‘Adai Mazhai Kaalam’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Will Suriyan And Chandra Unite One Last Time?

How often do you come across a movie that you think is going to question the mortality of life and the nature of true love, but it ends up being a messy film with the makers unable to convey any of the themes mentioned above? Adai Mazhai Kaalam, a Malaysian Tamil language film directed by Karthik Shamalan, takes you through love and life, and asks whether if given a chance, will anyone relive their life one last time before the sweet release of death?

Spoilers Ahead

Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The End?

Adai Mazhai Kaalam begins with an accident, and it would be easy to infer that someone got killed. The person who died in the accident might be someone of significance to the plot of the film, and this accident might lead to sequences crucial to the movie. The scene moves to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where Suriyan is a final-year student who lives with his sister and their blind mother. He is a typical college-going boy. His friend Chandra has liked to hang out with him since the beginning of their time in college, and Suriyan has still not confessed his love for her. I’m not sure if this is Suriyan’s first love, but by the looks of it, it seems like a plausible scenario.

Suriyan assumes Chandra likes him, and going off that assumption, he confesses his feelings for her. Unfortunately, Chandra rejects his proposal and rather rudely lets him know that she cannot be with him because she is with someone else. She also lets him know that if he had approached her in the first year, her feelings would have been different. This statement made by her would mean that if only he had put in enough effort to court her in the first year, Chandra may have liked Suriyan more than just as a friend.

Suriyan’s friends pacify him to move on because Suriyan has a long life ahead of him, and there is still time to pursue love. On their way back, they meet with an accident, killing Suriyan instantly. This scene connects to the opening shot, and the bloodied man next to his friends Jack, Jokim, and Batmanathan is the spirit of Suriyan. The scream let out by Suriyan in this scene is his spirit not coming to terms with his death and being in shock at things he had been unable to achieve before his untimely death. This scene was enough to prove that life is indeed short and that one must keep doing the things they love and not bother waiting for the right time.

Suriyan is startled to see a cupid appear, who lets him know that there was a mistake on his end, as it was not Suriyan who was supposed to die. This extraterrestrial entity introduces himself as Bonu. There was a change in people’s lives because of the lunar eclipse. The viewer’s left wondering where this film would be headed with the presence of an otherworldly element speaking about life, death, and survival. Bonu offers Suriyan a deal because of the mishap to choose two years. Each year would be equivalent to 12 years of his life, giving him a total of 24 years to live the way he wants. It is to be understood that one year of his life would be filled with memories worth twelve years, which would be enough for Suriyan to do the things he always wanted. One year he would spend in the past, while the next year he would spend in the future. This would allow him to come to terms with the fact that one should not let things go and keep waiting for the right time. These two chances given to him will probably allow him to rectify his mistakes. This deal is beneficial because anybody would jump at such an opportunity to go back in time and make things right. It cannot be considered selfish because even if he or any other person passes away unexpectedly, they will go without any regrets. When Suriyan was alive, his lecturer at college also described the motto ‘Carpe diem’ in the hope of getting his generation to understand the importance of seizing the moment.

‘Adai Mazhai Kaalam’ Ending explained: Will Suriyan And Chandra Unite One Last Time?

As requested by Bonu, Suriyan chooses 2006, his first year of college. By choosing this year, Suriyan would be able to go back and make things right for him by letting Chandra know about his feelings. In 2006, Suriyan met the same four friends, and things worked out for them in this dimension as best friends. It is comforting to watch a hearty and healthy Suriyan spending time with his friend’s. Suriyan finally runs into Chandra, and just like she had pointed out, he starts pursuing her romantically right from the beginning. The girl does not mind his attention, and they begin to hang out. This relationship restores his faith in love and fairness, as this time, he thinks he’s done the right thing.

The audience is also invested at this point, hoping they will get a happy ending, but again, they are in a different dimension. Bonu makes an appearance 30 days before Suriyan must leave this world. Suriyan is in a distraught state of mind because he is not ready to go back yet, as he wishes to spend more time with Chandra. His quest for love is sadly coming to an end, and Suriyan, in this dimension, kills himself only to wake up on the site of the accident. Bonu asks Suriyan to choose a year in the future. This time around, Suriyan wants to be alone because he experienced the pain of separation from Chandra and having her in the next dimension would be difficult for him to cope with. So, he would rather spend time with his mother in this dimension in the hope that there would be good times. Bonu takes him to the year he turned 34 and lets him know that if he thought of Chandra, she would appear regardless. Bonu makes it clear because it is understood that Suriyan is craving Chandra’s love, and does not realize the amount of pain he would be inviting into his life.

Suriyan is now in the future and is happy being a sketch artist. Here, Suriyan is still haunted by Chandra as he draws sketches of her. Suriyan chose to live alone by the looks of it, because he has gotten used to this life and is not sure if he will ever move on. He brought his mother to live with him so that he would have company. It can be assumed he realizes it’s crucial to have family around and that’s’ why he decides to have his mother near him and he feels content when he takes care of her. To Suriyan’s shock, Chandra is now his new neighbor, and by the appearance of it, she is the mother of a son. Suriyan is initially unable to gather courage to speak to her out of sheer anxiety. It can be safely assumed that Suriyan never imagined she would be his neighbor. He slowly starts conversing with her son, Tamil.

Chandra is still seeking a friend, but her confusion is because of Suriyan’s distant behavior. They slowly start to talk to each other when Chandra reveals that her husband has been missing for many years and that she is hopeful of his return because her marriage up until his disappearance was happy and peaceful. With Chandra back in his life, he falls in love all over again, and he feels delighted being with the two of them. It can be assumed that 34-year-old Suriyan has plans to keep Chandra in his life for a longer time.

Bonu offers Suriyan the last 30 days to get out of the situation he is in and save himself from another heartbreak. With limited time in hand, Suriyan expresses his feelings for her because if not for right now, his love would remain incomplete, and Suriyan does not want to go with any regrets. Chandra reciprocates his feelings even though she is technically not a divorcee or a widow, but she is aware Suriyan would be a good father to Tamil. Her trust comes from seeing Suriyan and Tamil getting along well and him initiating an effort to spend time with them. This is a case of true love because Suriyan has been pining for Chandra for many years, and now is their time to be with each other. This is more important for Suriyan because he knows the result and is happy to be parting on good terms.

It can be assumed that Suriyan has accepted his fate because he is happy right now to have Chandra and Tamil next to him, and he would rather leave this world knowing there was lots of love shared between the three of them. He writes a letter to Chandra expressing his happiness, and that she will keep Tamil happy through the love they shared. He requests that she not pine over him because he would love her no matter where he was. Suriyan feels that unlike her first marriage, this time around Chandra deserves closure to move on with life. Bonu brings him back only to see how much Suriyan has changed as a person. He did not expect any of this to happen. It can be concluded that true love does change people, and Suriyan’s love for his mother, and Chandra and her son is proof of that.

Suriyan was close to his mother, and his wanting to be there for her is a testament to the fact that children tend to take their mother’s love for granted. Suriyan’s last request is to see how his family grieves for him. Bonu takes him to his mother, who is at an old age home and seems to have never cried after Suriyan’s death. This causes Suriyan to be distraught because he does not want this fate for his mother. Suriyan is not alive right now, but his mother senses his presence, and she starts crying. This scene might be an exaggeration because the mother feeling her deceased son’s presence around her is taking things a bit too far in this fantasy drama.

Bonu grants Suriyan the ability to communicate with his mother for the next two years by speaking to her but only through his voice, because the lunar eclipse changed her lifespan. There is no way Suriyan would get resurrected, so he thinks this works for him because he wants to be there for his mother in some way. The drama in this scene is over the top because it goes against what Suriyan in the last dimension said. Suriyan should have gone to the other side, happy and content and not pining for his mother’s love. The audience is left baffled by the contradictory nature of this concluding narrative.

The movie Adai Mazhai Kaalam ends with the montage of Suriyan long gone from Chandra, Tamil and his mother’s lives, but they are content with knowing he loved them and addressing that life is about seizing the moment. Live one’s life not just happily but with the satisfaction that they did what they had to do, not because of any obligation but out of love.

Adai Mazhai Kaalam is now streaming on Netflix with subtitles.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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