‘Naga’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Why Did Sarah Expose The Famous Poet?


Meshal Al Jaser’s Netflix film, Naga is all about the lengths a teenage girl will go to return home before her curfew time in Saudi Arabia. Naga is so stylistically loaded that the plot is lost, and the commentary it aimed to make falls short. We are constantly distracted by the camera movement, making it almost impossible to focus on the narrative. A style-heavy film can be extremely enjoyable if it is not as jarring as this Netflix film is, but it is commendable how Al Jaser manages to transfer the anxiety that the protagonist experiences onto the audience. With the ticking of the clock, we, too, feel a certain urgency to find out what will happen in the end. Overall, the deadpan humor and the performance are worth mentioning.

Spoiler Alert

Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

Sarah was born into a conservative Riyadh family where she was always expected to behave a certain way. The rebellious teenager was afraid of her father, who was known for his rage. In her own little way, Sarah protested against the limitations she was bound by. She particularly detested her little brother, knowing how easy his life was going to be compared to hers. This was not the first time Sarah had lied to her father about going shopping with her friend, Hadeel. It had almost become a ritual, and Hadeel was not too happy about it. After a few minutes of silence, Sarah’s father agreed to pick her up an hour later than the previously agreed-upon time. Sarah had to return home at 10 p.m., and she informed her boyfriend, Saad, about the same.

Sarah was afraid of facing the consequences of missing the deadline, but at the same time, taking the risk and going on a desert date seemed equally important. Sarah had her headscarf removed and had her feet on the dashboard as they drove to a desert camp owned by Saad’s friend. She was visibly excited to try the recreational drugs that Saad had mixed in the drink he brought. Before gulping it down, she confirmed the effect of the drug to make sure that she was in the right state of mind before heading home. The hallucination did not kick in instantly, and the two lovers waited in the desert for things to go wild. And so it did. They watched three punks vandalize an ice cream van and rough up the owner. It happened in front of their eyes, but they chose not to intervene. While heading to the desert camp, Saad drove his car into a camel. The animal screamed in agonizing pain, and the herder refused to let go of Saad. After learning that he was heading to the farm owner’s camp, the man showed mercy. The injured camel had to be killed to relieve it of the pain, but the mother camel kept on grunting and screaming. Sarah knew that camels were spiteful creatures, and that stuck with her. They finally reached the camp, and everything started to get worse with time.

How did Sarah find help in the desert?

Soon after entering the desert camp in Naga, Sarah struggled to find Saad. The hallucination she experienced made it all the more difficult for her to find him. With Saad not by her side, Sarah found men staring at her suggestively. She manically searched for him, only to later find him making out with another woman. With her mother constantly calling her and Saad betraying her, the hallucinations kept getting worse. She ended up in the same room as the famous poet Abu Fahad, and she discovered that his poems were written by his assistant. By the time Abu Fahad discovered Sarah in his room, the police had started to raid the camp. The sudden screaming and panic left Sarah in complete dismay, and she headed towards a stranger’s car who offered to help her. Saad showed up all of a sudden and asked Sarah to get in his car. He was apologetic that she had to find out about the affair, and they both agreed to call it quits once they returned. But we soon find out in Naga that Saad was carrying drugs in his car. The police started to chase his car, and Sarah ended up hiding in the trunk. Saad was taken away by the police, and Sarah was left stranded in the desert all alone. 

There was barely any charge left in her phone, and to make the night all the more hellish, Sarah spotted the mother camel. Sarah could sense that the mother was out for revenge and had been waiting to unleash its rage upon her. Sarah sought refuge under the car to protect herself from the mad camel. She managed to call Hadeel and convince her to drive to the desert to get her, but unfortunately, her phone ran out of battery, and she could not text her the address. Sarah had no other choice but to run for her life. She managed to find a shack that rented out quads. The owner was kind and offered to drop Sarah off at the main road. But the situation went out of control when the three rowdy quad drivers stopped at the shop. Sarah knew that the punks would attack the owner, and she intervened before they could do so. One of the boys screamed in pain as his hand caught on fire, and Sarah thought it was the best opportunity for her to lock them all in the house and take one of the quads to find her way back to the main road. The journey was not an easy one; the quad gave up midway, and she had to cover the rest of the path on foot. In the end, Sarah comes across an ice cream van, and the driver offers to help her. As soon as the van stopped at the Riyadh hospital, Sarah escaped. She did not care about her health as long as she reached the meeting spot on time. Because of the traffic, her father texted her that he would reach there at 11.30, and Sarah had only a few minutes left to make it.

Why did Sarah expose the famous poet?

Sarah realized that she had left her phone in the ice cream van, and the only option she had was to pretend to be a victim of the fire at Al Jaffri Sweets. She coated her face with ashes to make it all the more convincing. Her father ran towards her and was glad to see his daughter alive. She was taken to the ambulance, where she was offered medical assistance. Sarah’s mother did not pester her about the things she had asked her to buy, and her father did not complain about his daughter turning up late at the meeting spot.

During Naga‘s ending, it all worked out for Sarah, and she was even offered a nice cake to make her feel better. Since Sarah has consumed some form of hallucinogen, we cannot trust her memory completely. Maybe the vengeful camel was just a fragment of her imagination, considering that she was thinking about the spiteful nature of camels when she took the drugs. She was alone when the incident occurred, and maybe we saw the version she believed she had lived through. But not everything Sarah had to go through was false; for example, the Abu Fahad conversation she overheard. She had evidence to destroy a man of great stature, but in the end, she is left to wonder whether she will take the bold step or let it slide. As a woman, she was expected to not interfere and silently carry on with her existence. But Sarah was a rebel, and she refused to stay quiet. After giving it some thought, Sarah shared the video on social media—she was no longer afraid of facing the consequences after the harrowing night she had to live through. Naga explores the anxiety-laden existence of a Saudi teenage girl and how she finds ways and means to fight for her rights in everyday life.

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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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