Amazon Prime’s latest offering, Dhootha, chronicles the story of an ambitious journalist, Sagar Verma (Naga Chaitanya Akkineni), who joins a major newspaper publication as a chief editor. Sagar considered himself Dhootha, the messenger who brings the truth to people. The irony of the situation was that Sagar was a corrupt journalist who would go to great lengths to secure his victory. Also, Sagar got the chief editor position by manipulating his superior against Charles, the journalist who was supposed to succeed in the role. Sagar told everyone that Charles wasn’t a great fit for the job, as he was mentally unstable. Sagar had it all: wealth, power, and fame, but his perfect life took a nosedive when a newspaper clipping predicted the death of his dog. At first, Sagar made it out to be some kind of silly prank, but soon, the prediction written on the paper became a reality. Little did Sagar know that the death of his dog was just the tip of the iceberg, as the situation was going to get much worse for him.
Why Did Charles Kill Himself?
Even though Amrutha (Prachi Desai) told him, Sagar wasn’t ready to believe that the clues written on the piece of paper and his dog’s death were a mere coincidence. Plus he also found out that someone had purposefully punctured the fuel tank of his car. Sagar was under the impression that Charles was threatening him for robbing him of the chief editor position. However, Charles had nothing to do with Sagar’s dog, and he warned him that his entire family was in danger. However, before Sagar could make sense of anything, Charles killed himself. Sagar also found another newspaper clipping that had already predicted Charles’ death in exactly the same way he killed himself. At that moment, it appeared that before Sagar, maybe Charles had been the victim of the cursed newspaper clippings. He killed himself so he could stop the deaths that were plaguing his family. In a flashback scene, we saw Charles reading another newspaper clipping that foretold the death of his seven-year-old son. This was precisely why Charles had lost his mental balance and lost the position of chief editor. Charles’ son, Mathew, wasn’t the first victim, as other members of Charles’ family had died under mysterious circumstances within a span of ten days.
Who Is Kranthi Shenoy, And Why Did She Suspect Sagar?
Charles (Srikant Murali) was a celebrity journalist, and thus, Kranthi Shenoy (Parvathy Thiruvothu) was called to investigate the case. She immediately deduced that Charles’ death wasn’t a simple suicide, and there was more to things than met the eye. Charles’s phone record suggested that before his death, he received multiple missed calls from his greatest rival and arch-nemesis, Sagar Verma. Since the duo were hardly on good terms, Kranthi suspected that Sagar might have had a role in his death. When Kranthi met Sagar, the obvious tension on his face confirmed her suspicions that he was indeed involved in Charles’s death. Moreover, she also tracked the gun with which Sagar killed himself and the truck driver, Koti. He was the same truck driver who rammed Sagar’s car near the dhaba. Koti was released on bail, but Sagar had Inspector Ajay torture him further. However, the situation escalated, and Koti was killed, and his body ended up in Sagar’s generator room. Kranthi figured out the connection between Koti, Sagar, and Ajay and tracked down the farmhouse where Sagar had buried Koti’s dead body.
How Did The Newspaper Clippings Haunt Sagar And His Family?
The newspaper clipping foretold of many horrid things Sagar had never imagined seeing. It all started with a prediction about his dog’s death. Next, the newspaper clippings informed him how Charles would meet his end. The next clippings Sagar found predicted the death of Koti and even the fact that Ajay Ghosh had pulled out his gold tooth during an interrogation. The clippings Sagar found at his office notified him that he would lose his baby. Sagar figured that his wife, Priya (Priya Bhavani Shankar), was in danger, as she was expecting at the time. However, the clipping was referring to Amrutha, his assistant. Sagar and Amrutha slept together after successfully completing a major project. Amrutha became pregnant, but she’d never told Sagar. Amrutha’s abusive husband found out about it and assaulted her, resulting in her losing the baby. However, Sagar showed no compassion towards Amrutha and was relieved to know that it was she who lost the baby, not Priya. Things took a much more harrowing turn when another news clip predicted that Anjali, Sagar’s daughter, would die after being crushed between the lift and the wall. Sagar tried his best to save Anjali but failed. Just a few days after Anjali’s death, Priya received an underdeveloped fetus from a courier while her family was dealing with Anjali’s death. This was Amrutha’s doing, as she hated Sagar for not showing any remorse for her baby’s death. If you don’t remember, in the hospital, Sagar shamelessly told Amrutha that he was relieved that her child died instead of Priya’s.
Who Is The Stranger In The Yellow Raincoat?
Sagar had been noticing a biker sporting a yellow raincoat shadowing him every step of the way. The biker had also been near Charles’ house when he died and when Sagar was carrying out his daughter’s final rites. The biker was Kiran, who ran a channel covering and debunking paranormal claims. She was hired by Ravi, another journalist who, too, had suffered the same fate as Charles. As per Ravi, these ghastly happenings weren’t new, and since 1963, countless journalists have committed suicide. Some died by consuming poison, while others slit their throats or hanged themselves. Like Charles, Ravi’s entire family perished, and he was told about every single death before it even happened. Ravi gave Kiran a list containing the names of every journalist who’d committed suicide. Every journalist who died since 1963 shared one common thread: they were all corrupt and sellouts. This was the real reason why the newspaper ghost was targeting Sagar, as he was one of the most corrupt journalists in the country. Be it politicians or businessmen, Sagar supported all their crimes. Sagar even supported Minister Chakravarty, whose adulterated liquor claimed the lives of 90 people. In addition, Sagar suppressed the news about his brother-in-law, whose hostel had seen residents being raped and murdered. Unfortunately, Kiran, too, met her end while investigating a paranormal story.
What Happened To Satya Murthy?
Sagar tracked the clippings to Dhootha Publications, an old newspaper run by Satya Murthy (Pasupathy) until 1962. The newspaper closed down after his sudden disappearance. Satya Murthy was the father of Chandra Murthy, an honest journalist whom Sagar had fired. Sagar visited Chandra Murthy to learn more about Dhootha and Satya Murthy, and he finally realized the identity of the real killer. Every murder so far was committed not by the hand of a human being but by the spirit of Satya Murthy, who was wrongfully murdered by his competitors. Satya Murthy was an honest journalist who would rather die than print fake news. He was one of the few honest journalists who never bowed down to the colonizers during India’s struggle for independence, even if it meant printing the truth from an abandoned lighthouse. Satya Murthy predicted that in the coming years, media and politics would join forces, and it would be disastrous. Politicians would use the media as a tool to do their bidding and mask their crimes and real agenda.
Chakrapani was once a corrupt politician who wanted to use Satya Murthy’s Dhootha Publications for his own gain. He even bought the loyalty of Bhupati Verma (Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam), Satya Murthy’s right-hand man. Chakrapani wanted to succeed as a politician, but it wasn’t possible so long as Raghavayya (Tanikella Bharani) and Satya Murthy were alive. While Satya Murthy was away, Chakrapani framed Raghavayya for Kalpana’s suicide. He even broke into their house and hanged his entire family. Bhupati also capitalized on the situation and printed fake news about it, and since Dhootha had a reputation for being a credible source, everyone believed it. When Murthy found out about Chakrapani and Bhupati’s work, he couldn’t take it. The publication that he had worked so hard to create was turned into an instrument to push lies for corrupt politicians. Satya Murthy tried to expose everyone but was killed while he was printing the truth in the Satyapatnam lighthouse. After his death, Satya Murthy’s spirit merged with the printing press, meaning whatever news was printed on it would become a reality. Now, Satya Murthy’s spirit was targeting and killing every corrupt journalist who betrayed their sacred profession. Later, Bhupati and Chakrapani threatened Satya Murthy’s wife with her son’s life if she didn’t tell everyone that Murthy had fled. Chakravarthy, the corrupt leader of the Praja Vaku party, was Chakrapani’s grandson. Also, Bhupati Verma was Sagar’s grandfather, who killed himself to save his family from Satya Murthy’s ghost. In addition, Kranthi’s mother was the only surviving member of the Raghavayya family.
Did Sagar Break The Curse?
At last, Sagar figured out that he could break this death loop and save his family by killing himself. This was exactly what Charles and the others did; they killed themselves so their family could live. This was also how Kiran survived, as Ravi chose to sacrifice himself so Kiran could live and investigate the case. With his death, the spirit moved on to the next corrupt journalist. Sadly, she condemned herself to death when she helped Sagar. So, did Sagar kill himself? He tried topping off on sleeping pills but changed his mind after realizing that even his death wouldn’t be able to protect Priya. This was because Sagar’s wife, Priya, was more corrupt than him. She once helped her friend, who intentionally set his hospital on fire for insurance money, resulting in the deaths of dozens of innocent children. This meant that even if Sagar killed himself, Priya wouldn’t be safe. This led him to visit the lighthouse again, and therein, he found another newspaper that hinted to him that if he could bring a positive change in one person, his family would be spared. Sagar realized that the only way he could end this generational curse was by confessing his wrongdoings. Thus, on the day of his speech, Sagar confessed to his every crime. This included taking bribes in exchange for writing fake articles and suppressing news of Chakravarthy’s wrongdoings. Sagar’s speech encouraged everyone to only print the truth, even if it meant the end of their career.
At the end of his speech, Sagar killed Minister Chakravarthy by stabbing him with the microphone. So, was the curse broken? Yes, towards the end, we see Satya swapping Sagar’s pen with his grandfather’s, suggesting that he had chosen to become an honest journalist like his father and grandfather and not a money-hungry reporter like Sagar. Since Satya had a change of heart because of Sagar, the curse was lifted, sparing Priya’s life. As for Sagar, he was taken into custody for killing Chakravarthy in public.
During Dhootha‘s ending, we saw Sagar in a jail cell, hoping to get bail so he could spend some time with his wife and newborn daughter. Sadly, this wasn’t easy, as the story of Satya Murthy’s ghost wouldn’t hold up in court. His lawyer, however, planned to get his bail on the grounds of mental instability caused by the death of a family member. As for Kranthi Shenoy, she received another case that once again had a paranormal angle. It’s possible that the upcoming season of Dhootha could explore another ghastly story or maybe take us on a ferry ride to Kranthi’s mother’s tragic past.
In the eyes of the public, Sagar had maintained his image as an honest and righteous journalist, but he was as corrupt as it got. He manipulated his superiors, stole Charles’s job, and even bribed a cop to torture and interrogate an innocent driver, which eventually led to his horrid death. Sagar even wrote fake articles so Chakravarthy could strengthen his stance in the upcoming election. Basically, Sagar was running a paid media company that sold news for profit, not for the sake of truth. He was literally selling the slots in his newspaper to political parties. When Chandra Murthy, an honest journalist, confronted him about this, he was told to pack his things and resign. Sagar even cheated on his wife with his assistant, Amrutha. He was a selfish being who would even sell his own friends and family to get ahead in his career. Sagar had even carved out a lucrative and shining career, thanks to his corrupt nature, but in the end, both Sagar and his family paid for his crimes.