‘Bramayugam’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Is Thevan Dead Or Alive?

God might enjoy his sovereign superiority over man, mob, and king from his celestial pedestal, but even the omniscient one isn’t spared from the inescapable, all-decaying touch of nature’s ultimate equalizer—time. Whether you believe that or not becomes irrelevant, as when the legendary septuagenarian actor Mammootty, portraying the role of Brahmin feudal lord Kodumon Potti, manages to send chills down the spines of his hapless associates and audience alike with his bloodcurdling laughter in the backdrop of a dimly lit room, the staunchest believers too will be forced to acknowledge the existence of the godless time, denoted by the title of the actor’s latest release, Bramayugam.

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With the initiation of the New Generation film movement during the last decade, the Malayalam movie industry had blitzed past the rest of the Indian moviemaking scene by a significant margin, and Mammootty starring psychological thriller/horror Bramayugam acts as a convincing testament to that statement. As the makers have woven elements of South Indian folklore and the social consciousness of the early colonial years with an allegorical account of power and human vice, the movie greatly benefits from the choice of a monochromatic color scheme, which not only enhances the period piece experience but also amps up the visual terror through a crafty light and shadow interplay. After the widely acclaimed Bhoothakaalam, director Rahul Sadasivan and DOP Shehnad Jalal have once again collaborated on another horror venture in Bramayugam, which has already proven its potential to become yet another classic.

Spoilers Ahead

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How Did Thevan Come Across Kodumon Potti’s Mana?

Bramayugam is set in South Malabar during the 17th century, a time when European colonialism was beginning to assess the Indian subcontinent as its testing ground—a time when boons, curses, and the movement of celestial bodies still influenced the worldview of a significant portion of the populace. We meet Thevan, a mild-mannered folk singer, uprooted from his homeland, separated from the only family he has—his mother—and on the run from his captors, the slavers.

As Bramayugam begins, Thevan and his friend and possible sharer of the same fate, Kora, are seen in the wilderness, trying to get a fire going, when Kora gets distracted by the sight and sound of something unknown. Later that night, Thevan sees Kora beguiled by the alluring beauty of a Yakshi (a malevolent succubus-like spirit) but fails to save his friend, who eventually becomes the Yakshi’s prey. A scared Thevan rushes into the forest, and by the next day, he crosses a river to stumble across a dilapidated outer gateway, or Torana-Dwar, of a grand old Namboodiri Mana or Illam (a multilayered ancestral mansion of feudal elite-most caste of Kerala, Namboodiri Brahmins)

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A hungry, weary Thevan cautiously enters the courtyard of the seemingly vacant Mana and helps himself to some coconuts—when he bumps into the two inhabitants of the place. A cook/servant (whose name we don’t get to know through the course of the movie), and the owner of the ancient abode—the enigmatic, elderly patriarch Manakkal Kodumon Potti. Much like the elaborate palace like Mana itself, which has been gathering dust and weeds since time immemorial but still shows glimmers of its glory days through intricate Burmese architecture, the burden of age has not been able to subdue Potti’s spirit. Having a piercing gaze indicating wisdom and worldliness, which is contrasted by a wicked and cruel cackle, Potti’s presence commands both fear and respect.

After learning about Thevan’s miserable plight and getting a taste of his vocal talent, Potti offers him a place in his Mana as his private singer. Belonging to a lower Panan caste, Thevan hesitates at the proposition of entering a Brahmin’s abode, but Potti reassures him, stating that it’s not birth but a deed that defines one’s position in the social strata. However, Kodumon seems really keen to make Thevan agree to stay in the Mana forever without paying heed to his mild protest. The cook seems dissatisfied with Thevan’s arrival but complies with his master’s commands anyway while showing him around the Mana.

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What Really Happened Between the Chaathan and Kodumon?

While showing Thevan his quarters, the cook warns him not to wander around the vast, vacant areas of the Mana during the night. A curious Thevan gets intrigued by the specific instructions but doesn’t bother the cook with questions. Later, while having supper in the presence of Kodumon, Thevan thanks the divine benedictions that guided him to the Mana, which somewhat irks Kodumon, who seemingly believes fate to be the supreme controller instead.

At night, while loitering around the nearby woods, Thevan notices burial mounds close to the Mana and freaks out. As he retreats inside, the Mana seems to have come alive at night, with the sounds of footsteps and the noise of shackles coming from the upper floor. A curious Thevan goes to explore and gets frightened by the presence of something unknown bound by shackles. As thoughts of leaving the Mana come to Thevan’s mind, Kodumon’s behavior starts feeling increasingly erratic as well. He tricks Thevan into playing a game of Pakida with him and asks him to wager his time as a bet, implying that if Thevan loses, he will not be allowed to leave the Mana, ever, while winning will guarantee his freedom. As Thevan loses the game through magical intervention, a feeling of suspicion starts hovering in his mind.

While having a discussion with the cook, Thevan learns that Kodumon isn’t the wise, benevolent Brahmin Thevan thinks he is and warns him not to fall for his words. Eventually, after learning about it, Kodumon showcases supernatural abilities to almost kill the cook in anger, but restrains himself at the end. He advises Thevan to not pay attention to the cook’s words, as previously, two attendants made the mistake of doing so and were driven to lunacy, which prompted Kodumon to put them out of their misery. Having had just about enough of his share of dread and misery, Thevan decides to leave and asks the cook to join him, who refuses, stating that no one who has ever stepped foot inside this residence has ever left alive. Kodumon visits Thevan as he is about to leave, but right at the moment, an incessant downpour starts out of nowhere and halts his journey. Fearful about his future, Thevan recollects the cherished past memories with his mother and shares them with the cook, as a sense of hopelessness engulfs him bit by bit. Thevan pleads with Kodumon to let him leave, swearing by god’s name to appeal to his senses, but Kodumon laughs in his face, stating that this age, Bramayugam, which denotes the worst phase of Kali Yuga, marks the end of divine benediction as chaos and lunacy reign over the world.

A scared Thevan later questions the cook about Kodumon’s mystical powers and learns about the dark secret of the Potti lineage. Centuries ago, Kodumon’s ancestor, Chudalan Potti, a practitioner of the occult, impressed goddess Varahi through his devotion and gained a magical box as a reward, which ensured plentiful resources and harvest. Along with the amenities, a Chaathan, or a powerful malevolent demigod, was released from the box as well, whom the nefarious patriarch enslaved and exploited to his heart’s desire. One day, the Chaathan tricked Chudalan into gazing into its mouth, killed him by sucking his soul, and proceeded to slaughter the entire Potti lineage, effectively turning the Mana into a cursed residence. Eons later, the last surviving scion of the family, Kodumon Potti, a powerful occult sorcerer, arrived at the Mana and was able to trap the Chaathan at long last. The shackled being on the upper floor is the Chaathan itself, whom Kodumon has been compelled to keep trapped to protect the Mana ever since.

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At night, Thevan witnesses Kodumon engaging in carnal practices with the forest Yakshi, and the inexplicable feeling of dread and disgust gets to him. The next day, a desperate, petrified Thevan decides to flee amidst the tumultuous rain, but no sooner does he cross the Torana-Dwar of the Mana, a horrible physical affliction pins him down, almost snuffing the ever-living lights out of him as if an inscrutable force will not allow his survival outside the premises of Potti-Mana. Barely clinging to his life, Thevan crawls back to the inner sanctums of the Mana, and Kodumon forces him to plead for forgiveness until he loses consciousness.


Could Thevan Escape His Destiny At The End?

In a dreamlike vision, Thevan sees himself lying in his mother’s lap, but gets shaken out of the fantasy soon enough and finds the cook nursing him. Upon speaking with him, Thevan is bewildered to find out that, not days or weeks, he had spent years in the Mana and has no recollection of time, his identity, or even his close ones. The cook shows him the rotting corpse of Kodumon Potti, as he states that, contrary to their previous belief, the sorcerer had failed to trap the Chaathan and was killed by it. Since then, the Chaathan, taking the appearance of Kodumon, reigns over the Mana but, at the same time, is bound to the cursed place as well. Therefore, like a spider sitting in its cobweb, it waits for unsuspecting wanderers like Thevan to enter the Mana and get forever doomed to an inescapable death trap. Creating an unholy miasma surrounding the Mana’s vicinity, which it controls as it pleases, the Chaathan revels in the fear and pain of the victims it torments.

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Thevan realizes nothing has really changed for downtrodden people like him; from being enslaved by his previous captors, he has merely changed cages after entering the Mana. His fate still rests at the mercy of the people in power. As Thevan drowns in utter despondency and starts questioning his sanity, the cook shares the only possible way of escaping this hellish existence. He informs Thevan of an eternal flame that rests at the deepest sanctum of the Mana, and if they manage to put it out, the Chaathan will be weakened, and they can finally escape after its hold over the Mana gets diminished. However, the tricky part is that the Chaathan guards the sanctum from the upper floor and carries the key to the sanctum with him all the times. The duo plans to put the Chaathan in deep slumber by spoiling it with a grand feast, and the responsibility to take the keys rests upon Thevan.

That night, Thevan sings for the last time on the premises of the Mana, as his melancholic tunes resonating across the abandoned premises of the Mana almost make us forget about the evil surrounding it. The cook prepares a grand meal, and, devouring it, the Chaathan falls asleep pretty soon, but Thevan fails to acquire the keys. Waking up, Chaathan nearly kills Thevan by sucking his soul—until it is revealed that the cook had used Thevan as bait and took the keys from Chaathan by tricking him previously. The Chaathan gets weakened, and Thevan meets with the cook, who plans to use Varahi’s box to capture the entity. It is also revealed that the cook was Kodumon Potti’s illegitimate son, who had returned to reclaim his rightful place as the owner of the Mana and send the Chaathan back to where it belongs.

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The Chaathan attempts to trick the duo for a final time by making the Mana act like an entity, and he tries to weaken them psychologically. It also forewarns Thevan about the intentions of Potti’s son—who he prophesizes will die with a lightning strike. Eventually, the duo manages to fatally injure the Chaathan’s mortal coil, setting it ablaze, and from the charred remains of it, the true, hideous self of the entity reveals itself. However, in an expected or unexpected turn of events, Potti’s son takes the ring, which can make him able to tame the Chaathan, and turns on Thevan, who repeatedly pleads with him not to make the same mistake of abusing power like his ancestors did. The Chaathan watches as the two men fight to near death, despite finally having the opportunity to escape with their lives. Finally, after severely injuring Potti’s son, Thevan emerges with the ring, but the Mana collapses right above them at the moment, and the screen fades to nothingness.

As the dust settles, Thevan appears to be the sole survivor, and with tumbling steps, he somehow manages to get out of the premises of the Mana. It seems the poor soul has finally earned his freedom, as sunrays strike upon his face through the canopy of the forest, signifying a hopeful end. However, Potti’s son turns out to be alive as well, and catching Thevan off guard, he proceeds to beat him left and right. Moments later, he notices a very subtle change in Thevan’s usual appearance and realizes that the person he is seeing in front of himself is the Chaathan itself—now donning a new body as his vessel—who now possesses the taming ring as well. The scene shifts to show a lifeless Thevan being buried inside the collapsed Mana, confirming the cook’s suspicion to the audience. Scared out of his wits, Potti’s son flees as Chaathan’s vacant gaze sees him for the last time. Later, Potti’s son, now seemingly in a deranged state of mind, comes across the river, and seeing a horse-riding Portuguese troop in front of him, he mistakes them for hallucinations. As he tries to attack them, one of the soldiers shoots him dead, and once again, Chaathan’s prophecy comes true as he meets his end with a thundering sound.

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During Bramayugam‘s ending, the Chaathan is seen moving forward across the jungle, probably in search of human establishment or to enjoy its newfound freedom. In its new appearance as Thevan, it looks at its reflection, and Kodumon’s cackling face is shown to denote that the entity has freed itself from its entrapped existence. It remains unknown as to what Chaathan’s next course of action might be, and the spectacle ends with the entity looking directly at us in an anguished demeanor, perhaps jaded at the horror that our vices can conjure on their own.


Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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