For any filmmaker, the news that his/her newly released movie is running in theatres with a changed climax, is nothing short of absolute devastation. Director Bejoy Nambiar was in for such a shock regarding his film Solo, which released across Kerala on October 5. The anthology starring Dulquer Salmaan in four short movies has been receiving a mixed response from the audience. And people seem collectively disappointed with the fourth segment of the movie, which has been named World of Rudra.
To address his shock to the public, Bejoy Nambiar took to Twitter and posted that he was unaware of such a change being made to his movie and that he had not given his consent for the same. When contacted for details regarding the Tweet, a distraught Bejoy said, “I think the quote is explanatory enough.” When quizzed about how such a change could happen without his knowledge, he says, “Well, it can happen. That is what I have just got to know. It is beyond my control. The main producer can actually go ahead and get it done.” To whether he will sit through and watch the changed version he said, “No. My team watched it and they already gave me the feedback. I don’t want to watch it. I can’t watch my movie slaughtered like that.”
Incidentally, Bejoy’s is not the first such case. Quite a few directors have had the misfortune of compromising their creative freedom over the demands put forward by producers and distributors. Director Salam Bappu, who directed the multicast Red Wine, had a similar story to share. The movie, which had a stellar cast of Mohan Lal, Fahad Faasil and Asif Ali, was released in 2013. Just two weeks after the release, the movie’s climax was changed.
Salam Bappu says, “Red Wine was my first movie. When the movie first released the climax saw Mohan Lal, Fahad Faasil and Asif Ali walking along a beach. That scene was conceived as an imagination of the investigating officer. The investigative officer in his imagination meets the spirits of the murdered and the murderer. The dialogues delivered by the spirits of the characters played by Fahad and Asif stated that everything is equal after death, the scene was meant to highlight this fact. Once the movie released, there were many who praised this part. But a person in the distribution team informed that people are discussing the scene by saying that ‘a ghost appears in the end’. These are people who did not try to understand that these were shown as the actor’s imagination. I was cornered and pressurised to change the scene. I was promised by the distributors that they will make the movie run for 150 days if I changed the climax. That is a huge promise for a debutant like me and half-heartedly I agreed. This hurts me to this day and what was even more devastating for me is that this changed climax is what is still shown on TV and CDs.”
A source who is part of the distribution team of Solo when contacted, haughtily says, “If he (Bejoy) did not know, let him not know then! We had suggested to the director, for the good of the movie, that he should consider shuffling the order of these movies. He did not listen to us, he was adamant. He has nothing to lose, right? It is the producer who is losing everything. Did you all hear how the crowd was howling and hooting in the theatre? Is that what you all like? Now that the climax is changed, no one is howling! The movie had a collection of Rs 1.30 crore on the first day and the very next day it dropped to Rs 30 lakh. The person who shelled out money for the project will obviously be disappointed and hurt.”