‘Gaslight’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Who Was Fatima? Are Ratan Singh, Meesha, Kapil & Rukmani Dead?


Directed by Pavan Kirpalani, “Gaslight,” is unbearably slow-paced with an average script and forgettable performances. Vikrant Massey puts his best foot forward, but even he fails to save this sinking ship. The film is visually appealing, but that is where it all ends.

Meesha returns to her palace home after years of staying out of touch with her family. She received a letter from her father requesting that she return, but strangely, her father was missing when she arrived. His wife, Rukmini, informs her that he is out on a business trip and will return in a couple of days. But Meesha cannot trust a word that Rukmini says. She is hateful toward her stepmother and believes that Rukmini is hiding the truth from her. Meesha witnesses strange occurrences at the Mayagarh palace and starts to believe that her father has died and his spirit now resides in the palace. Meesha was determined to find the truth behind her father’s sudden disappearance, and Kapil, the right-hand man of the Raja, helps her uncover the truth. 

Spoilers Ahead

Was Ratan Singh Gaikwad Murdered? 

Meesha knew that her father would never prioritize work over her. He had been waiting for years for Meesha to return home, and now that she had, he was gone. On the first night of her arrival, she saw her father’s silhouette and was convinced that he was living in the palace. After falling off the stairs and suffering an injury while following the silhouette, the entire palace was searched, but there was no trace of Ratan Singh Gaikwad. Even though she could not find her father that night, she continued to be haunted by his presence. She heard her father play the piano just like he did on her birthday when she was a child. She followed the sound to the theater room and reached out to hold her father’s hand, but suddenly a hand covered in black gloves held her tightly.

Even though the people around her refused to believe her, she knew that something had happened to her father. Her doubt was further confirmed when she met a gypsy woman at a temple who stated that her father’s spirit was trying to communicate with her. She communicated with her father’s soul and conveyed to Meesha that she must run away from the palace. Surprisingly, the next day, she received a call from her father. Even though he said that he was doing well and that he longed to see Meesha, she did not believe that the man on the other end was her father. All this while, Meesha had only seen the silhouette of her father, but shockingly one night, she noticed her father’s dead body inside a car. She tried to open the door and rescue her father, but it was jammed. She called for help, and by the time everyone arrived and checked the inside of the car, there was nobody. Meesha realized that someone was trying to prove that she was mentally unstable, and she had her doubts about Rukmini. But for executing such an elaborate plan, she believed that Rukmini had a partner, but who was it?

With the help of Kapil, Meesha found out that Rukmini was quite close to the police officer, SP Ashok. According to rumors, Ashok had been in love with Rukmini all his life and chose to remain unmarried for her sake. They continued to share a friendly relationship, and Meesha had all the reasons to doubt him. She also suspected her distant cousin, Rana, who seemed to share a secret with Rukmini. He had his eye on Ratan’s property, and maybe he had schemed a plan to share the wealth with Rukmini after killing Ratan. Meesha and Kapil followed Rana and Rukmini to a party organized by Rana. They learned that Rana and Ratan had a deal, but things did not work out as he had planned, leaving Rana with a huge debt. Later that night, they followed Rana to his factory and confronted him. He admitted that he and Ratan had created a business strategy to convert the palace into a boutique hotel. He had taken a huge loan and needed the signature of Ratan, but his sudden disappearance had completely ruined his plan. Therefore, it was obvious that Rana had no reason to kill Ratan because he needed his help to build his business.

Meesha also learned from Rana that Rukmini was pregnant, and the baby was not Ratan’s. This further explains why Rukmini might have wanted to get rid of Ratan since her husband would never tolerate such betrayal. When Meesha tried to confront Rukmini about the baby, Rukmini received a call informing her about Rana’s sudden death. After Rukmini left, Meesha decided to unleash her father’s obedient dog, Commander, to search the palace for her father’s remains. Commander searched the entire palace, and he continuously barked at the wharf. Meesha was convinced that there was something in the wharf, and she asked her driver, Padam, to dive in and find out what it was. After a few unsuccessful attempts, Ratan Singh Gaikwad’s body came floating up. His body was covered in plastic and tied with tape and ropes. Meesha’s doubt was now confirmed; her father was indeed murdered, and the body was hidden at his own house.

Who Murdered Ratan Singh Gaikwad? And Why?

As soon as Meesha discovered her father’s body, she was kidnapped. When she came back to her senses, she realized that she was trapped in a car along with the corpse of Padam. To her surprise, the man who was working with Rukmini was Kapil. Kapil drowned the car and returned home to Rukmini. It was revealed that Kapil and Rukmini were in love, and one day, Ratan Singh found out about their affair. When Kapil was ten, he tried to steal from the palace, but instead of handing him over to the police after he was caught, Ratan chose to forgive him. He paid for his education, and Kapil ended up working for him as an adult. Ratan attempted to choke Rukmini out of frustration when he learned the truth, and Kapil stopped him from harming her. Kapil knew that his life would be completely destroyed if Ratan survived. To save himself, his relationship, and their unborn child, Kapil murdered Ratan. He later murdered Rana because he was threatening Rukmini, and his plan could cause immense financial loss.

Kapil and Rukmini wanted to prove Meesha unstable, and they orchestrated several plans to make her believe that she was delusional. After the death of Ratan Singh, Meesha would have inherited his wealth, but by proving her mentally unstable, Rukmini would have inherited it all. But their plan failed when Meesha found her father’s body. They had no other option but to murder her to inherit the wealth. Kapil was indebted to Ratan for sponsoring his education and saving his childhood, but as he grew up, he realized that the Raja did it solely to prove his might. When he was twenty, he dared to try one of Ratan’s suits, and he was heavily punished by Ratan. Kapil was stripped off his clothes and humiliated in front of everyone. Ratan mentioned how Kapil was not worthy of wearing the suit of a king. That day, his respect for the king completely vanished. He realized he was just like every other man who was born into wealth. He was proud and arrogant and deserved no mercy. Rukmini was Ratan’s second wife. His first wife committed suicide, and later, Meesha suffered an accident that left her wheelchair-bound. Rukmini was a part of Ratan’s life when he was a married man, and after the death of his wife, he remarried Rukmini. Meesha could not accept her father’s decision and distanced herself from him. After marrying Ratan, Rukmini realized that he was not faithful to her. Perhaps his absence was the reason why she sought comfort from Kapil. Rukmini was determined to protect her unborn child, and she did whatever was necessary to do so.

‘Gaslight’ Ending Explained: Who Was Fatima? Are Meesha, Kapil And Rukmani Dead?

Kapil accompanied Ashok when the car he drowned Meesha in was discovered. He was shocked to find out that Meesha’s body was not in the car. Logically, it was impossible for Meesha to escape from the car and survive, which was why Kapil was not too worried about it. The consecutive murders left Rukmini feeling empty. She never thought that to hide one secret, she would one day have to kill everyone around her. She had no intentions of murdering Meesha and Padam, but she was left with no choice in the end. When Kapil informed her that Meesha’s body was not found, she panicked. She could sense that something was wrong, and he begged Kapil to return home as soon as possible.

The power at the palace suddenly got cut off, and Rukmini was extremely scared. She was surprised to notice their family physician, Dr. Shekhawat, at the palace entrance. He informed her that a week ago, Meesha had committed suicide, and he had verified her body. Rukmini was extremely confused; she wondered if Meesha had already died, then who the woman who pretended to be Meesha was. To answer her question, the woman stood up from the wheelchair and stated that she was Fatima. She confirmed that Meesha had committed suicide a week ago. Fatima was indebted to Ratan Singh for being generous towards her during her childhood years, and when she met Meesha at the mental health facility she worked at, she knew she was meant to take care of her. Meesha suffered from extreme anxiety, and she was suicidal. Fatima not only helped her overcome her dark thoughts; she also discussed the good works her father had done.

Meesha decided to forgive her father and contacted him. He was glad to have her back in his life, and they were planning on meeting each other. But suddenly, Ratan Singh stopped receiving her call. Meesha felt betrayed and was convinced that her father no longer loved her. After she committed suicide, Fatima and Dr. Shekhawat orchestrated a plan to find out what really happened to Ratan Singh. Since Rukmini had not seen Meesha in all these years, it was not difficult for Fatima to convince her that she was Meesha. After being drowned, Fatima managed to get out of the car, and she swam to the surface. Rukmini broke down, admitting that she had committed a huge mistake, and she begged them to spare her baby. Meanwhile, Kapil had returned to the palace and overheard the entire conversation. He attacked and injured Dr. Shekhawat, leaving him unconscious. Rukmini begged him to stop the violence, but he was not ready to listen to her. Rukmini realized that Kapil was driven by madness to inherit all the wealth. When he was about to kill Fatima, Rukmini shot him in the ear. Kapil had never expected Rukmini to turn against him. He tried to get hold of the gun, and during their scuffle, he shot her in the stomach. Rukmini fell into the pool and died. Fatima managed to escape as Kapil grieved over Rukmini’s death, but soon he caught up with her. He got hold of the rifle Fatima had in her hand and attempted to shoot her. But it backfired, and Kapil dropped dead. Fatima knew that Kapil would overpower her and snatch the rifle. So, she blocked the barrel with Ratan Singh’s cufflink, and that ultimately killed him.

After the entire incident, Fatima wondered if coming to the palace was a mistake since it resulted in multiple deaths. But she comforted herself, thinking that even amidst all the killings, she had found justice. The wealth that would have been inherited by people who were driven by greed is now being used for the education of several students. “Gaslight” ends with Fatima paying respect to Meesha and Ratan Singh. Fatima continues to be an integral part of the Meesha Foundation, which was started by Ratan Singh, and the children who were sponsored by the foundation found a permanent residence at the now-empty palace.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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