Serendipity is a 2001 romantic comedy starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. Its about two people who meet one day and go their separate way with the hope that they will meet each other if they are destined to meet. Years later, they are supposed to get married to two different people and then they decide to search for each other one last time. As all feel-good romantic movies, they do meet in the end and you feel happy that true love has found a way. (Sache pyar ki jeet hui hai)
Serendipity is just one of the example. “PS I love you” can be sort of an example. “”Kuch Kuch Hota hai”, “Kabhi Haan, kabhi naa” and “Dil toh Pagal Hai” are the Indian example. There are other movies too. I mean the one where true love finds a way and they live happily ever after.
And in all that feel-good factor, there is a third person who is left stranded at the alter, someone who also loved but then his/her love did not succeed. In “Serendipity”, the hero-heroine finally meet but they don’t show what happens to the people they were supposed to marry. These people are insignificant for the story. After all they are not the main characters of the story. People will be concentrating on the main hero/heroine.
Hardly anybody thinks about them, how they feel, how do they cope with all this. It was like when Phatichar noted in his blog once that in an action movie during a high speed chase on the road we see cars flying around as the hero chases the villain or vice-versa. We are awed at the high-speed action as the hero cuts efficiently through the traffic. The villain hits cars along the way. They fire each other and not every bullet hits its mark. Somewhere along the way, we tend to forget the people in the other cars. People who are not part of the story but just get hit by the hero/villain’s car. As the hero finally grabs the villain, they have left a devastating scene behind.
Remember the old Hindi movies where a speeding car hits a fruit cart or something and the whole cart spills on the crowd. The man on the cart does not have a insurance nor does he know how to feed his family now that his cart is ruined.
But we clap at the victory of good over evil caring for the many who might have been suffered because of the chase. We call them collateral damage.
I agree that it is just a movie and I am making too much of a mountain here.
Hindi movies in the past were actually quite simple. Either it was a love triangle where one of the suitor dies or the one left at the alter is actually the villain who is has to die. Ultimately death solves everything. If not death then the police sorts out everything. In the end, you did not have to worry about the other person as they were already evil.
Now its different. Now they have choices, perfectly, legitimate, good choices and they have to make a choice, the correct one. Ultimately one of them loses who may be a good guy/gal.
So what happens to people who watch the people they love marry off to someone else. While everybody cheers for the hero/heroine, they watch them pretending to be happy, maybe humiliated. Maybe the hero/heroine just took a little too much time to decide and unexpectedly the men/women left behind become losers, just like that.
But then movies are a make-believe world. They are actors and there are stories. Nothing like that ever happens in real life or does it?
I know people who have not been the movie hero/heroine. I have seen people watch helplessly when their ‘love’ married someone else. Whatever the reasons, the one who is left behind are the silent sufferers. Many would argue that it was never meant to be. They are supposed to find the people they truly love some day and today is just not their day. One day they will be the ‘hero’ and ‘heroine’. One day true love will find a way and everybody will be happy again. One day they will be the center of someone’s world. I would like to be optimistic and would like to believe that. Maybe it would! I am not sure and I don’t know
Until that happens, lets say those who are left behind are the collateral damages.