Often, the first reaction children have to a good bedtime story is, “Once more!” And often, a child is told the same story, once again. But as adults, when we require an encore for a performance, we’re rewarded one through – Sequels. In the world of cinema, sequels occupy the space between providing comfort through repetition, while also providing an evolved perspective in a fast-paced changing world. To add more, the concept of sequels also relies on an economy where the audience and the market forces collectively determine the future of sequel of a film. Perhaps, the question we need to ask ourselves is why is it that some stories in the public memory longer than others? Platform takes a look at some sequels we saw in 2019, and what exactly can we expect in the future. 

Sacred Games 2:
With the first season of Sacred Games ended with a stimulating cliff hanger, the second season of Sacred Games ends on an even more provocative note. Towards the culmination of the first season, the audience is left with fragments from Ganesh Gaitonde’s and Sartaaj Singh’s life. In terms of plot, the second season comes together to piece together the fragments to form a coherent story. In the year 1994, the second season opens up with Gaitonde on the boat, and we finally uncover how Gaitonde knew Sartaaj’s father. The audience realizes the urgency of the grand conspiracy that is only hinted at in the first season. However, the plot of the second season appears far too familiar to take the audience away with the charm of thrill. One almost knows what to expect even if it might show itself in altered ways. But what the season succeeds at is its growth of its characters. The relationship between Sartaaj and Majid is tangled with complications where hierarchies collapse to get the work at hand done. Often, in our very lives, these complicated relationships are the ones that evolve us as people. Sartaaj Singh and his mother are no longer simply arguing about their personal memories of Sartaaj’s father. Rather, they try to come to terms with their proximity to themselves, and their distance from Sartaaj’s father. They sit down to talk to each other which critically shapes how the narrative unfolds. 

Avengers Endgame: 
The Marvel Series rely not merely on sequels, rather, Marvel is an enterprise. Beginning from the comics, the Avengers have gone on to reflect themselves on stationery products, clothes, shoes, backpacks etc. They have created a cult around themselves. Perhaps, the repetitive success of Avengers movies makes one thing very clear – the audience loves a film about someone saving their world. If one thinks about it really, we’re all waiting for our very personal Avengers in our very personal worlds. The Endgame is film set in Thanos’ world. It takes up the destined plot points with sequences of mindless action and fighting. In it’s dialogues, The Endgame constantly refers to scenes from previous movies not only in the Avengers’ series, bur from the multistory universe that marvel has built with films such as Thor: The Dark World etc. But this movie remains particularly special to the audience perhaps because of the way it is titled Endgame. With the ironing out of Iron Man, does the Endgame mean that the Avengers are no longer needed? Or does it mean that to survive as a story, the Avengers will now need to challenge themselves? With all these questions in mind, The Endgame is replete with an overwhelming nostalgia. What will remain of this nostalgia in the future is yet to be seen. 

As the years 2019 comes to a close, Platform looks forward to more sequels in the year 2020. Imrtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal 2 with Kartik Aryan and Sara Ali Khan is premised to be released in February. On the international screen, we have yet another enterprise to look forward to, albeit without Paul Walker. In 2020, Fast and Furious will be ready with its 9th sequel.

Text Muskan Nagpal