A story of domestic violence done, right? Almost. “Ammu” is a story of a woman stuck in an abusive marriage, a circle of abuse that does not end, and her struggle to remain in such a marriage is what this film is all about. “Ammu” was directed by Charukesh Shekhar and released on Amazon Prime Video on October 19th, 2022. Telugu cinema is known for being larger than life. “Ammu” gives us a subtle story of a marriage gone wrong. We shall give you an explanation of the ending in detail of “Ammu” to make you understand her mindset.
What Happens In The Film ‘Ammu’?
Just like any other middle-class Telugu-speaking family, Ammu is arranged to be married to Ravi. Ravi and Ammu’s families were neighbors. They were friends before their family decided for them to be married to one another, as they were a perfect match. Ammu and Ravi get married, and soon it is revealed that Ravi is a Circle Inspector, and they have moved to another town as a part of this job posting. Ammu is more than happy to be married to Ravi. As a young girl growing up in a conservative society, she regards marriage as sacred. Taking care of her husband, cooking food for him, and setting up the house was her duty. Ammu, from the first day in the new town, takes it upon herself to take care of the household. Unaware of Ravi’s real character, she is happy to know the amount of time he wants to spend with her, being intimate with her, and taking care of her. Ammu is leading a blissful life with no complaints so far. At an informal gathering at his colleague’s home, Ravi constantly complains about Ammu, who is visibly upset by his behavior. She confronts him rather softly about why he would insult her in front of his colleagues and their wives, as if she doesn’t do anything for him every day. An angry Ravi abandons her in the middle of the road. When Ammu confronts him about his behavior, he throws a plate of food toward her, only to see it miss her and hit the wall instead. Ammu is horrified to see this behavior. Ammu is initially shocked to see the plate hitting the wall, missing her by an inch. She is equally mortified to see why he would behave in such a way, for she just asked him a question about his behavior. Ammu initially does not let it bother her, but soon his goody-two-shoes behavior in front of her father makes her upset and suspicious. Ammu asks her mother why she was married off at such a young age, which Ravi overhears. He starts throwing tantrums and slaps her. Ammu, here again, is shocked and repulsed by his touch, which is normal for any woman who is slapped by anyone in close quarters. Ammu starts questioning herself and Ravi’s two-faced behavior. Ammu confesses to her mother about Ravi’s slap, but her mother questions her about Ammu’s behavior; instead, Ammu is surprised to see her mother reacting the way she does. Ammu questions her position in this society. Is she born to take care of her husband and, in return, get hurt by him both physically and mentally?? Does she have any self-respect that she’s been taught to carry? Ammu is confused by how society looks at a married woman. They are expected to be on the receiving end of men’s wrath because they are supposedly “destined” for that. Ammu refuses to live by that rule; she mentions it to her mother. Her mother eventually tells her to do what is right for herself, and she will always support her. Ammu is delighted to hear her mother speak in favor of her child.
Ammu soon starts seeing changes in Ravi’s behavior. One day, she brings lunch for him at his station, and he makes it clear in an intimidating fashion to get him lunch every day. Ammu initially ignores such behavior and believes this to be his nature. One day, Ravi burns a crucial work file while arguing with Ammu, and in a fit of rage, he hits her black and blue with a belt. Ammu decides to leave him. At the bus station, Ammu has an epiphany where she convinces herself that she has had happier moments than upsetting ones. She shouldn’t be giving up on her marriage this soon. Ammu’s response to an abuse of this scale is an example of generational conditioning done on women, who are told repeatedly that making a marriage work is more important than her well-being. Ammu, who is helpless at this point in life, feels walking away is not the solution, but sitting together, civilly finding faults, and sorting them out.
‘Ammu’ Ending Explained – Is Ammu Able To Walk Out Of The Marriage Without Any Collateral?
Ravi begins a volunteer program where civilians will help police fight crime by patrolling the streets and informing the police of the crime as soon as it is spotted. The irony of this volunteer program lies in the fact that Ravi himself is an abusive husband and is too cocky to believe that neither his wife Ammu nor anybody else will have the courage to file a case against him. Soon, Ammu starts taking the pills, but she gets pregnant, making her wonder if Ravi switched her pills. Ammu begs her doctor not to reveal her condition to Ravi, for he will take advantage of it. Ammu is deeply buried in this physical abuse, which has now turned emotional as well. She is unable to get out of this mess, for Ravi is a police officer, and she wonders if his colleagues will be able to help her. Knowing that she hasn’t conceived yet, Ravi again abuses her physically and verbally, only for the neighbor to hear someone screaming. Not sure where the scream was coming from, neighbors Linny and Ravi’s colleague Satya conducted checks at everyone’s home. Ammu breaks down and informs her of the abuse she has been facing since the beginning of her marriage to Ravi. Constable Satya and Iqbal convince her to approach the DIG because he will help her file an FIR against Ravi. Ammu, at this point, is weak, low on energy, and wants nothing but an easy way out of this marriage. Initially, she refuses to file any complaint, but on advice, she realizes this is the only way out of the marriage. Ammu is scared at this point and equally confused if filing an FIR against Ravi will help her or if she will face Ravi’s wrath for going against him for the first time in months. Ravi is made aware of Ammu’s presence at DIG’s office. Ravi approaches Ammu calmly yet in a threatening manner and asks her not to file any case against him. Ammu feels cornered by her husband and feels compelled not to file any case against him. Ammu not finding the strength to go against her husband is a classic case of victim manipulation by the abuser, who believes he has more power over his/her victim. Ammu, unfortunately, unable to find any other way out, goes back home to Ravi.
Ammu sadly succumbs to her husband’s antics. Ravi comes across Prabhu, an ex-convict who is on parole for his sister’s wedding. Prabhu is seeking forgiveness for the murders he committed and went to jail for, essentially abandoning his sister. Prabhu has anger issues and argues with Ravi inside the police station, where he is brutally beaten up, and his parole is cancelled by Ravi. Ammu and Prabhu talk to one another, unknown to Ravi, and she offers to hide him in the outhouse while there is pressure on Ravi to find out where Prabhu went. Prabhu escapes captivity as per the plan and hides at Ammu’s place. Ravi and his team go berserk over this issue as Prabhu’s family starts protesting over the fact that Prabhu might be a victim of a custodial death. Ravi’s seniors put pressure on him to look for Prabhu before things escalate. The idea, put in motion by Ammu, is to make sure Ravi is suspended before Prabhu heads for his sister’s wedding. The police expect Prabhu to show up at his sister’s wedding, but he doesn’t, leading to the DIG deciding Ravi’s fate with force. Ravi had kept a recording device in the kitchen to keep track of Ammu, through which he came to know about Prabhu’s presence at his home. Ammu finds the recorder and places it in the sugar box as Ravi confronts her. She asks for a divorce and demands he confess that he abused her physically all this while. He refuses and threatens to murder her and her child. Ravi is caught unaware; Prabhu submits the recording to the DIG and surrenders himself. Ravi is finally confronted by force and arrested. Ammu finally decides to leave town and contemplates aborting the kid. Ammu gains strength from hiding Prabhu, and she proceeds with it to punish Ravi for the deeds he has done to her. Ammu surprised herself, for she didn’t know she had it in her to go after her husband in such a ruthless manner. She had begged him not to hurt her, but it later reached a point when Ravi begged her not to file any case against him, which Ammu declined. Amu takes her mother’s words and does what is right for her. She has a long life ahead of her, and she can’t be leading it stuck in a marriage where she is not treated with respect. Ammu takes charge of her life and decides enough is enough; she should not endure any more pain for the sake of marriage. Ammu was worried at a point that Ravi might kill her, but not anymore, for she knows she will not let that happen to herself.
“Ammu” is a well-written screenplay that doesn’t shake away from the real topic, which is domestic violence and domestic abuse. Writers Charukesh Sekar and Padmavathi Malladi do not trivialize DV/DA. They explain the story from the point of view of the victim, who goes through stages of grief, shock, and acceptance before finally breaking off the relationship to cut away the toxicity. The toxic nature of Ammu’s marriage to Ravi has been portrayed accurately. Victims of DV/DA go weeks, months, and sometimes years without revealing the abuse their partner puts them through. Once they reveal it, there is nothing that can stop them from moving on. All of these are a part of the narrative, which is written and executed well. Aishwarya Lekshmi as Ammu, Naveen Chandra as Ravi, and Bobby Simha as Prabhu bring about a certain realism in their characters, which makes the film engaging. Thankfully, the writers and the makers did not exaggerate Ammu’s situation and kept it subtle and scary. One of the most important films of this year. Please do not miss “Ammu.”
“Ammu” is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video with subtitles.