Jeo Baby, a director whose career is only one film old, stirred conversations through The Great Indian Kitchen. It questioned the very core of the Indian patriarchal system, where men essentially pressured women to cater to household chores rather than chasing their dreams. Followed by this film, Jeo Baby has given us an emotionally moving story in Kaathal – The Core, where a couple deals with a secret that could change their lives forever. Starring Mammootty and Jyothika in the lead roles, the film is out in theaters for everyone to watch. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the events of Kaathal – The Core and find out what happens in the end.
Who were Matthew Devassy and Thankachan?
Matthew Devassy is an aging man with humble political ambitions who is an honest person, and everyone in the town of Pala looks up to him. He seems to be on decent terms with his wife, daughter, and father, even though there is a sense of silence between them. Matthew is a hesitant person, but at the same time, he is excited to be taking on a new role in his life. In the same town lives Thankan, who runs a driving school. He is the owner as well as a driving instructor as well, and he lives alone with his nephew. Thankan is a morally upright person and has been living respectfully so far. The relationship between them takes a strange turn when the young boy questions Thankan’s relationship with Matthew. Thankan refrained from answering the question and refused to confirm or deny anything. There is a lot to unearth from Thankan’s silence, and the revelation could change the course for many involved.
Why did Omana file for divorce?
Matthew’s life goes for a toss when he learns of Omana filing for divorce, with the papers being served right around the time of the election campaign. Matthew is in shock, and so are his party workers, who are worried about the contents of the divorce petition being leaked. In no time, the news of the divorce between Omana and Matthew spreads all around the town. Omana’s reason for divorce sends shock waves through the whole village, which puts Matthew and his party in a dilemma. Omana’s divorce petition states that Matthew Devassy is a homosexual man and mentions his more than friendly relations with Thankan. Omana stands her ground and refuses to back out. She was also asked about the timing of the divorce, but she claims to have filed it two months ago. There might be some truth to her words, for Omana probably had enough of this life of lies.
Has the divorce affected his candidacy?
Matthew Devassy is deeply affected by the divorce proceedings, mainly because of the accusations mentioned in the petition, which amounted to mental cruelty. The rumors about the contents of the petition rattled the party; they wondered if these allegations would affect people’s attitudes towards his candidacy. They aimed to make sure Matthew won. Matthew was in denial about the entire ordeal because he was equally terrified of how society perceived him. He could not wrap his head around what was happening and how he would ever come out of it looking innocent. Matthew was a quiet person who never spoke much to his wife or family except for his daughter, but he had to put up a strong face to make sure his political ambitions were not clouded because of this case.
What happens in court?
Matthew did not agree to a mutual separation, and Omana had to take the case to court to not just secure a divorce but also justice on the grounds of keeping her in the dark about his sexuality. In court, Matthew is forced to confront his true self, and he can no longer be in denial, even if he does not have answers when questioned regarding his role in making this marriage work. His sexuality is confirmed as the court proceedings go on, and Omana is questioned about her timing of filing the petition along with the status of their intimate relations. Omana admitted to knowing about his sexuality, as he had never shown any interest in being physically intimate with her. The daughter was also born out of obligation, as she requested one from him. Matthew remained quiet during the cross-questioning, and slowly it was clearing everyone’s doubt regarding the lie the man had been living all these years, and it emerged that Omana probably wanted to end the façade.
Who was the surprise witness?
Omana did not file for divorce years ago because being homosexual and indulging in any intimacy with a partner of the same sex was considered an offense up until 2018, the year that saw legalization of same-sex relations. She did not want to portray him as a criminal, and Omana could receive brownie points for being sensitive towards Matthew’s predicament. Matthew’s father is deeply affected by the proceedings, and it is indirectly insinuated that he knew about his son’s sexuality, but he was married off to a woman so that an order prevails in the family, and no one questions their dignity. The man was careful with his words while dealing with Omana, but she did not sugarcoat any of her emotions and stated that the marriage gave her nothing.
Matthew and his father’s mistake led to Omana losing her formative years, and this could be the reason the father and son had no communication with each other. The father came forward as a prime witness. He finally agreed and publicly accepted his son was gay. As a father figure who has seen his son grow up to be a man respected by the society around them in general, he is aware of what Matthew is behind closed doors. He felt partly responsible for the debacle that was unfolding in front of him. This revelation was a big deal for everyone in the family because, just like Omana, the father also wanted a clean slate for everyone and restart their lives on decent, if not good, terms. Devassy’s father did the right thing by supporting his daughter-in-law instead of taking the toxic parent route.
Does Matthew Devassy come out as gay?
With Matthew’s father’s testimony out there for everyone to scrutinize and speculate over, he is aware of the buzz around the conversation about his sexuality. For the first time in years. Matthew spoke to his father about what he went through as a young teenager and as a person who was facing the dilemma of being a gay man in a society that was barely accepting of heterosexual marriages that involved men and women who chose each other. Matthew breaks down that his friendship with his father had essentially ended when he considered his son’s attraction towards men a disease.
Matthew reveals the doctor suggested he be married off, a standard response to non-standard sexualities back in the day. There was no awareness back in the day about homosexuals, and many were in denial about their sons or daughters being queer. It was nothing but a norm to get their queer children married to a person of the opposite sex solely based on what their immediate neighbors, family, and friends would perceive. Misogyny and patriarchy are ingrained, and which forces people to make decisions against the will of their children. His father admits to the mistakes he made years ago, and Matthew apologizes to Omana for not coming clean about himself to her and society in general out of fear of not being accepted. The past could not be changed, but Matthew was aware of how deeply Omana was affected by his cold behavior. He rectified and came out, which is the first step towards finally being himself. Omana encourages him to live on his terms, which will make him breathe the air around him peacefully. This was rather an easy solution, but it required a lot of courage to admit it and move on.
Kaathal – The Core ended with Matthew Devassy releasing his election campaign videos, in which he is seen speaking about his candidacy. It is believed that Matthew probably came out as gay. The election campaign picked up, and his confession about his sexuality may have worked in his favor. The voting population is only keen to know if he would be an able leader. The divorce papers are signed between Omana and Mathew, and she moves out. Omana and Matthew became good friends after separation as they lived as partners for many years. Thankan is also made aware of the divorce, and he probably was not keen on swooping in and making it all about him. He wanted Matthew to process the news, and maybe they could pursue a relationship slowly and steadily. The elections finally happened, and it is implied that Matthew won by a strong margin.
Matthew helps Omana meet a prospective groom. This is the least Matthew could do as a friend to help her move on. The whole idea of the divorce was to make sure Omana and Matthew split on amicable terms and she could move on further with another person as her life partner. As Matthew looks on, Thankan is seen waiting in his car. The last shot of Kaathal – The Core has the same car driven away and a rainbow is seen ahead. This implies that Thankan and Matthew are probably together, and the rainbow symbolizes their union. It is nothing but wishful thinking to assume two men could live together in a conservative society such as ours. Portrayals of partnerships like Matthew and Thankan could be the first step towards normalizing men living together as loving partners.