‘8 A.M Metro’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: What Happens To Ira?

Bollywood has always marketed the stereotype that a guy and a girl can never be friends. If two people are of opposite genders, there must be some romantic tension brewing between them. Director Raj Rachakonda’s 8 A.M. Metro punches this old-age notion and knocks it out cold. It’s a story about two strangers meeting in a metro station and opening up to each other without fear of judgement or shame. We often spend our time in a metro scrolling or listening to music, not paying much attention to what’s going on with the other people who are traveling with us. 8 A.M. Metro emphasizes the purity of human connection and how poetry helps people say things they can’t ever say verbally.


Spoilers Ahead

What happens in the movie?

Iravati, a shy poet whose ambitions are suppressed by her responsibilities as a housewife, is called to Hyderabad when her younger sister is in the last months of her pregnancy. Her aversion to traveling by train is the biggest problem in her life, and she gets panic attacks whenever she dares to try doing so. Ira’s husband, Umesh, is busy with work, and she has to travel to Hyderabad without anyone by her side. When her sister Riya advises her to take the metro back home from the hospital, a panic attack overwhelms Ira. A man named Preetam helps her to calm down and then goes to a bookstore to learn about panic attacks. The universe conspires to make them meet again, as the two happen to take the same metro every day. The story follows Preetam and Ira helping each other heal and becoming friends along the way. While the conservatives won’t agree with the very essence of the movie, two married people getting along through their love for literature and poetry is a heartwarming tale through and through. 


How does Ira start to open up to Preetam?

Ira and Preetam find that they both take the same metro every day, and that gives them the comfort to delve into each other’s lives. Preetam is a kind, patient man who tries to help Ira get over her fear of trains. Ira too starts to get better when she talks with him, and the journeys that used to be a nightmare now seem short to her. Ira’s fear of trains originates from a trauma from her childhood. Once her father went out of the train to get cigarettes, she feared that he wouldn’t hop back on the train. He did get back in a different compartment, but the fifteen minutes she had to spend alone left her with lifelong trauma. Preetam gets to know more about Ira’s life when he offers to take her out for a filter coffee. Ira is a coffee nerd, and Preetam understands that. Preetam is an avid reader, and he reads one of Ira’s poems, which she secretly hides in her diary. The two bond over Preetam’s stories of different cultures of small tribes, Dutch poets’ Lonely Funeral Project, and so on. Ira’s never had someone who’d truly listen to her and the poems she writes, and in Preetam, she found a man who’s willing to listen to her fears and insecurities. 

How do Preetam and Ira describe their married lives?

Preetam is married to a Bengali woman, Mridula, who’s also a poet who writes in Bengali. They have two kids together, and Preetam seems happy in the marriage. Mridula drools over him, and he is just the same for her. He claims to be an amazing father too, as he and the kids try to cook new dishes from different cuisines every weekend. Ira is in awe of such a happy married life, and while her marriage isn’t full of roses and hugs, it’s not bad either. Her husband, Umesh, always stands by her side in her decisions and covers up for her mistakes, even if he has to sacrifice his own happiness for a while. When Ira is in Hyderabad, Umesh barely tries to make much contact with her, as he’s busy with the audits at his work. Ira forgets about the major distance that has come between them, as Preetam seems to be speaking to her soul. 


Why does Riya lash out at Ira?

Riya gets a false alarm, but her labor pain is only increasing with time, and she can’t reach Ira, who’s out with Preetam. When she comes back, Riya bashes her for spending the time with a stranger rather than her. But the meltdown isn’t just because of her pregnancy, as Ira soon finds out that Riya’s husband, Abhiram, is cheating on her. Abhiram told Riya that he was in the U.S. attending to business, but he was in India all this time having an affair while she went through a painful pregnancy in a hospital bed. Riya refuses to take him back even when Ira tries to give the man a chance to come clean, and it’s clear to Ira that his truth isn’t going to change anything. 

What happens on Ira’s birthday? 

Ira and Preetam are again traveling together when he finds out it’s her birthday. The kids wish Ira, but Umesh is too busy to even wish her a birthday. Preetam asks Ira if she wants to take a tour of Hyderabad with him, and he treats the proposal as his birthday gift to her. The two wander around the most gorgeous places Hyderabad has to offer and end up in a crematorium, as Ira wished to visit one earlier. Preetam receives a burial urn and breaks down in tears, and he tells Ira that it’s one of his friend’s ashes that he was supposed to collect months ago. 


How do Ira and Preetam help each other to find themselves?

Preetam inspires Ira to publish her poetry, as he believes it might not reach millions, but her poetry has certainly made a difference to one person. Ira tells him that it was her father who was the poet of the family and how, in his dying days, he wrote a few lines for her, passing the torch to her. Meanwhile, Preetam has an opportunity to get promoted to branch manager in his bank, but his social anxiety stops him from accepting it. Ira inspires him to talk to an IT guy who’s often a co-passenger of theirs in the metro. Preetam talks with him, and he doesn’t hate it as much as he thought he would, and he actually finds him funny. The days these two spend together are about to come to an end, as Riya’s delivery is due in a few more days.

Why doesn’t Ira get to meet Preetam’s family?

Before she leaves Hyderabad, Ira asks Preetam if she could meet Mridula and the kids, and Preetam obliges. The next day, she comes over to his house, but nobody’s home. She finds a letter from Mridula explaining they had to leave for the vet because their dog was sick. Preetam gives her a house tour, and Ira is in awe of the aesthetics of the house. Upon coming back, Ira finds Umesh waiting for her in the hospital, and Riya saves her by lying that Ira has been hanging out with her neighbors. Ira asks Riya the reason behind her lying, and she explains that no matter how pure her husband is, it would sound awful if he finds out the truth. Umesh asks Ira for a coffee date before he catches the train back home, and the couple reconnects when Umesh gives her a birthday present and thanks her for always doing her best to make the family happy. Ira tells Preetam that after she goes back, she won’t be in touch with him, and he agrees and gives her a couple of toys for the kids. Ira’s heart isn’t yet ready to let go, and she goes back to Preetam’s house the same night. She is shocked when she discovers a garland over the picture of Mridula and the kids, and Preetam comes back to see that Ira now knows the truth. He is heartbroken that she came back and didn’t keep her word, as he wanted it to be that way too. Preetam was going to kill himself the day he met Ira panicking in the metro station, and by helping her, he found a reason to live. He wanted to be the perfect husband and father when he got married, but ended up being an average one. After his family died and he met Ira, he made up a world where all his shortcomings were nonexistent. He asks Ira to leave, and he rips apart the letter she brought for him. 


How does Ira become an author?

After Riya gives birth, she takes Abhiram back, despite his infidelity. She sacrifices her heart in exchange for her daughter having a father. Ira tries to look for Preetam, but she finds that he’s sold his house and moved somewhere else. Ira is heartbroken that she lost someone who meant so much to her, and months later, Preetam visits the bookstore he’d often visit. The owner gives him a copy of Ira’s novel, 8 A.M. Metro. She’s also managed to publish her father’s poems with the support of Umesh. Preetam starts to read the novel, and it’s nothing but a letter to him, as she mentions the famous book Kafka and the Doll by Larissa Theule. She tells him how it doesn’t matter if the doll is lost; love always comes back to us in different forms. Ira is now happy with her husband and family, and her book for Preetam also prevents him from giving up on life, as he embraces it after he finishes reading it. 

8 A.M. Metro is easily one of the best Bollywood movies I’ve watched in a long time, and the soul of the movie talks to you. There’s something about the charm of Hyderabad, as the city works as a magical backdrop for both actors to shine. Gulshan Devaiah has always been a powerhouse who’s constantly under the radar of big productions, and his performance is nothing but a chef’s kiss. Saiyami Kher, as Iravati, is a winner, as she embodies a poet who’s afraid to share her voice with the world. The angst and vulnerability of these characters are relatable, and this movie is a breath of fresh air. 


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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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