‘I Love You’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Is Satya Able To Save Herself From Rakesh’s Traps?

I Love You has a deeper meaning to it and is always used in the context of happiness in most movies in the romantic genre. But if the film is presented as a thriller, it is quite easy to assume that this is going to be a tale of love that has gone wrong. Directed by Nikhil Mahajan, this film is about a serial obsessive stalker who wants to express his love and wants the object of his desire to reciprocate his feelings. How things will go down is the boring narrative that the audiences are subjected to.

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Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘I Love You’ Film?

I Love You begins with Satya getting ready for work. This is just another day for her, but little did she know that the next 24 hours would change her life for good. The setup until she reaches her office is a way to let the audience know that things are not going to go well. The overemphasis on visiting family and projecting her to be extra nice to her employees sets the mood for the movie, as things are going to go wrong for her very quickly. This predictable start to the film acts like a killjoy, and as viewers, we are only waiting for how, where, and when this will begin. She begins her work at the office by conversing with her friend and colleague Rakesh, whom she calls RO, about the previous night’s surprise. Her boyfriend, Vishal, proposed in full view of the office, and she accepted it. This shows she is happy with him, and she cannot wait to start her life.

In the scene before the proposal, Rakesh gave Satya her three crackers because the next day was Diwali. There is no explanation given as to why she would need these hazardous items inside the office premises. She would be using these things for her own benefit further along in the plot, and that’s why this element had to be added somehow. She also mentions that she will be travelling to Delhi later that night with her fiancé. This seems like a ploy presented in an obvious fashion by the makers to let the audience know this is an important part of the plot, and has a significance in the narrative ahead. 

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Rakesh, on the other hand, gets a confirmation message regarding his flight to Delhi. This proves that the man is up to something by mirroring Satya’s actions. He informs her of the same, which proves he probably does not want to come across as a stalker, and since they are friends, it makes sense for him to share his flight details as well. He works on the tech team, it is assumed, but it is not clear why he is working from a room that has CCTV of the entire office in front of him. Is he on the security team, or has it been placed in his office for his benefit?

The fiancé, Vishal, asks Rakesh for help regarding their travel plans that night. This suggests that Rakesh is good friends with Vishal as well but not as close as he is with Satya. He comes across as the problem solver who would do anything for Vishal and Satya. Vishal is unable to look through Rakesh’s eyes and see why he is willing to do the work, which has nothing to do with the actual office work. In passing, Vishal mentions that after him, it would only be Rakesh who would keep Satya happy. This would mean that Rakesh knows Satya as well as he does, but only as a friend. This brings a sparkle to Rakesh’s eyes, and it is obvious from here on that the man is planning an elaborate setup that would involve Satya and Vishal not catching the flight out of Mumbai. It is mostly a stalker situation because it is predictable this is the ruse.

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‘I Love You’ Ending Explained: How Is Satya Able To Save Herself From Rakesh’s Traps?

As Satya waits for Vishal and her driver, Mishra Ji, so that they can head to the airport together, she notices that after several attempts to contact them, they are both unreachable. She is the kind of person who would not think the worst this early. Her colleague also gives her an engagement gift, which is a way to stall the narrative. Using her duplicate car key, Satya, who is alone in this building, tries to get out of the office in her car from the parking lot, but her disconnected access card stops her exit. Her access card not working should have been an indication that someone is up to something, but the stage is not yet set for the grand reveal.

Out of desperation, she calls Rakesh to help her out of the office building, and he does as she says. On reaching the car park, she sees the driver’s body in the trunk, which shocks her to the core. It is obvious to the audience who must have committed the crime, but Satya in the film is yet to be told that maybe all this happened while she was harbouring a stalker. The death of her driver would also mean Vishal is in danger as well, and whoever was responsible wanted to target people close to Satya.

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Once Satya and Rakesh are back in his office, he lets slip an information that only Satya knew. Satya questions his knowledge of this particular information, which finally reveals that Rakesh is the mastermind behind everything that has happened so far in the last few hours. This was the dullest reveal of a person who is on the verge of harming not just Satya but others as well. He had to confess, or Satya would have tried to run away or contacted the police and been on the lookout for Vishal.

Rakesh confesses to killing her driver because his twisted mind thought Satya would be able to understand his predicament and fall for his words. This shows that Rakesh is a mentally unstable man, and willing to manipulate and force Satya into accepting him. He holds her hostage inside a glass box and thus begins the long saga of the recounting of why Rakesh did this and what the motive is for carrying out this crime. Rakesh does this to gain her love and remove Vishal from the picture. He hoped that if he could make her understand his love, she would be able to put things in order in her mind to make a fair decision about who to choose as her partner. But what Rakesh does not understand is that the moment a girl is kept hostage, any feelings of fondness and attraction go out the window, and all she will be doing is making plans to save her and Vishal.

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Satya is sure Vishal is alive, and all she will have to do is hoodwink Rakesh by faking her love for him and taking her to her fiancé by openly stating that she loves Rakesh and not Vishal. The girl had hoped Rakesh, who is simple-minded, would fall for her words because they had been friends for a while. She wants to help him because it is obvious to the viewers from his demeanor that Rakesh needs immediate psychiatric treatment. There is also an homage to the cult stalker thriller Darr, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla, and the placement of the song ‘Tu mere saamne’ is just an ideal placement in the scenario. The only redeeming factor of this movie is this song, and the makers and the viewers admit Rakesh to be a problematic man with a skewed view of love and romance. But things do not go as per her plan, and Rakesh ends up killing Vishal in front of Satya. This proves that she underestimated Rakesh’s obsession with her. His obsession began on his first day of work at this company, where she just had small talk that led to his mind spiralling into thinking that he loved her and that she must love him back. He mistook her friendship for attraction, which is the case with plenty of men who do not understand the difference between hanging out as friends and having genuine feelings and conveying them accordingly, not festering on them in the hope that the other person would somehow like them back.

Satya now goes into survival mode, she has to distract the man and hide herself in this office building till dawn. Meanwhile, she injures Rakesh in the leg with the hammer he used to kill her driver and uses the cracker he had given her to further slow him down and give herself an advantage over him. So far in the movie, there is so much back and forth happening between the two that viewers only want the movie to end. It was easy to assume how the movie would end, but again, stretching it just to be able to showcase Satya as a woman could take him down. She finally attacks him with an axe, which leads to another lengthy fight sequence in a bid to save herself from this man. It was the only way for her to get out of the situation. There is no one coming to save her, and she will have to disarm him. She is successful in knocking him unconscious by smashing his head onto a glass door and making him a hostage just like she was. She did this to prove to him that he underestimated her drive to stay alive, her now deceased fiancé Vishal, and her family waiting for her in Delhi. This comes across as a rather tacky way of showing that women can save themselves. Satya’s attempts to do the above were predicted halfway through the film, and despite some good action sequences, the movie did not serve much of a purpose.

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I Love You ends with Rakesh threatening to go after her family once he is out of jail. Satya does not kill him initially because she believes she cannot turn into a killer just like him. This was the right move because killing him would be an easy way out but letting him go to jail and get psychiatric treatment might put some sense into the boy. But his threat was enough for her to change her mind. She lets in a live wire into his box and sets off the fire alarm, which would switch on the sprinkler and flood the room he is kept hostage in. The live wire would electrocute him, leading to his instant death. She did this to save her and her family from his obsessive behavior, and she knew he would not stop at this if he ever came out of prison. He would not learn any lessons from this ordeal, which is why killing him was the only option. She walks out of the office building using his access card, breathes an air of relief, and is glad that she saved herself from the nightmare.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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