Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi 6, which won two National Awards, was submitted to the National Awards jury with an alternative ending which the general public has not seen so far.
In the ending that we saw for Delhi 6 when it opened in February 2009, Abhishek Bachchan‘s character survives after being wounded. In the alternative which the National awards committee saw, Abhishek’s character dies.
So how did the film with the alternative ending become eligible for the National awards?
Explains Rakeysh Mehra, “That is how I wanted Delhi 6 to end all along. We shot Abhishek’s character’s death but changed it due to pressures. The ending that was shown to the National awards committee has so far been seen only at the Venice Film Festival. To make it eligible for the National awards, we had a limited one-week theatrical release with the alternative ending.”
And now Mehra will release Delhi 6 worldwide with the alternative, original ending. It has been on the anvil for a year now. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has been expressly unhappy about the ending that was imposed by commercial considerations on his honorable failure Delhi 6.
It took a conversation with Oliver Stone earlier this month to restore Mehra’s confidence and faith and the original ending. Now Delhi 6 will be released everywhere with the original ending (whereby Abhishek Bachchan’s character dies at the end).
So how did Oliver Stone come into the picture? Says Mehra, “Oliver Stone has always been a great source of inspiration. So when we got down to chatting last week, he invited me to watch the Director’s cut of his film Alexander. I told him I had already seen it. To this, he replied that he had cut the film again for the third time and is now fully satisfied. That set me thinking.”
Now, Rakeysh Mehra will restore the original ending of Delhi 6 and release the film theatrically. The dates are now being worked out.