Dulquer Salmaan's latest release Solo has been in the news of late, after director Bejoy Nambiar came out saying the film's climax was changed after the first few days without his permission. It is understood that the climax was changed after the original ending was received poorly in the theatres, with the viewers booing and jeering the film.
Later, Dulquer himself put up a detailed Facebook post, defending the film and the original version of the film, approved by Bejoy. The episode gave shape to several debates and discussions on whether it is right for the producer or the distributors to alter a film without the director's permission.
However, this is not the first time that such an incident has happened in Malayalam film industry. Let's take a look at the previous instances.
Harikrishnans, directed by Fazil, had multiple climaxes to appease the massive fan base of its lead actors Mammootty and Mohanlal, which caused debates and also some controversy. The female lead Meera, played by Juhi Chawla, had to choose either Hari (Mammootty) or Krishnan (Mohanlal) as her life partner. Since she admires both equally, she finally decides to toss a leaf (explained as a selection technique used by her grandmother) to find her partner. Fazil had envisaged different climaxes for the film.
One climax showed Hari winning the toss and was used in northern Kerala, where Mammootty enjoyed a higher fan base to Mammootty, while the other climax had Krishnan winning the toss and was shown in regions where Mohanlal had the upper hand. A third climax featuring Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was also planned for areas with a neutral fan base and for the video tape release. Promotional stills for the third climax were also taken but the plan was eventually dropped due to the difficulty in introducing a subplot.
Dileep-starrer Gramaphone had a different ending to the one originally planned by director Kamal and writer Iqbal Kuttipuram. According to the original climax, the lead characters Sachidanandan (Dileep) and Jennifer (Meera Jasmine) part ways in the end as Jennifer's family forcibly takes her to her homeland in Israel. However, after the film was delayed for close to a year, the filmmakers felt that such an ending could be risky and decided to unite Sachi and Jennifer in the theatrical release.
Chakkara Muthu (2006)
Another Dileep film which was supposed to have a different ending was Lohithadas' Chakkara Muthu. The original ending had Aravindan, a mentally challenged tailor played by Dileep, dying towards the end and Anitha (Kavya Madhavan) suffering a mental breakdown. However, Lohithadas felt the audience might not be ready for such an anti-climax, considering the lighter tone of the film early on, and unites the couple.