‘Chithha’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: What Happens In The Mid-Credit Scene?

Chithha, written and directed by S.U. Arun Kumar is a fantastic example of how one can grip the audience’s attention with the sole intention of never letting it go. After picking the sensitive issue of child abuse and weaving it into the narrative centered around Eshwar (played brilliantly by Siddharth) and his niece Sundari, the film becomes a commentary on revenge and the patriarchal motivations behind such emotions. Chithha, translated as ‘uncle,’ gets extremely close to the gruesome reality of child abductions and the consequent abuse and all the violent aftermath associated with such scenarios, but it maintains its watchability, keeping the family audience in mind, but I must add that this is a hard watch for anybody. The imagination fills in the gap when the violence happens offscreen, and that is easily the most terrifying aspect of this film. But beneath the surface, the film’s spirit of giving no easy answers gives it the energy to remain breathtakingly taut throughout its 140-minute runtime. 

Spoilers Ahead


Plot Synopsis: What happens in the Film?

The story begins by showing us Eshwar’s life. A simple, middle-class guy, perhaps in his late twenties, who didn’t have a lot going on in life except his job at the municipal corporation of the area and looking after his niece Sundari. His sister seemed to be a single mother, as her husband was nowhere in the picture. There was Vadivelu, the local cop who was his childhood friend, and together they spent most of their time at Suresh’s restaurant, if they weren’t busy with their jobs or Eshwar wasn’t taking care of Sundari. He was not just helping his sister raise her, but was rather raising Sundari as his own daughter. The level of care he had for her was unmatched and bordered on being obsessive. He never left her alone and took time off from work to pick her up from school without missing a single day. There was a need to be worried and be vigilant as there had been a few instances of child abductions in the nearby regions. Eshwar’s old flame Shakti returned to the town and started working as a cleaner under Eshwar’s watch. Eshwar’s romance was reigniting, but in a shocking turn of events, like something straight out of “The Hunt,” Eshwar was falsely accused of having molested Vadivelu’s niece Ponni, and his life changed forever. 


Why did Eshwar leave Sundari behind?

Ponni once overheard her elder sister going near a temple and seeing the deer with her boyfriend. Ponni and Sundari studied in the same class and wished to go see the deer themselves. The plan was set in motion, and Ponni lied to Eshwar that they would be having their yoga class till the evening, so he need not come in the afternoon to pick Sundari up. The kids, just being excited at the thought of venturing out alone near the temple, did so not knowing that the place was the hub of pedophiles and child abductors, who used the dense forest surrounding the temple to hide from the police. Their plan was as foolproof as kids at that age could have made it to be, but Eshwar was waiting right outside the school gate when they both stepped out. Ponni was in no mood to cancel the deer sightseeing, and they sat in the rickshaw. At the very last minute, Sundari got out as she couldn’t muster the courage to go, and perhaps she didn’t feel comfortable going so covertly.

The following day, Ponni was not being herself. Sundari, feeling bad for leaving her in the rickshaw, apologized profusely, but Ponni seemed dazed and confused, unable to respond. Something was definitely wrong and when Eshwar arrived to pick Sundari up, he tried to cheer Ponni up as well, seeing Sundari was sobbing in guilt. Eshwar told Sundari to stay near the school guard’s presence as he planned to make Ponni ‘fall in line’ so that she would begin to talk to Sundari. What he meant probably was that he would figure out what Ponni was mad about and he would sort out the kids’ troubles with their favorite ice creams or perhaps something fancier if the situation warranted. He had no idea that his attempts to hug her to calm her down and pry the information out of her would be getting recorded by a mutual neighbor. The vantage point was such that it looked as if Eshwar was touching Ponni indecently, and after Ponni collapsed in her house, Ponni’s father and other men in the neighborhood got hold of Eshwar and thrashed him black and blue.

Vadivelu, one of Eshwar’s most trusted friends, asked him why he left Sundari behind, when he had never before done so, implying that Eshwar had wicked intentions. It was just a coincidence that Eshwar took only Ponni with him. His initial plan was to buy her an ice cream and return back to school, which in his mind was just a ten-minute errand. What Eshwar didn’t account for was that Ponni would start to behave in a rather unusual manner, distancing herself from him and being hysterical without obvious reason. From Eshwar’s point of view, Ponni’s reactions were bizarre, and she needed to be taken home urgently. Sundari was safe in the school, so he could always come back for her later. Now, given such serious allegations, there was simply no way he could explain his state of mind and his reason for leaving Sundari behind. Even Shakti seemed to not believe why the overly cautious Eshwar would leave Sundari behind. Everybody was against him, and when Ponni cleared his name after regaining consciousness, Eshwar’s troubles multiplied as Sundari went missing.


Is the child abuser Dead?

Sundari had been abducted by a molester who seemed to be on the prowl every fourteen days, and Sundari was his newest victim. Eshwar and his sister lost all sleep in trying to locate Sundari but there was no trace of her anywhere. Vadivelu apologized for not trusting Eshwar and promised to do whatever possible to get Sundari back. When a charred body was discovered in a nearby area, it was suspected Sundari had been raped and killed by the abductor. Eshwar identified the body, and even though Vadivelu and other officers didn’t believe him, he was certain that the charred body wasn’t that of Sundari. He was absolutely correct. The abductor only killed a girl when he had kidnapped another girl. Now that he had Sundari, he’d killed the previous girl and dumped the body near the grazing fields. 

Eshwar lost all hope when Sundari’s water bottle was found near the body, but the killer had simply used the bottle to fill the petrol to burn the body. Sundari was alive, but that would only last until he found his next victim. All of Sundari’s favorite items were listed by Eshwar, as it was often that child abductors kept children placated by buying them their favorite things. Through this method, the police got to know about a man who had bought the same things from the list and was expected to return. He was almost nabbed but got away, when an old bun seller couldn’t keep him in his grip. The abductor was on the run when he ran into a checkpost, and that’s when he had to leave Sundari. She was helped by a vigilant lady and taken to the hospital. Eshwar, almost on the verge of a nervous breakdown, returned to normal, but he wasn’t the same man anymore. Revenge had taken over his mind. Shakti tried to make him see that killing the molester was not what Sundari needed at the moment. She needed her beloved uncle by her side, and if he chose to become a murderer, he wouldn’t be doing Sundari any favors, as she would have to see him rot in jail. She urged him to do what was ‘needed’ and not what his patriarchal sense of the world was motivating him to do. 

The man who molested Ponni was caught, and Eshwar mistakenly thought he was also the guy who had kidnapped and abused Sundari. Eshwar did not pay heed to Shakti’s word and killed the man while he was being escorted by the police. Vadivelu promised to pull all the strings possible to help Eshwar go scot-free after he had committed the murder, but he wanted him to stop the revenge streak he was planning to go on. Shakti was distraught to see Eshwar become a murderer and told her of the day she left town years ago. Eshwar’s brother had died on the same day they were supposed to elope. Her uncle had molested her, seeing her at the abandoned bus stop, and she could do nothing about it. Eshwar, thinking it was the best thing to say to her, asked for his address so that he could see to him as well. Shakti hammered the point home, telling him that her uncle died six years ago, and that Eshwar, instead of caring for how she recovered from such a shock, could only manage to count on his machismo to get revenge. 

During Chithha‘s ending, Eshwar finally understood that he was on his way to become a serial killer himself, a maniacal vigilante, who had no real empathy left, only a symbol of it. He dropped the idea of revenge and decided to stay with the recovering Sundari. It took a year, but Sundari was back to her original self, on the lookout for her ‘chithha.’ Everything was back to normal and it seemed Eshwar had married Shakti and returned back from work.

In Chithha‘s mid-credit sequence, however, the police were seen investigating the murder of a middle-aged man, who was being touted to be the same man who had killed a girl and abducted Sundari. He had been burnt in a similar fashion as that of his victim, and it seemed somebody had avenged her death. Whether it was the same man or not is not clear, but if he was, there is a high probability that either the victim’s family member or Eshwar himself had killed him. His sketch was available to the police, and the old bun seller had seen the man. Through him, Eshwar could have resumed his hunt and tracked the man down. Another possibility is that he was just some random child abuser, who was caught red-handed and then was burnt to death. The police, too, were not too interested in the case, and the patriarchal sense of revenge and taking the law into one’s own hands, seemed to have prevailed. Were Eshwar and his family safe from this atmosphere of pervasive violence, and whether Eshwar has really changed are questions only a sequel can answer. 


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Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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