Some movies are perfect from start to finish. Kathal is not one of them, but it comes close. If only it had not been so overindulgent with its conclusion, it would have made it. We are also reminded of how little we have seen of Sanya Malhotra in recent times. She really deserves to be a busier actor.
Is It Inspired From True Events?
Kathal is a social satire that comments on the nature of casteism and how “modernity” often gets reduced to a bargaining chip. The same inspector who tries to convince Saurabh that his daughter is a good match for him because she dresses modern and has a trendy hairstyle judges a girl from a so-called “lower caste” as someone with loose morals for doing the exact same things. But that is just one of the many insidious facets of casteism, which is the upper castes’ exclusive claim on all things “progressive” while ignoring the generational wealth and social privilege that they have been able to obtain, mostly through violent oppression. This movie remains a lighter take on that, which means that this topic can be pushed into the background to provide an easier viewing experience for most people’s conscience. We were curious whether any part of Kathal was inspired by true events, but we found that instead of just one, this can be considered an amalgamation of many cases. Be it the rampant casteism, the way women’s careers take a backseat to household responsibilities, or even the corruption of those in power that does not allow crucial investigations to be conducted fairly; it is all part of the judicial landscape of the country. Here is a detailed recap and ending of Kathal: A Jackfruit Mystery.
How Is The Investigation Into The Missing Jackfruit Conducted?
Mahima is a competent police officer, but there are often whispers behind her back regarding her caste. However, she has learned to ignore them while keeping up with her work. Her goal currently is for her long-term boyfriend, Saurabh, to get promoted from a constable to an inspector so that they can get married. Before that can happen, they get a new case, that of two missing jackfruits from a local MLA’s house, which they must find at any cost. Mahima rightfully believes that this is a waste of police time and resources, but she has no option but to investigate. She discovers that the gardener was fired two days ago, and she suspects that he might be the thief. Lucky for her, the gardener himself walks into the police station, wanting to file a missing complaint for his daughter. Upon discovering his identity, Mahima immediately locks him up in a cell and questions him regarding the jackfruits. It turns out that the gardener was unceremoniously fired after the grandson of the MLA misinterpreted his words and made it sound like he was being threatened by him. But the gardener had been at the police station for a day or two to report his daughter missing. However, he was turned away by Saurabh, who believed that the girl must have run away of her own accord and would return soon. Mahima is extremely disappointed in Saurabh upon knowing this, as it puts the future of their relationship in greater danger.
How Does Mahima Find The Missing Girl, Amiya?
Mahima desperately wants Saurabh to get a promotion since that would help his parents overlook the caste barrier between them if they were professional equals, at least. But Saurabh indiscriminately beats up some people and is inattentive at his job, which puts Mahima in a difficult position as his boss. She is unable to fully reprimand him owing to their relationship, but she is also unable to trust him as a colleague.
Temporarily, regarding the case, Mahima comes up with a solution: the gardener must say that it was his daughter who stole the jackfruits so that the police can divert their resources to look for the girl. The ruse works, and the investigation starts. When they inquire in the gardener’s village about her, they find that she was recently kidnapped by three men. Meanwhile, Saurabh redeems himself by finding the address of the people who sold sunglasses in that area. The men who kidnapped Amiya were also selling sunglasses.
Through them, Mahima and her officers discover that these men must have gone to Chhatarpur. Following that trail, it is a game of cat and mouse, with Mahima ultimately figuring out that they must go to the house of the man who was the only one in the area to make a special kind of sweet. True to her suspicions, Mahima finds Amiya there, and after an unnecessarily long fight scene where a lot of vegetables are thrown around, the police capture the culprits.
‘Kathal’ Ending Explained: Who Had Stolen The Jackfruits?
The reason the MLA was so desperate for the jackfruits was that he needed to make a pickle out of them to impress someone for his own political ambitions. He couldn’t get similar jackfruits in the market since these were grown from imported seeds. Hence, he sought the help of the police to find his missing fruits.
Once Amiya is rescued and taken to court, she is further shamed by the lawyers to present her as the kind of person who would steal something unabashedly. If it sounds nonsensical, that is because it is. Either way, the gardener admits that he lied to the media and the police at Mahima’s insistence. When Mahima is asked to explain her actions, she tells the court how she was forced to take such a step to focus on the more pressing matter, which was the missing girl rather than a missing fruit. The judge understands Mahima’s point and reprimands the police for using their resources for something that barely costs Rs. 360 in the market. Mahima is not charged with anything, and Amiya is also released from custody. At the end of Kathal, we are happy to note that Amiya continues leading a life on her terms and has not been deterred by the obsolete thinking of society.
On the other hand, the reporter, Anuj, is released from jail, where he was being held for publishing the news about the girls missing from the area. He takes it as a mark of respect that he was arrested, as he believes that it is a feather in the cap of any reporter. As for Mahima, she is put in charge of a special cell that has been formed with the sole purpose of investigating the cases of the missing girls. In her personal life, Saurabh gets the promotion he wanted, but Mahima is also made the DSP. An elated Saurabh reassures her that they will not let this become a hindrance to their future. Now coming to the biggest question of all: who stole the jackfruits? We see in the post-credits scene of Kathal that it was the monkeys, literally. The monkeys around the MLA’s house stole the jackfruits from his tree and are eating them while perched on his rooftop.
Kathal: A Jackfruit Mystery is a great watch if we ignore the long-drawn vegetable fight at the end. We have loved each character, but Kunti has a special place in our hearts. Her innocence and her clumsy balance between her personal and professional lives made us chuckle. Either way, this is a movie that deserves to be watched, not just for any social message but simply because it is fun, and that is something we have been missing from the OTT space for a while.