New Delhi: In the end, Deepika Padukone's self-flagellation in Cocktail amounts to just this: a 'rich b****' who cusses like a man, wears slinky skirts and drinks like a fish meets the end she deserves.
This has spoilers ahead, so if you have not seen Cocktail I'd advise you to read at your own risk. This genre of hip, coming-of-age films spanning at least two international tourism destinations is new to Indian filmmakers who do not know what to make of the liberated young woman.
Will she be the one to chart her own course through choppy waters with light from the stars her only tool for navigation? Will she defy custom and marry the one with the alien surname? Will she down that tequila in a single gulp and hitch up her skirt for a slow drunken dance on the table? Will she adjust her dupatta and wink at the man at the next table?
Unfortunately, even with all the wannabe coolth that Cocktail packed in its female lead Deepika Padukone, it resorted to the time, sorry, box office-tested formula to find an acceptable resolution to a tangled problem. The b**** has to either reform or give up her right to 'happily ever after' or preferably both. So Deepika gives up her man, just like that, for her greater love and soul-sister Diana Penty. And Saif's character is reduced to a ping pong ball that swings from one end of an emotional wringer to another.
But here are six alternate endings to 'Cocktail' that could've added new dimensions to the plot, except that it may have screwed up the safe climax.
1. Saif, Deepika, Diana make it a threesome:
"So life's given the three of us a bad deal, eh kids? Let's forget this drama-shama and hook up and see where it goes," that's what Saif should have told Deepika and Diana in the end. They've lived together and know each others' boundaries and respect them. It's London, for Christ's sake, not Ramgarh. Surely a threesome would not have been that big a deal? Saif's character (Gautam) and Meera (Diana) would still be Veronica's (Deepika) b*****s no matter what the arrangement.
2. Diana and Deepika ride out into the sunset
In a surprise twist, Deepika and Diana come out as gay and basically make an event of it at a drunken truth or dare game at the flat. The 'dare' kiss leads to a Yash Raj moment of suspended animation. Meera cries 150 ml of brine and confesses she always had feelings for Veronica - her tempestuous Nicky - as Gautam watches in horrified silence. When he comes to, Gautam realizes that it's the best thing ever. He now has two reasonably hot lesbian roommates.
3. Deepika and Saif work out a '50 Shades of Grey' relationship
Her parents do not give a damn about her and Veronica, as the messed up adult, has chosen the sexual lifestyle of a dominant as her way of life. With every whiplash, she is punishing her indifferent father. Gautam is her submissive in this charade. They hold hands and enter the 'Red Room of Pain' (the room where the original '50 Shades' characters Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele play), thus marking the beginning of a delightfully twisted new relationship.
4. Saif falls for the waitress at the airport coffee shop on his way to India to woo Diana
That would be a bummer. His intentions are good and he can't wait to get to India to tell Meera how much he loves her. He has the blessing of Veronica as well. He decides to get a coffee during transit. BAM! He girl who brings him his cup of latte is doe eyed and has a pout. He can't look away and she knows she has him where she wants him. As she moves away there's a slight smile at the corner of her lips. Saif misses the flight as the credits roll.
5. Deepika goes over the edge, kills Diana and Saif
How I'd love to see those beautiful eyes lose all sense of reason and go blank in close-up as she lifts a knife from the kitchen and tiptoes into the room where Gautam and Meera sleep, blissfully unaware of the fate that awaits them. The bodies are discovered after three days and the medics arrive to sedate a deranged Veronica who insists that the now dead Gautam is the one true love of her life.
6. Randeep Hooda and Diana are married con artistes
A stupefied Gautam and distraught Veronica enter their flat to realize they have been robbed by Meera and her con artiste husband Kunal Ahuja played by Randeep Hooda. They stare at the empty rooms and then look at each other and burst into hysterical laughter. "Meera!" Veronica gasps. "Yes, Meera, the girl you sheltered for two hours and who has now ruined our film's climax scene," agrees Gautam.