This movie is super fun and surprising, you will really enjoy watching it without knowing what is going to happen. So just relax and know it is generally a happy ending, watch the movie, then come back her to discuss it AFTER you have seen it.
Whole plot in 5 stories:
Aditya Roy Kapur is a voice actor and ventriloquist comic who sees a sex video WhatsApp forward, and realizes it is him in the video with his ex-girlfriend Sanya who is now engaged. He asks his lawyer brother for help, they go to the police who inform them that since his face isn’t shown in the video, only Sanya’s, Sanya has to file the complaint. He goes to talk to Big Gangster Pankaj Tripathi for help, but in a random accident, Pankaj’s hide out is blown up while he is there. So he tracks down Sanya and shows her the video. She is angry with him at first, then comes around and goes to the police with him. We flashback to their romance, they met through a matrimonial website, but once Sanya realized he wasn’t rich and successful, she started using him as a friend with benefits instead. They hung out and had sex for months while she went on formal meetings with respectable prospective grooms. And when ARK brought up the possibility that they should admit they love each other and be together for real, Sanya shut him down. Now it is months later and she is engaged to a “perfect” groom and needs to protect the engagement and get the video taken down. The police give them camera tracking equipment and tell them to check out the hotels where they stayed and identify which one has cameras, then call them. ARK and Sanya drive around and bond and end up getting drunk and sleeping together again. Then her groom shows up. He turns out to be totally understanding, he saw the video, understands that ARK is with her to help her track it down and get it taken away, he says he doesn’t care and feels bad that she has been so worried. And then all the plotlines come together and there is a big shoot out, ARK is shot, wakes up in the hospital, and comes home to find Sanya waiting, she has canceled the wedding and wants to be with him.
Rajkummar Rao is a former low level thug who now runs a small restaurant. Since childhood he has had a crush on neighbor girl Fatima Sana Sheikh. Fatima married a respectable man a year ago and now has a baby, but Rajkummar still loves her. Fatima’s husband is wrongfully arrested, she goes to talk to him, and he says his alibi is his mistress, he was having an affair. Fatima goes to Rajkummar for help talking to the mistress. The mistress demands money before she will testify. Rajkummar and Fatima have a plan to trick some corrupt cops to give them a pay off for the mistress. It goes wrong when Fatima freaks out and starts shooting. They get the money, but it’s not enough, so Rajkummar takes all his savings to pay the mistress. And then she steals it and still doesn’t testify. Now Fatima asks Rajkummar to help her break her husband out of jail. They have him fake a sickness to get him in a hospital and break him out of the hospital. Rajkummar sends Fatima off with her husband, and only after they are driving away, the husband starts insulting Fatima and Rajkummar and even their baby. She finally snaps and shoots him. She goes to Rajkummar for help again, and shows him the body in the trunk. In the end they are a happy family, her and Rajkummar and her baby.
Abhishek Bachchan was just released from jail after 6 years, a former killer working for gangster Pankaj Tripathi. While he was in jail, his wife remarried and his baby daughter was raised believing her stepfather was her father. To try to force Abhishek to work for him again, Pankaj calls in a loan from the stepfather. The stepfather offers that if Abhishek can find the money to pay back the loan, he can meet his daughter. Abhishek runs into a little girl, Inayat Verma, who is running away from home. She has faked her kidnapping and asks him for help. He calls her father and asks for the amount of the loan as a ransom. He gets the money, pays the stepfather, but barely gets to see his daughter. He realizes his whole life is worthless, his daughter is far better off without him, Inayat is with her parents and doesn’t need him any more, and it is all because Pankaj turned him in and sent him to jail. He tracks down Pankaj and gets caught up in the final shoot out and dies.
Pankaj Tripathi is a big gangster boss, scary but not really sadistic or super evil. His hide out blows up and he survives and ends up in the hospital. He is terrible and rude to all the nurses, until finally the head nurse comes and yells at him. They end up forming a surprising bond, sharing secret cigarettes. And then he sees the doctor molest her, and in vengeance beats him up, and their relationship is sealed. He escapes the hospital along with Fatima’s husband and waits for the nurse at her car. She drives him to the hotel where his gang and money is, he gets caught in the final shoot out, somehow survives that too, tracks down the nurse again along with all his money that his gang was collecting. Then is hit by a bus. But, in a surprise at the end, he survived that! And he and the nurse are happily dancing together with him in a wheel chair.
Finally, most boring story, Rohit Suresh Suraf is a minor employee at a mall. He sleeps in the parking garage because he can’t afford rent in Bombay, and is constantly belittled by his boss. He ends up witnessing a killing Pankaj carries out and is kidnapped by Pankaj as a witness, but not killed because Pankaj likes him. He is caught up in the explosion at Pankaj’s hide out and ends up in the ambulance with Pankaj and lonely Malayalam nurse Pearle Maaney (she isn’t fluent in Hindi or English and so can’t talk to anyone in Bombay, including Rohit) and Pankaj’s suitcase of money. Pankaj pulls a gun on them, then the ambulance is in an accident and Pearle grabs the suitcase and Rohit and escapes. Pankaj survives and tracks them down, Pearle and Rohit push him off a bridge and take the money. They get a hide out and clean the money and put it back in the suitcase. Next day, they both confront their nasty bosses at work and run away from their jobs to the hide out where Pankaj’s thugs have already tracked them down. They escape together and go on a buying spree, then on the run again. Rohit writes her a love note but she can’t read it because it is in Hindi. He goes to translate it to Malayalam, but comes back to find her dancing with someone else and gets angry and she doesn’t understand. The next morning, she finds the note, just as Pankaj’s thugs track them down again. They fight towards each other again and manage to survive the shoot out and still keep some of the money. At the end, they are happily riding in a fancy car with fancy clothes, together.
Sorry, that is a LOT of plot!!! But then, this film just has a lot of plot. All the stories are really the same though. Guy is focused on his own life and problems, guy makes a connection with a woman, guy realizes that he needs to get out of his own life and think about the woman he loves, guy shifts to having no pride or ego in helping the woman he loves, guy is rewarded for this behavior.
The only unhappy ending is Abhishek, and that is because he has no more role to play in the world, there is no one who needs him. The framework for this movie is two Gods of death playing Ludo and talking. At the end of the film, they explain that it’s not about Sin or Virtue to decide who dies and when and where they go, it’s about not being finished with all they have to do. Abhishek dies because he has nothing left to do. But Pankaj survives, over and over again, because he has to meet, and then unite, with his nice nurse lady.
The ultimate message of the film, that people (especially men) need to learn to put other people first, only works because each individual story is SO GOOD. We start with ARK and Sanya, and the set-up of a romance that begins because they are forced together by their sex tape. That story alone, I am ready to watch a whole film about! There’s the great unusual attitude of “yeah, so what, we had sex and aren’t ashamed to go to the police or do whatever else is needed just to get the video taken down so it won’t mess with her engagement”. And there’s the classic romance set-up of the two people forced back together, but with a really unusual reason for it. And they are all like that! Abhishek as this big tough thug who is so gentle and safe and kind to a little girl, Pankaj and his tough nurse, Rajkummar as this hopeless young dope in love with Fatima just trying to get her life put back together, and so on. Each story (except the boring Rohit-Pearle one), I would have happily watched as a whole film. But the filmmakers double-downed and said “we aren’t just going to have ONE great story, we are going to have 4 of them!”
Each story is totally different, but also the same. It’s a man thinking about his own life (ARK working on his career, Rajkummar in love with Fatima, Pankaj wanting his money back, Abhishek wanting his daughter back), and then reaching out to help a woman because it’s a basically decent thing to do (ARK taking responsibility for his part in the sex tape, Rajkummar doing Fatima a favor, Pankaj helping the nurse he likes, Abhishek being kind of a little girl who is lost), and finally coming to a point when it is no longer about just doing the “decent” thing, but about going above and beyond that.
That turning point happens when the plot reaches a point where you would think the female characters should be punished for being “bad”. Sanya is openly out for a rich husband. She is hiding this sex tape so she can still marry her rich groom and that’s all she wants. Fatima us openly using Rajkummar’s sacrificial love for her to get her husband back because she wants security and a “good” marriage. Inayat even, she is only faking her kidnaping to make her parents love her, she is being a “bad” little girl. But then the film reaches that point and instead of the woman being forced to admit her evilness and be “better”, instead of Fatima apologizing for destroying Rajkummar’s life, or Sanya for wanting a rich husband, they don’t apologize, they just keep going with what they need in life and the heroes accept that these women are not perfect and they love them anyway.
It’s just such a satisfying movie! I kept waiting for a hero to do something I didn’t like, or for a heroine to convert to being “better”, and instead it was a message of total acceptance and sacrifice. And it ends so happily! Not because the heroes are “rewarded” with getting the woman they love, but because the women realize that their happiness would be in staying with the men who love them. That’s why Abhishek has to die, he is not good for the women in his life, it is not a happy ending to have him raise his daughter or be with Inayat, they are better off without him.
And the ending isn’t a surprise, really. By about a third into the movie I realized “wait, this whole thing is a false front, none of the complications are really complications, you just have to accept the situation”. Sanya and ARK have to take down the sex video so it won’t end her engagement, but if they just accept they are meant to be together, no problem! If Fatima just lets her husband stay in jail and accepts Rajkummar, no problem! And so on and so forth. It’s a movie where a lot of stuff “happens” but ultimately it’s just an internal journey. The only way it could end happily is if the characters don’t change their minds, if the men gave up on the women for being difficult, or if the women never made up their minds about who is really right for them. That’s what I was most worried about, not that anything would go “wrong” exactly, because the obstacles were made up, but that the characters would just not be smart enough.
And then it all worked out! Yes, this is just a delightful film, and you should all watch it, and relax because it ends happily.
And if you have already seen it, let me know which story is your favorite. It’s very close for me, but I think Pankaj and Nurse end up on top for me.