For a moment sample this final (iconic) scene of a film where the hero has reached a railway platform and the train is scheduled to leave in a few minutes. He is eagerly waiting for the heroine to be there any moment, making her final decision to board the train accepting his loving proposal. And the girl needs to do the same revolting from her family, particularly the unsupportive, harsh father disapproving their warm relationship.
Thankfully the girl is right there on the platform after a few tense moments but so is her father creating a tense situation. But to everyone’s surprise, the father lets her board the train and doesn’t oppose the act with heartfelt tears in his eyes giving an emotional farewell. And the train slowly leaves the station taking the two lovers along.
The scene would right away bring the name of DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE (DDLJ/1995) to your mind with Shah Rukh, Kajol and Amrish Puri playing the three characters.
But interestingly the description above is of the touching emotional climax of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ANUPAMA instead, with Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore and Tarun Bose playing the exactly identical roles, in a much more subtle, realistic and relatable way in comparison to the cult trendsetter.
In fact, the iconic finale of DDLJ can easily be described as an over dramatic, filmy version of the thoughtful, poignant climax of ANUPAMA wherein silence plays a much important role conveying it all without any forced dramatic dialogue such as ‘Ja Simran Ja…. Jee Le Apni Zindagi’.
A cathartic climax to be precise, it actually remains the key feature of ANUPAMA which very thoughtfully begins as well as ends focusing on the father alone, fighting with his own self and loneliness cursing his innocent girl. Plus as I noticed the director shows him standing behind a pillar in the nursing home (in the beginning) when the girl is born, and then again shows him hiding behind a pillar at the platform too (in the final scene of the film), saying good bye to his young, beautiful daughter with heartfelt tears in his eyes.
Certainly a perfect example of how an exactly similar scene gets visualized and represented by two renowned Hindi film directors in two entirely different eras reaching their target audience.
Recalling a few similar climax sequences in Hindi films, interestingly the most famous epic SHOLAY also had its final scene at the railway station with Sanjeev Kumar coming to give a thankful farewell to Dharmendra, who pleasantly finds Hema Malini already there in the compartment waiting for him to board.
In JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE (1965) too, Shashi Kapoor accepts the apology and pulls up Nanda madly running along the train admitting her unintentional mistake.
However in PARICHAY (1972), Jeetendra decides to jump off the train (for a change) finding Jaya searching for her at the platform along with her grandfather (Pran), who now approves their relationship after a soft denial.
In another more realistic as well as experimental climax, three (not exactly) similar characters are there at the railway platform in GHAROANDA (1977). But here, instead of the usual happy ending, both the mature man and the woman part their ways accepting the bitter reality and no one boards the train moving to their own individual lives saying the final goodbye.
So the railway platform sure has an amusing relationship with the climax of our Hindi movies and its characters since decades.
Concluding on a different note,
films like MADHUMATI (1958), POST BOX 999 (1958), RAILWAY PLATFORM (1955), KORA KAGAZ (1974), TEESRI KASAM (1966), CHITCHOR (1976) and SADMA (1983) too had their climax (or pre-climax) conceived around a railway platform. Plus films like IJAAZAT (1987) had a lot to do with railway station and its waiting room in its entire script or storyline.
But what’s interesting to note is that till the 80s we actually had train sequences and climax written around a railway platform since RAILWAYS was the most widely used means of transport in the entire nation and rarely a film had an airport finale in its storyline like in JANWAR (1965).
However as air travel became more frequent and easier towards the late 80s/early 90s and our film industry started exploring the western markets, the train climax got transformed into Airport sequences towards the end of many love stories and now the hero or heroine could be seen rushing towards the airport instead of the railway stations in many famous films like AASHIQI (1990) and more.
In fact that’s how the portrayal in cinema always changes with the changing times and lifestyles in every 2-3 decades.