‘A Ranjith Cinema’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Did Ranjith Save His Mother And Girlfriend?

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A Ranjith Cinema is a 2023 Malayalam-language psychological thriller film on Netflix that comes with an intriguing premise, even though it does not entirely deliver on all the promised brilliance. The plot is centered around an aspiring film director named Ranjith, who starts to write a screenplay based on his life’s recent experiences, until real events strangely start to adhere to what Ranjith has already written in his work. Even till its end, A Ranjith Cinema lacks conventional clarity, particularly with regards to what the film ultimately wants to stand for, but can be a nice head-scratcher to watch if one is particularly interested in such films.

Spoiler Alert


Who is Ranjith, and what problem arises in his life?

A Ranjith Cinema begins with an elaborate robbery scene at a Travancore Bank branch in the capital city of Kerala, when a group of six or seven masked men barge into the place and hold everyone hostage. A brave security guard manages to injure one of them, though, leading to the entire gang getting caught by the police, but a different truth is revealed at the police station. The men are not actual bank robbers but are part of a TV channel called New Vision, which runs a popular prank show called “Taken,” in which unsuspecting citizens are made fun of through extensive pranks. The bank robbery was part of this very show, and so the men are finally freed from the police station.

The protagonist of the film, Ranjith, is soon introduced, as he is seen in a police uniform, beating away a few wastrels who were harassing a young woman. Ranjith has not made any introductions with the woman yet, but she, Pournnami, is soon going to be the man’s lover. In fact, Ranjith is not a real police officer, as he was in uniform because of his real profession—he is the mastermind behind the “Taken” prank show on TV. Having completed his education in film direction, the protagonist is still waiting for his big chance, and in the meantime, he has been working for New Vision to create this popular prank show. His mother is tired of worrying about Ranjith, for he still depends on his mother’s job as a professor at a college for his own pocket money and other expenses. Ranjith knows that he needs a real job soon, and for this reason, he has been looking to meet with interested producers as well.

A second character is also introduced soon, as a young man named Sunny Cherian drives an expensive car towards an important business meeting. Sunny is already late for the appointment when his car also breaks down, and the man has to look for a cab. In this while, a woman hands him a suitcase and runs away, for it has blood dripping from its corner. Soon, a police van drives by, and Sunny is immediately in trouble as the bag is opened to reveal a severed head inside it. However, the police officer questioning Sunny is our very own Ranjith, making it evident that this is all part of a prank. By the end of it, Sunny leaves the place embarrassed and angry because the prank has wasted a lot of his important time, even making him miss the meeting. Sunny’s father-in-law is a huge industrialist who passionately disapproves of the young man, for he still cannot understand why his daughter, Teena, even married Sunny. Therefore, being unable to attend the meeting with the man on time leads to extreme humiliation for Sunny.

A third character, a public prosecutor by profession, is also introduced, and much later in the film, it is also revealed that the man is actually the father of Ranjith’s lover, Pournnami. Through the lawyer’s discussions with his colleagues in court, another ongoing incident is mentioned, in which a woman named Sanjana was legally claiming that she had been sexually exploited by numerous ministers and administrative workers. Sanjana only has her lawyer, assistant prosecutor Vijay Anthony, by her side, while everyone else, including the police, tries to stop her from making more revelations, as there is pressure from the ruling political party to do so. Amidst such a scenario, Ranjith playfully takes a video of Pournnami one day, to which the woman shyly objects, and so he lifts his hands and stops. However, Ranjith forgets to stop the video recording or shut the camera terminal, and unknowingly, the man captures a video of a man being pushed from a nearby building’s terrace. Thus, Ranjith now has, in his possession, the video of a murder being committed, which soon creates a lot of trouble in the man’s life.


Why is Sunny so vehemently against Ranjith?

Sunny Cherian’s character is shown to be extremely antagonistic towards Ranjith from the very beginning to almost the end, until A Ranjith Cinema takes some other twists. Sunny’s biggest reason for this hatred is that it is Ranjith who gets him involved in a number of unnecessary situations, starting with the prank on the road that costs him his already unstable relationship with his father-in-law and, as a result, a big financial loss as well. Next, when the video of Sunny’s prank is telecast on the New Vision channel, the man is ridiculed by many in the public, especially his acquaintances at the bar that he frequents. Teena finds the video amusing and hilarious, which hurts Sunny’s ego, too, for he feels that his wife is belittling him. The video reaches Teena’s father as well, who is much less impressed than her because the family name is being dragged down by the foolish appearance of his son-in-law.

It is primarily for these reasons that Sunny starts to look for Ranjith and tries to attack the protagonist at every chance he gets. Incidentally, Sunny gets into more trouble soon, and he once again holds Ranjith responsible for it. The murder that Ranjith had accidentally recorded was that of the prosecutor Vijay Anthony, who had been eliminated by the very police officer in charge of the case’s investigation. This was, naturally, because of orders from higher authorities, who all wanted to protect their reputation, and the case was then transferred to a different prosecutor—Pournnami’s father. However, when the murderers are about to get rid of Anthony’s body, they find Sunny’s car easily available, and so they dump it in the car’s trunk. Sunny is picked up by the police after a road rage incident, and after freeing himself from the influence of his father-in-law, a policeman spots the blood dripping from the trunk of his car.

Sunny decides to simply flee the scene, even though this would not absolve him of the suspicions against him, but he is unable to do that either. This is because Ranjith and his friend, who were also at the police station during this entire time and had just been released from there, blocked Sunny’s way with their motorcycle. Ranjith’s act is almost an involuntary one, as he hears the police shout and naturally blocks the way, but to Sunny, this is one more reason for his hatred against Ranjith.


What was causing Ranjith’s strange situation? 

Almost midway through A Ranjith Cinema, a new twist is introduced when Ranjith is finally able to meet with a producer and pitch his story. He admits that the screenplay he has written is based completely on recent events in his life, and he intends to cast Anson Paul and Hannah Reji Koshy as himself and Pournnami, respectively. But as the protagonist keeps talking about his film’s plot, some strange and unnatural events are mentioned, in which Pournnami’s father objects to their romance and forces the woman to stay away from Ranjith. This leads to a situation in which Ranjith beats all odds to go meet with a troubled Pournnami, and as she walks away, with all thoughts puzzling her mind, the woman is hit by a truck on the road. She has to be admitted to a hospital, and at the same time, Ranjith also receives news of his mother having fallen sick. At the end of the protagonist’s film, the dead body of only one woman is brought out to him, but her identity is kept secret, and the film ends in utter tragedy.

Quite understandably, the producer is not satisfied with such a sad story, and he wants Ranjith to tweak the ending of his screenplay to make it more acceptable. Ranjith returns from the meeting and starts living his life normally, until he realizes that the events now happening in his life are all the same as the ones he had written in his screenplay. He discovers the footage of the murder on his camera and also witnesses Pournnami’s father come to their house and warn his mother against letting him romance his daughter anymore. Without taking any chances, Ranjith consults a psychiatrist about this strange ability to predict the future, but the doctor cannot provide any specific remedy either.

The doctor mentions how the subconscious stays active even when one is active, and for some people, the subconscious can really have a sort of sixth sense over the future. However, the introduction of these concepts does not seem very genuine, and this part of A Ranjith Cinema feels almost like a stretch. But more pertinently, the doctor suggests that if Ranjith genuinely feels that his presence can make a situation play out just like he had written in the past, then it would be best for him to stay away from such scenarios. It is this suggestion by the doctor that makes more sense, which is discussed in the next section.


Can Ranjith save his mother and girlfriend in the end?

Finally, the day approaches when Ranjith has written Pournnami to meet with the tragic accident, and the man goes to warn her about it. This does not work out too well, and Pournnami is eventually hit by a truck on the road, and she has to be rushed to the hospital. Ranjith had been carefully checking on his mother’s health, knowing that she might fall sick too if his screenplay was followed, and so he called an ambulance to his house even before reaching the place. This, too, plays out slightly differently, as the ambulance is actually driven by corrupt ACP Dinesh Raj and his goons. It was Raj who had committed the murder of Vijay Anthony, and by this time, Ranjith had leaked the video on the internet, and news channels had already telecast the breaking news. In order to take revenge and get Ranjith to make a new video dismissing the previous one, Dinesh Raj goes to his house, leading to the protagonist’s mother falling sick. In the massive fight that followed, Ranjith also gets stabbed and has to be admitted to the hospital in a very bad state. While his mother seems to survive the ordeal with no significant difficulty, Ranjith is left severely injured at the place, along with Pournnami.

A Ranjith Cinema‘s ending shows Ranjith to have completely recovered, as his film is finally released in theaters, and Pournnami, who still carries injuries from the accident, also visits to restart their romance. This sudden change does not fit in too well unless we see the main plot of A Ranjith Cinema from a few different perspectives.

A first and obvious possibility is that Ranjith gets injured and then gradually recovers as some considerable amount of time passes between the two scenes, after which his film is finally released. In the case of Ranjith’s feeling of déjà vu, it might be purely coincidental, but this perspective is too convenient to be interesting. The next possibility is linked to the doctor’s advice for the protagonist to stay away from situations where he might have the déjà vu feeling. The hero’s ability to predict the future is most probably a mixture of coincidence and his psychologically false beliefs. For example, Pournnami’s father not accepting their relationship is a fairly common possibility, and then it is Ranjith’s actions that lead to the fate of the two women. Scared that his screenplay might come true, Ranjith tries to stop Pournnami, which instead makes her more agitated and careless, which leads to the accident. Similarly, Ranjith does his best to avoid his mother’s illness, but then the timing of the murder clip being picked up by the news gets her attacked by Dinesh Raj, which gets her agitated, resulting in illness. Since Ranjith ended his screenplay with the two women being in the hospital, his own fate of being stabbed cannot be matched with his creative efforts.

Finally, a third possibility is also equally present in A Ranjith Cinema—that only part of the events actually happen in Ranjith’s life, and the rest are all made up for his film to be interesting. Especially the events that occur after his meeting with the producer, in which he particularly mentions making the plot less sad and more entertaining, are probably just fiction. A Ranjith Cinema perhaps presents a very interesting usage of a film-within-a-film in order to create confusion between what is real and what is cinematic fiction. In this case, the ending can be perceived as just a part of Ranjith’s film plot and not his actual life. Perhaps he had not really uploaded the murder video on the internet, and perhaps he had not gotten stabbed, all of which was presented only to spice up his story. The only objection to this theory would be Pournnami’s physical state, which is evidently that of an accident survivor. It could be that this part of the plot was real, or maybe the woman playing Pournnami is actually an actor, and we are still stuck inside a film-within-a-film.


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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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