‘Fight Club’ (2023) Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Did Selva Kill Joseph?

It’s often a battle for a director; what exactly should he prioritize in filmmaking: style or substance? The ideal scenario is that one can have both complementing each other. The story Abbas Rahmath is trying to tell feels like a base for him to pipe his cinematic vision onto. Style is so important for Rahmath, and yet he has tried to tell the story with as much depth as possible. The story, set in Tamil Nadu, is a bloody saga of betrayal and murder, which sometimes overrides the logic of some scenes. But because Rahmath’s vision is so interesting, one sticks through to the end.

Spoilers Ahead


Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?

Benji was the big brother of the community in a small town in Tamil Nadu. He was touted to be a great boxer but never reached his potential because of his life’s circumstances. There was liquor and other drugs all around, which were enough to derail him from his mission of becoming a successful boxer. Now that he was too old for his dreams, he tried to ensure that up-and coming talents had a platform. He was a force for good in his neighborhood. He had two brothers: Joseph and Selva. Joseph wanted to go his own way and start a business with Kiruba, a drug peddler from another neighborhood. Selva was too young, but he wanted to be a football player. When Benji thrashed Joseph for trying to pair up with an unreliable Kiruba, Joseph took a drastic step that would haunt everyone for years to come.


How Did Benji Die? How Did That Impact Selva?

Benji wanted a good life for everyone, for he knew the pain of having wasted his talent. That is why he organized football competitions every year so that youngsters could showcase their talents. He was well respected in his neighborhood, for he was against drug peddling and took active measures to prevent it. Joseph, however, was the complete opposite of Benji. He couldn’t bear to have been beaten up by his brother. Kiruba was a cunning man, and he just wanted Joseph to pay up the advance for the business, even though he didn’t even have the raw materials to get started. Benji had stopped Joseph from giving Kiruba the money, but Joseph didn’t learn his lesson. When Kiruba planned to murder Benji for the humiliation he had received, Joseph got on board. He became an accomplice in Benji’s murder. Kiruba even manipulated him into taking the blame and landing up in prison. It was only after rotting in prison for several years that he understood that all of Kiruba’s promises to get him out had been false. Meanwhile, Selva had grown up and become disillusioned with football life. Losing Benji was such a traumatic incident that he chose to drown himself in liquor at a very young age. What exacerbated his circumstances was Joseph’s return to his life.


How Did Joseph Plan His Revenge Against Kiruba?

When Joseph came back to his neighborhood, things had changed radically. Kiruba had become a powerful man. He had essentially replaced Benji and was in the race to enter politics. His brother-in-law, Karthi, was another hotheaded fellow who was his right-hand man. Joseph first tried to explain to Selva that he wasn’t the one who had killed Benji. He left out the fact that if it wasn’t for him tackling Benji, he would have survived Kiruba’s attack. Selva didn’t realize the underlying motivations for Joseph to get the youngsters together, explaining how he had been fooled by Kiruba. But Joseph just wanted his revenge.

Joseph was a nobody, and he knew it. He would be crushed against Kiruba, and nobody would shed two tears over his death. Even Kiruba wouldn’t think twice before killing him. So Joseph knew that he had to stay in the background and use the young firepower to take Kiruba down. Selva had already been in a feud with Karthi and his men, as they were after a girl Selva liked. Joseph planned to peddle drugs through the misguided youth in the neighborhood, and he needed Selva to lead his friends into an all-out war against Kiruba. There were boys like Robert, Mani and Murty who he could use for his ulterior motives. 


Ending Explained: Why Did Selva Kill Both Joseph And Kiruba?

Karthi and his men wanted to teach Selva a lesson, but Kiruba was an important man now, and he didn’t want Karthi to be involved in petty fights that ended up making Kiruba look bad. But all it took was a little provocation from either side to start a brawl. There was the issue of marking territory as well. Selva and his gang did not allow Karthi’s men to play in the field, and the two neighborhoods were always at loggerheads with each other. If Kiruba had a ceremony where he had to make a speech to his people, a pact had to be made that Selva and his gang wouldn’t start playing music through the loudspeaker. At one such event, Selva’s gang started the music 10 minutes before the agreed timing. This was enough for Karthi and his men to get into a fight with Selva’s gang. Viji, Robert’s brother, ended up in the hospital, and Joseph realized that it was the perfect time to end Kiruba’s reign.

Kiruba was always on the backfoot when dealing with Selva. He could see the anger in Selva’s eyes and knew that if he got a reason to come at him for Benji’s murder, he wouldn’t hesitate for a second. This was the reason why he wanted Karthi to stand down, and a deal was made that Karthi and his men would not attack Selva any more. That agreement did not hold for too long, and the fights continued. Joseph, in the midst of all the mayhem, got Robert, Murthy, and Mani to sell weed to Karthi’s men, knowing fully well that he would thrash them black and blue. Robert’s brother ended up in the hospital, and he couldn’t take the humiliation any more. Joseph supplied him with weapons to kill Karthi, but the plan backfired, and Kiruba ended up killing Robert. Selva realized that the mayhem in the area had multiplied tenfold ever since Joseph’s return. Mani and Murthy told Selva how Joseph had used Robert’s anger and given him the weapons. Selva, whose life had not gone the way he had hoped, crossed that boundary that Benji would not have wanted him to. He killed both Kiruba and Joseph. They were the embodiment of everything that was ruining the lives of young men in the neighborhood. Joseph could be said to represent the greed of capitalism because it all started the moment he stole his mother’s necklace to pay the advance for the business deal with Kiruba. Kiruba can be seen as the embodiment of unethical politics that only cares about power.

During Fight Club’s ending, Selva returned to his neighborhood after serving his sentence. He might have been given a smaller sentence because he may have been a juvenile. He took on the mantle of running Benji’s ground, but he might not be done with violence just yet. Karthi, who had been ridiculed by Kiruba for being a thick-skilled politician, had taken his place after his death. He might come and start a feud with him, but realizing that Karthi never cared about Kiruba implies that he will not do so.


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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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