‘Salaar’ Ending Explained & Part 1 Summary: How Did Deva And Vardha Become Enemies?


Salaar Part 1: Ceasefire, directed by Prashanth Neel, once again takes you back to the familiar setting of a mythic town that considers itself to be an independent state and is governed by its own set of rules and regulations. The film feels like an accumulation of several high-adrenaline slow-motion sequences, and it never fails to hero-worship the actor whenever it gets the opportunity. Prabhas, as Salaar, walks with a single expression throughout the film and leaves the rest to his fans, who he knows would cheer for him even if he only lifted a finger. Salaar has so many things happening at the same time that, at the end, I just lost track of events, and there came a point where I had to sit down and connect the dots to understand where the narrative was headed. In a film like Salaar, it is very important to create a buildup and then reach a pinnacle, which gives you an adrenaline rush. But the problem with this particular film is that it wants to hop from one high to another, and so it isn’t able to create the desired impact when it matters the most because every other scene is treated like the climax sequence. So, let’s find out what happened in the film and how the different characters were connected to each other.

Spoiler Alert

Why did Deva and his mother leave Khansaar?

It was the year 1985, and two friends, Vardha and Deva, lived in Khansaar. It was a known fact that they always had each other’s backs, no matter what. Vardha was the son of the “Karta” (equivalent to the legislative head) of Khansaar, and Deva came from an underprivileged background, but still, their economic status never came in between their friendship. At the beginning of the film itself, we saw how Deva protected his best friend from his own stepbrother, Rudra, and how he risked his life just so that Vardha could get what he deserved. At that point in time, we were not told who Deva’s father was or to which clan (out of the three clans in the Khansaar) he belonged. The royal guards arrived at Deva’s doorstep one day, and after killing his father, they wanted to plunder his house and take his mother into their custody. Deva tried his level best to save his mother, but the royal guards were given the freedom to do whatever they pleased as long as they were not violating any clause of the constitution, which was referred to as the Nibhandhan. Now, apparently, after a family’s male member was deemed to be an enemy of the state, the soldiers could go and do as they wished with the females of the family. At this juncture, Vardha arrived at the scene, and he asked the soldiers to step down. The leader of the army (whom we later came to know was Ranga’s father) didn’t agree, and to make him adhere to his command, Vardha put him in charge of a territory and gave him the legislative position of “Sardar,” i.e., head of their independent territory. Vardha didn’t know at that moment what the consequences of his actions would be, as all he cared about was saving the life of his best friend. Deva left Khansaar forever with a promise to come back whenever his friend needed him.

Why were Mannar tribes against Shouryaanga?

Since 1127, Khansaar had been ruled by three fierce tribes: Mannar, Shouryaanga and Ghaniyaar. Years passed, and there seemed to be a need to establish the rule of law so that Khansaar would not impede its own progress. But a conflict arose when, after the death of Shiv Mannar, his son, Raj, wanted to become the Karta, though he knew that the rightful heir to the throne was Dhaara, the Shouryaanga leader. Raj got Shouryaanga killed, but he didn’t stop there. He believed that even a single member of the clan, if left alive, could pose a threat in the future. So, he went on a rampage and killed every Shouryaanga child and woman he could lay his hands on. Raj believed that he had killed every member of the enemy clan, but he was wrong. A few members of the Shouryaanga clan had managed to survive and they were secretly plotting a coup.

Why did Radha Rama have to declare a ceasefire?

Around 2010, Raj Mannar expressed a desire that he wanted his son from his second wife, Vardha, to hold a legislative position. Rudra, his son from his first wife, was already a Sardar, and he didn’t like the fact that Vardha lived like an outsider in his own land. Raj Mannar asked Ranga to vacate his spot and give his constituency to Vardha. Ranga didn’t want to, but he felt coerced, as he didn’t have the courage to go against the wishes of his Karta. Raj Mannar was going outside Khansaar to attend to some political matters, and he asked his daughter, Radha Rama, to take care of everything in his absence. Meanwhile, Rudra, Ranga, Narang, Vishnu, and a few others came together and decided that they would kill Vardha before Raj Mannar came back to Khansaar. They waged a war against Vardha and his men, and that’s when Radha Rama came in between and ordered a ceasefire. But the constitution of Khansaar said that if the consensus was against the ceasefire, then it couldn’t be declared by the Karta. So, Ranga challenged Radha’s decision, and it was decided that the option would be voted on, and then only it would be decided if the ceasefire could happen or not. Ranga, Rudra, and others were almost certain that they would be able to secure the majority votes, so they started building their army. They called mercenaries from Ukraine, Russia, South Sudan, and all other places, but Vardha didn’t do any such thing. Vardha just wanted one man to be by his side. He knew that if his friend Salaar was on his side, no army could win against him. Without even giving it a thought, Deva decided to come to Khansaar to help his friend. For Deva, his friend was his life, and he couldn’t see anybody even laying a finger on him. So, Deva came back with a very different mindset than Khansaar, but he had no clue what fate had in store for him.

Why did Vardha vote against the ceasefire?

The council of ministers voted for and against the declaration of a ceasefire, and in the end, when both sides had equal votes, Vardha was called to cast his vote and break the tie. Everybody believed that Vardha would vote in favor of the ceasefire since it was his life that was at stake, but shockingly, he voted to lift the ceasefire, and people believed that he had signed his own death warrant. But what they didn’t know was that he had Salaar, the one-man army, by his side, and he knew that he would be able to overcome any obstacle, and nobody would be able to stop him from achieving what he wanted. Deva and Vardha, together, killed hundreds of mercenaries single-handedly and showed no signs of stopping. A twist in events came when, after achieving victory, Vardha declared that he was not done and that he now wanted to become the Karta of Khansaar by replacing his own father. There was greed in his eyes when he spoke those words, and though, as of now, Deva stood by his side, it was unclear how long that comradeship was going to last.

What did Raj Mannar come to know about Deva?

Raj Mannar always knew that there would come a time when his own people would rebel against him. He knew that violence was in the blood of every person who stayed in Mannar. But the state of civil unrest was happening on a much larger scale, and we got to know some secrets that had the potential to entirely change the dynamics of things. Firstly, we got to know that a lot of members of the Shouryaanga clan were still alive, and they were conspiring to overthrow Raj’s regime. They were waiting for the right opportunity, and they believed that now the time had come for them to aggressively move towards their goal.

During Salaar‘s ending, it was revealed that Deva was Dhaara’s son, and he was the rightful heir to the throne. As of now, we don’t know if he himself knew about that fact or not. Obviously, it would come as a huge surprise for him, too, if he didn’t know about it already. Now the predicament was that Deva had sworn to protect Vardha and help him to sit on the chair of the Karta one day; there was an army of Shouryaangas, under the leadership of Bhaarava, who wanted to burn down the empire, and there were others like Rudra who wanted to take advantage of the situation. In the second installment of the franchise, we will get to know if Deva lives up to his pledge or if he has a change of heart and takes over Khansaar, going against his own friend.

How did Deva and Vardha become staunch enemies?

At the beginning of the film, we saw that in 2017, Deva and Vardha became staunch enemies, and we are never shown what happened between 2010 and 2017 that changed their equation so drastically. It is said that best friends have the potential to become one’s greatest nemesis, and something like that happened with Vardha and his Salaar. We saw how Adhya, who was the daughter of Krishnakanth, came back to India and was kidnapped by Raj Mannar’s daughter, Radha. Krishnakanth once used to work for the Mannar clan, but due to some unknown reason, he went into hiding and left India, as he knew that he was not safe there.

Radha wanted to find Deva, and she knew that if she kidnapped Aadhya, only then would Deva come out of hiding. Her plan was successful as Deva came in front of everybody and saved Aadya, and even Vardha came to know where his friend turned enemy was. It is possible that some sort of misunderstanding or disagreement created a rift between two friends, or maybe they were onto something else, and they just wanted the world to perceive them as enemies. We would get to know the truth in Salaar Part 2, but we are sure that in the end, the friends would reconcile and once again fight together against everybody who stood in their way.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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