‘Alone’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Did Kalidasan Find Sreedevi & Anu’s Killer, Or Was He Imagining It All?

Psychological dramas are the most intriguing and tricky genre, and they make sure to give the audience the right amount of information about a certain psychological condition. The writers cannot digress just for the sake of it and take cinematic liberties for the claps. Movies in this genre have a deep impact because they affect the audience’s point of view toward people who go through such psychological conditions. So, filmmakers have a huge responsibility to do the right thing before dealing with this subject matter. Sensitivity is something that should come across. “Alone,” a Malayalam-language psychological thriller directed by Shaji Kailas, is all about Kalidasan, who starts living alone in an apartment. Eerie incidents kept happening to him since the day he moved in. Starring Mohanlal as the lead, who is a paranoid person, he wonders: Do these incidents have any connection with this apartment? Kalidasan tries to find out in the film by showing how he can resolve this matter. Released on January 26, 2023, the movie is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.


Spoilers Ahead

Covid Lockdown And Kalidasan’s Moving To Cochin

Set in the year 2020, when the COVID lockdown had just been announced, the entire country had come to a standstill because of the raging pandemic that was sweeping the entire world. The government of India has announced a nationwide lockdown where people are asked to stay indoors for some time to make sure there is no person-to-person contact between anyone to avoid spreading the disease. Amidst all the chaos unleashed because of the lockdown, Kalidasan drives down to Cochin to move into a new apartment. Wearing a mask and gloves and carrying a sanitizer spray along with him as he enters the apartment complex, his only point of contact with the security is through his phone. There is hardly any sign of humanity around him, and there is silence and emptiness, which can be felt from the beginning of his stay there. Kalidasan comes across as a supremely cautious person with hypochondriac elements in him, who constantly has a sanitizer in his hand to make sure the virus does not come in contact with him. The first impression of him is of someone who is constantly on the edge of his feet and starts looking around for things rather thoroughly to make sure the environment is fine. He does show signs of someone who is paranoid, which is natural because the covid rage was just beginning to rise.


Kalidasan starts hearing the voice of a woman talking to her daughter about studying and making sure the daughter scores well this time as well. By the sound of it, the daughter was a teenager, and the mother’s concerns about her studies seemed genuine. Kalidasan, though rattled by the kind of noises he keeps hearing, has no clue why it is happening to him or why he is the only one being subjected to these noises, which have no physical source The man gets rattled by any tiny noise that happens in the house, which compels him to wonder if the house is haunted. He starts contemplating if any supernatural power has taken over the house to make him feel unsettled. Kalidasan is a motivational speaker who goes from prison to prison, talking to jail inmates and helping them become better versions of themselves by educating them about life and the opportunities it offers. Kalidasan is in touch with his girlfriend Yamuna, whom he informs about his arrival in the city the moment he reaches. She is his best friend and confidante, with whom he can share all kinds of news, good or bad, sad or happy. Yamuna is happy to be there for him as well, as he starts divulging information about his experience in the apartment.

Just hours into his moving into the apartment, Kalidasan cannot believe the noises and voices he hears becoming clearer and wonders if they are the sounds of the ones who lived in the apartment before he moved. He requests Yamuna arrange for another apartment for him, but she is unable to do so because of the COVID lockdown and restrictions. Kalidasan is worried that the voices he hears will drive him mad eventually. He is not sure if he should invite someone to the apartment and if they will be able to hear the same noises as him. Kalidasan also informs Dr. Soosan, his other confidante, about hearing noises. Dr. Soosan brushes it off as if there’s nothing for Kalidasan to worry about; she indulges in a healthy amount of funny banter with Kalidasan. It has been some time since he moved to the new apartment, but the intensity of the voices and the conversation the two people are having increases. Kalidasan’s paranoia reaches a point when he feels troubled to see the half-eaten burger in the dustbin, and that his glass of water is now finished. He soon learns the sound of the young girl belonging to Anu, while he is unable to understand the voice of the woman who is speaking to her daughter. He concludes from the conversation that they are being harassed by a man. Anu insists that she is avoiding the man, but he keeps following her. Kalidasan wonders if something happened to the woman and the daughter—an untoward incident, rather.


‘Alone’ Ending Explained – Will Kalidasan Find The Killers Of Sreedevi And Anu, Or Was He Imagining The Entire Scenario?

The voices keep disturbing Kalidasan to the point where he asks questions to the security personnel of the apartment complex about the said woman and her daughter Anu. The security claims he does not know where they are at the moment. After raiding the file on the desk downstairs of the person who had occupied the apartment before him, Kalidasan comes to know the said woman’s name is Sreedevi, and he acquires a copy of the Aadhar card she had submitted. Using that as a lead to his growing suspicion, Kalidasan has an intuition where he begins to wonder if they are dead. Kalidasan, being a man of many contacts, starts reaching out to people he knows to get more information. So far, all Kalidasan wants to do is find out what exactly happened to the mother and daughter and what led to their leaving this apartment. Under what circumstances did they have to leave the premises? Kalidasan contacts a journalist bang in the middle of the lockdown to get him to give him more information about Sreedevi from his contacts in the police. He soon learns that Sreedevi and her daughter are no more, and they both had committed suicide. Now Kalidasan concludes that maybe the mother-daughter duo was murdered, and that they hadn’t taken their lives. Kalidasan gets in touch with one of his students, a former criminal named Hari, who, ever since his motivation sessions with Kalidasan, has become a better person and is willing to make major changes in his life so that he doesn’t have to return to the life of crime ever again. Kalidasan is happy to have reformed a criminal like Hari and is constantly in touch with the man so that he does not digress. It does not make sense for a motivational speaker to do that. A psychologist, a counselor, or a psychiatrist is supposed to help anyone come out of a life of vices.

As Kalidasan keeps digging into the story of Sreedevi and her daughter Anu, he learns from the security personnel about the man who was constantly harassing them. The security guard is forced to reveal that the caretaker of the apartment, Thomas Kuruvilla, was constantly harassing the mother and daughter. Kalidasan hears a word against the man every day, but no proof that would implicate him. Meanwhile, he tries to gather some footage from the CCTV room when he is informed that all older footage has been removed as per the instruction of Thomas Kuruvilla, which increases Kalidasan’s suspicions. Kalidasan gets more information about the death from ASI Rasheed, whose contact information he received from Hari. Rasheed is forever grateful to Kalidasan for reforming Hari, and he goes out of his way to help him. He unearths plenty of information about the death. One piece of information is that it has been hushed up by the people living in the society, fearing ostracization. The CCTV footage of the incident from the building was removed to avoid any leak happening on the web. Rasheed informs him that the woman and his daughter committed suicide, and the doctor who conducted the post-mortem is not stepping away from the statement he made in the report and on a call with ASI Rasheed. Kalidasan is very close to cracking the final piece of the puzzle on why Sreedevi was killed and proving that she did not commit suicide. Dr. Soosan confirms that women in financial trouble never resort to suicide and that they gather enough strength to bring themselves out of their condition. This helps Kalidasan conclude that Sreedevi and her daughter were murdered. His guess is the killer was Thomas Kuruvilla, who finally reveals that he wanted to talk to Sreedevi the day she died, but he heard the voice of another man she was speaking to, so he backed off, only to later know that she and her daughter were dead.


Kalidasan learns that Sridevi was indeed in financial trouble, and she was helped by her boss Binoy to slowly clear the debt, but in return, he started harassing her and her daughter as well. He learns the name Binoy from the sticker placed on the notebook owned by Anu. He forms the name using the initial letters of the stickers of the objects placed in it. Finding his advances toward her and her daughter rejected, the boss decided to kill her before she filed a complaint against him. Kalidasan hires Hari one last time and requests that he bring out his criminal side as a favor for him. He requests that Hari mutilate the doctor who performed a post-mortem on them and kill Binoy for sexually harassing two women and passing it off as a suicide. Hari is arrested by the police for killing Binoy and reveals the name of the person who hired him. Kalidasan somehow knew Hari would reveal his name. He is completely nonchalant about being arrested, as he plans to leave the apartment and go incommunicado so that no one can catch up with him. It is soon revealed that Kalidasan is a schizophrenia patient who used the façade of being a motivational speaker to get three criminals on his side to make them commit murder one last time in three different cities. His MO has been the same in these cities, which makes it easy for the police to conclude that Kalidasan is the mastermind. Kalidasan is Dr. Soosan’s patient, and she reads out to the media how a schizophrenia patient would behave.

Yamuna, who was engaged to him, is at loss of words, for she cannot believe the man who claimed to love her is now on the run as a criminal with psychological problems. She feels he is trapped because the person she spoke to seemed like a normal person with normal habits. Kalidasan is not caught by the police, and he is again on the run from the law. It is revealed that he came to know of Sreedevi and Anu’s murder from a newspaper article and decided to pursue the case on his own. Kalidasan turns out to be a man who is on the hunt to find out about people who were wronged by the system when the story of their deaths never came out the right way. His parallel investigation helps him get closer to the voices of the dead and help them seek justice. Kalidasan was not a motivational speaker; his only skill was to get to the people seeking him and bring justice in a world that refuses to fend for those who, in actuality, need help from the system.


Final Thoughts

“Alone,” directed by Shaji Kalidas, sets a bad precedent for people who suffer from grave mental illness, and trying to portray them as people with criminal tendencies is something not to be showcased on a large-scale platform such as a film, to begin with. Mental illnesses need to be sensitively showcased on screen so that audiences who are easily impressionable understand how to deal with them. The writer Rajesh Jayaraman and the director leave no stone unturned while they misinterpret schizophrenia and, for the sake of cinematic liberty, make claims that it leads to criminal behavior, which is not right. The screenplay also wanders aimlessly from scene to scene, while after a point, the audience tends to wonder what the lead is even up to and what is the point of this relentless search. The climax was something that we could smell coming from miles away; there was nothing new when it came to how the film ended. The killer turned out to be a different person than the usual suspect. The direction by Shaji Kailas was erratic, and at many points, certain scenes and shots were reused, which can be easily spotted. Mohanlal’s excellent performance also did not save the film. Keeping in mind the subject of the film, the running time could have been shortened by thirty minutes. Easily one of the most tedious psychological dramas that serves no purpose.

“Alone” is a 2023 malayalam thriller drama film directed by Shaji Kailas.

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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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