Note: Spoilers ahead for Sairat and Dhadak.
Director Shashank Khaitan, whose film Dhadak, a Hindi remake of Nagraj Manjule’s Marathi hit Sairat (2016), released on 20th July. Among many things, the one major difference between the two films is the climax.
Manjule’s Sairat had a haunting end that remained with viewers long after the film was over. It ended in the brutal killing of its protagonists Parshya (Akash Thosar) and Archie (Rinku Rajguru). We know this when their infant is shown discovering them lying in a pool of blood.
In Dhadak’s ending, which is equally brutal, it’s Ishaan Khatter’s character and the toddler who are killed instead, and Parthavi (Janhvi Kapoor) survives.
We asked Khaitan why he decided to change the ending. Here’s what he had to say:
“The climax of Dhadak is being discussed in isolation since the time the film released, but for me it was a natural progression of the story and the characters. From the very moment the film was announced, I have been quizzed on the end, many suggesting I change it and equally many suggesting I retain the end of the original Sairat. (sic)
“But I just followed my characters. Two young innocent souls who fall in love in royal Udaipur. They fly fearlessly in love, are exposed to the wrath of violent opposition in the name of honour, are exposed to the reality of life, learn to find themselves amidst their hardships, but eventually cannot escape their dreaded faith.
“The brutality of honour killings does not recognise infants or adolescents. It’s an evil act of terror in the name of false honour and thoughts like ‘purifying the bloodline’ are still extremely prevalent. And this thought led to the end of Dhadak.
“A wounded father who believes he was shamed by his daughter, teaches her the gravest lesson. So I did not change the original end to add shock value. I changed it to show the other dark sides to honour killings. So however disturbing the end maybe, for me it was the most real end, a reality which screams out at us almost everyday.”