It has been a while since we have agreed on the length of a series. With most series we watch, we end up concluding that they should have been significantly shorter. Before watching Kafas, we expected to have the same opinion, considering that it is an emotional drama at its core and the content of that genre tends to get rather indulgent. Yet, when we started watching Kafas, we were bowled over by its honesty, presented with a clear lack of theatrics, which doubled its impact. The show is about the effect of some gray decisions on the life of a family, and the focus is precisely on that, with a graceful subtlety that makes us better understand the subsequent actions of the protagonists. While we were not fond of the way things were ultimately resolved or how sexual bullying by Sunny was justified, Kafas still remains a good show to watch. There also needed to be a dialogue on the victim’s right to their own story, which seemed to be conveniently swept under the rug by his well-meaning siblings. Kafas, which translates to “bird cage,” is not particularly woke, but it tells its story well, and here is a recap of it.
Why Do Raghav And Seema Take The Settlement?
To get a little bit of background on the Vashisht family, Raghav and Seema are a somewhat happily married couple who are struggling to make ends meet. Eighteen years ago, Raghav was previously married to someone else, Meghna, when he met Seema. She was a background dancer in films, and they both fell in love. Raghav left behind his one-year-old son, Yash, to start a new family with Seema. Years later, Raghav and Seema are a family of four, and both their children, Shaurya, aka Sunny, and Shreya, want to be actors. Sunny got his big break when he auditioned for a movie, and he has been shooting in Sri Lanka with one of the country’s biggest stars, Vikram Bajaj. Sunny’s grandmother, Neelima, accompanied him to the shoot.
When Sunny returns home, he is not as happy as he should be with his success, and the reason is that he was sexually abused by Vikram Bajaj on set. When Raghav, Seema, and Neelima learn this, they are devastated. Seema and Neelima briefly blame themselves since being an actor was initially Seema’s dream, and she believes that if she hadn’t pushed her son so hard to fulfill his, this incident could have been prevented. As for Neelima, she feels guilty for not being more vigilant during the shoot. Sunny has a video recording of the incident, and that is the family’s only evidence against Vikram Bajaj. Seema meets Tanya Bajaj, Vikram’s wife, and shows her the video, as she wants the other party to suffer some consequences for their actions. When Seema and Raghav went to a lawyer, he told them that this would be a long and brutal fight in court, and these two may not have the funds for it. Seema met Tanya because their chances for justice looked bleak, and she wanted the truth to be known in some way.
Tanya and Vikram arrange a meeting for the Vashisht couple with their lawyers, where they propose that the family sign a non-disclosure agreement. They are also offered a sum of Rs 10 crore (100 million) to buy their silence. Seema and Raghav agree to these terms because they know that their financial position is weak, and they would not be able to get justice for their son either way. But by accepting this money, they can ensure that their children have a good life ahead of them. It is the only option for them on every front. However, the money essentially ends up ruining their family. While Shreya still doesn’t know anything, Sunny is struggling with his anger while trying to come to terms with the fact that this might have been the best course of action since he himself did not want anyone to know about what happened.
Unfortunately for Sunny, he is enrolled in the school where the son of Vikram Bajaj, Agastya, goes. He soon becomes a part of their friend group but is not able to gel with them properly. Agastya is your typical toxic man in the making, with enough entitlement for some heavy-handed “boys locker room” talk on a WhatsApp group. Sunny is a part of the group but never replies to anything, which makes the others think that he might be homosexual. Despite his entitlement, Agastya seems to genuinely like Sunny and warns him about what the boys are saying. When the teasing gets a little out of hand at school, Sunny pulls at a girl’s skirt to prove to his friends that he is not gay. But that move backfires when the girl threatens to take the matter to the authorities.
On the other hand, Sunny is being excluded from the film’s promotions by Vikram Bajaj. Neither the actor nor Sunny’s parents want him to be involved, both for reasons of their own. But this is infuriating Sunny, who claims that it is his right as one of the lead actors to be actively involved in the promotions. When Sunny goes to Agastya’s house and, in his anger, is almost about to attack Vikram, the man turns the tables by capitalizing on Sunny’s fear and making the point that he still has power over him. A tearful Sunny asks his father to pick him up, and that is when Raghav comes to know that Sunny was in Vikram’s house.
The trouble is that while Sunny is dealing with his anger, he is still willing to be silent. But when his sister, Shreya, learns about what happened to him, she wants justice. Shreya has always felt that her parents favored Sunny more than her, and after a nasty afternoon where both Yash and Sunny told her that she was talentless and exchanged a few slaps between them, Shreya is feeling particularly bad. That is when Seema admits to Shreya that she is protecting her from what happened to Sunny. The brother and sister make up, but the next day, Shreya confides in her boyfriend, Kunal, about what happened. They don’t really have a plan in place except that Shreya finds that a journalist, Irfan Akhtar, might be the right guy to tell the world about the kind of man that Vikram Bajaj is.
‘Kafas’ Ending Explained: Do Seema And Raghav Reveal Vikram Bajaj’s Truth?
Sunny, Agastya, and the rest of the boys are suspended from school for the offensive messages they exchange about girls on their WhatsApp group. To teach Sunny a lesson, Raghav accuses him of “enjoying” what Vikram had done to him, saying that if he was actually traumatized, he wouldn’t do the same thing to someone else. Honestly, we understand what Raghav was trying to do, but this was one of the worst and most insensitive ways to have this conversation. Shreya consoles a crying Sunny and encourages him to tell the truth to Agastya if nothing else. Sunny sets out to do that exact thing, but unknown to him, Agastya’s phone has been confiscated by Vikram Bajaj, and he is going to meet him. Luckily, Sunny comes to know this just in time, and he escapes before he can come face-to-face with Vikram. However, Vikram still needs to deliver his threat, and he decides to involve Sunny in the promotions so that he can use the opportunity to threaten him. His plan works, and after an emotionally taxing interview where Sunny has to thank Vikram for giving him the opportunity to be in the film, he swears off acting for good.
But things seldom end peacefully, and that day, someone leaks the news of Sunny’s sexual abuse at the hands of Vikram to an entertainment channel. A devastated Sunny slits his wrist and is rushed to the hospital. Shreya briefly blames herself, not knowing how the news leaked but sure that it must have been through her since she was the one talking to Irfan. However, Irfan had nothing to do with it, and either way, he had promised not to mention any names in his article. In a fit of panic, Shreya deletes all traces of the video from her and Sunny’s phones. She later comes to know that the news had been leaked by Kunal, as he needed to arrange money for his mother’s operation. Though the reporter had told him that this news couldn’t be published due to a lack of evidence, she went ahead and did it anyway, making it look like a deliberately slanderous article.
As expected, Seema and Raghav are called in for another meeting with the lawyers for some damage control, and this time, Seema is adamant that she won’t follow through with their demands. But they wear her down when they present just how uncredible they are because of their family situation. A defeated Seema and Raghav agree to their terms in exchange for half of the settlement money that they would get from suing the publication.
At the press conference, Vikram goes into a completely emotional speech about how such news must be condemned, only for Raghav to reveal that it was all true. An angry Vikram tries to spin the tale by saying that it was Sunny who had taken his childhood crush too far, but it looks like Raghav had thought of that as well. He tells Vikram that he never deleted the video, and he rushes toward the reporters to show it to them. This is when Vikram jumps into the fray, demanding to know why Raghav did not delete the video, ultimately revealing that he was lying this whole time and the Vashishts were telling the truth.
At the end of Kafas, while Vikram makes an exit, Seema and Raghav are questioned by the press as to why they accepted the money, and they reveal that it was their financial crunch that left them with no choice. We don’t see this matter being further questioned in the series, though it would have created a furor in real life. Back at home, Sunny is still skeptical about the way things are being talked about, but Raghav assures him that they have done the right thing and will stand together as a family. Fast forward a few months, and Seema and Raghav have moved out of their expensive home. Shreya is still working on her dreams, though she has broken up with Kunal, who is desperately trying to apologize to her. It doesn’t look like she has told her family where the leak came from. The family drives to the court, where they are fighting against Vikram Bajaj, along with the many other victims who have come forward since Sunny. Even the boy is back on his feet and is a lot less angry, while his parents have also mended their relationship. It is a neatly tied ending where justice has prevailed.
We liked Kafas, though we desperately wished that the children’s homophobia had been addressed in a healthy manner at least once. We also wish that Raghav or someone else had talked to Sunny in a proper way about how he behaved with the girl instead of saying what they did. It was an important moment to address the nature of abuse that relies on power plays, and Kafas missed the opportunity to talk about such an important topic here. Other than these flaws, Season 1 was satisfactory. Season 2 of Kafas doesn’t seem likely since the story has been wrapped up, but there might be another story with the same name set within the same genre or dealing with a similar issue. If it is coming from the pen of these writers, we will be watching it.