliantly executed set of scenes, where Nagavalli growls for her nemesis Sankaran Thampi’s blood and with the help of Thilakan’s Bhrammadatthan Namboothiripad performs the ‘imaginary murder’, even as Dr Sunny (who orchestrates the entire plot) and Nakulan pray for it all to work. One of those climax scenes where the audience watch with their hearts in their mouths.
Namukkuparkaan Munthirithoppukal (1986)
Padmarajan crafts a sublime love story between Solomon (Mohanlal) and Sophia (Shari) in the backdrop of Mysore vineyards. As the film reaches its finale, and their marriage has almost been fixed, Sophia gets sexually assaulted by her stepfather, putting Solomon’s love to test. But his reaction to her trauma isn’t comforting as he leaves for Mysore suddenly. Just when we almost come to terms with yet another love story biting the dust owing to the societal obsession with a woman’s chastity, enters Solomon, driving the lorry over the fence, carrying Sophia with him.
Written by Unni R, directed by cinematographer Venu, the film chronicles a journalist’s (Aparna Gopinath) quest to pursue and pen the tale of a man (Mammootty) serving life-term for double homicide. It turns out to be an uphill task as she has to meet a deadline and he seems to be procrastinating. It’s the sheer unpredictability of the climax, where he reveals his volte face (watch out for that scene as his smile slants into a chilling sneer), adding her to his list of homicides that takes the film several notches up.
Written and directed by Jeethu Joseph, Drishyam has George Kutty and his family at the centre of a murder. A narrative which breezes uneventfully till the interval and turns into a deftly paced, intriguing murder mystery post that. And typically, till the end, the audiences are on the edge of their seats, as they watch George Kutty, his wife and two daughters being subjected to police questioning and torture, wondering all the while how it will end. At last, everything goes exactly as planned by him, and it turns out to be the perfect murder.
Padmarajan’s most underrated work is about mistaken identities where an innocent young man, Viswanathan (Jayaram’s debut) is harassed for his resemblance with a gangster. It’s ending continues to leave a haunting trail of uncertainty in the viewers’ minds even today. Viswanathan witnesses his death being mourned, wordlessly hiding beneath the cluster of plantain trees in the backyard. He meets his father, hands over the money for his sister’s marriage and declares his intention to live as the imposter. It’s all fine till there. We feel a devastating sense of pity for the hapless young man. But then he walks over to the ashes of his deceased body, embers still burning bright, that’s when his sadness slowly peels away to reveal a sly grin. Is he the imposter? Or was Viswanathan really the gangster?
Kadha Parayumbol (2007)
Sreenivasan scripts a clever spin on the Krishna-Kuchela friendship in this film directed by M Mohanan. For a film that trudges uneventfully with some humour around its villagers, occasionally looming over Balan’s cup of woes, the climax is nothing less than a miracle. As Ashok Raj (Mammootty) begins his long unhurried speech, reminiscing his friendship with Balan, the film takes a spectacular U-turn about an inspiring and epic friendship. The climax defines the film.