‘Kamla’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Is Asmaa Dead?

Netflix’s Egyptian film, Kamla focuses on the life of a lonely psychiatrist in her 40s and her willingness to help a sex worker, Asmaa, getting out of her misery. Director John Ikram Sawers deserves special accolades for making a film with the topic of “Khatna,” which means circumcision of young girls, as a part of their religious views. This procedure takes away the ability to feel emotional and physical pleasure among women. Why are women’s physical and emotional requirements not considered important? Why did Asmaa eventually commit suicide? Why did Yousif betray Kamla? Let’s find out the answers!


Spoilers Ahead

How Was Kamla Similar To Asmaa?

27-year-old  sex worker Asmaa formed a bond with her psychiatrist, Kamla. She opened up to Kamla about her insecurities after being circumcised and how she had started having self-doubt post the procedure. She said that she was unable to feel anything, even though she had sexual desires. Asmaa had been circumcised by the members of her family when she was just a young girl. At the tender age of fifteen she was married off to an old man, who sent her back home only after a few days. Asmaa said that she was a bright student, but the circumstances in her family stopped her from pursuing her studies further. 


Even though Kamla was an educated and independent woman, she was also nagged by her aunt, Insaf, to get married. In this respect, she was no different from Asmaa. The way society looks down upon women, irrespective of their education and social background, has been brought out in the film. The worth of a woman even in the current times is limited only to marriage in many parts of the world like the middle-east and Africa.  When Kamla’s father passed away, all that Insaf wanted was to usurp her property. She started staying with Kamla, trying to control her and saying that even though her father had passed away, she had a family reputation to maintain. Insaf couldn’t stand the way Kamla led her life and often tried to impose restrictions on her. The only thing that both Asmaa and Kamla’s families were focused on was their reputations. They did not care about the wellbeing and happiness of their daughters. 

How Did Kamla Form A Bond With Yousif?

Kamla went to the book launch ceremony of a famous writer, Yousif. When she expressed her interest in his novels, they instantly formed a bond. Later, when Kamla took Asmaa out for lunch, she came across Yousif there. It was not long before he gave Kamla his contact information and asked her to contact him. After a few days, they started meeting regularly, exchanging their views on life. Kamla liked the fact that Yousif had a broad mindset, unlike the majority of the men that she had come across so far in this life. She shared her dreams with him, thinking that he was trustworthy. She said that she had wanted to be a ballerina, but just to save her family reputation, she had to choose psychiatry as a career. Yousif expressed his liking for Kamla and her liberated mindset, making the two eventually form a deep bond within a short time frame. 


Why Did Asmaa Commit Suicide?

Asmaa was unable to feel any intimate desire, even though her heart craved for it. She was in extreme pain for not being able to experience the pleasure that she longed for. She would sleep with many of her customers, but no one could fill the void that she had in her heart. When Kamla gave her Yousif’s novel, she went through it and mustered the courage to take the ultimate step. She would often go to Kamla and talk her heart out, but she would not be able to express the pain that she was feeling inside.

Asmaa went back home, completed her prayer, and then hung herself. She was unable to deal with the trauma. When Kamla got to know about it, she was devastated. Later she learnt from Asmaa’s mother that her brother had wanted to marry her off to settle his debts. Kamla was disgusted to know that Asmaa’s family had tried to use her as a commodity in search of a better life for themselves. When Kamla confronted Asmaa’s brother, he accused Kamla, saying that he had turned his sister into an infidel, which made her commit suicide. Asmaa’s brother’s hypocrisy lies in not accepting the fact that his own actions killed his sister. He was trying to find an escape route by putting the blame on someone else. 


What Happened To Kamla After Asmaa’s Death?

After Asmaa passed away, Kamla couldn’t stop thinking about her. She started finding Asmaa in all her other patients and often started losing her mind. She was restless and unable to sleep as she would see Asmaa in her dreams. She was so immersed in the guilt of not being able to save a life that she had to start seeing a psychiatrist herself. 

When Yousif came to meet her, he tried to soothe her pain by giving her the assurance that he would be around no matter what. She told Yousif that maybe she shouldn’t have given his novel to Asmaa, as she had gotten the idea of killing herself from the book. Kamla just couldn’t stop blaming herself for the loss of an innocent life. Yousif tried to make her feel better by taking her to a ballet show. Kamla was finally able to open up about her feelings to Yousif. She said that, being the only uncircumcised girl in the family, her family members kept a strict check on her. They were unable to believe that a woman like her could stay away from sexual temptations. 


Was Kamla Hurt After Yousif Betrayed Her?

When Yousif came to know about Kamla’s insecurities, he assured her that he would never leave her side. Sadly, all his promises proved to be fake when he ghosted her after spending a night together. Kamla tried to contact him, but all went in vain! She went to Yousif’s home and confronted him, asking him why he had abandoned her. He said that he had felt guilty after he came to know that Kamla was still a virgin at the age of 40. He further said that he was ashamed of having taken something from her that she had kept preserved for so long. It made Kamla feel that Yousif was like other men who were only after sex. He was only giving some lame excuses to get rid of Kamla after achieving what he wanted. 

Did Kamla Become Pregnant?

Insaf told her that her son, Adel, wanted to marry her. It is quite evident that she had only been after Kamla’s property and wanted his son to marry her to usurp it. When Insaf came to know that Kamla had done a pregnancy test, she took the kit to a clinic and found out that she was not pregnant. It is possible that Kamla had been puking due to delayed periods or excessive strain that she had taken upon herself, in the past few days. 


While Kamla was sleeping, she dreamed that Insaf had come along with other women to circumcise her. Kamla always had Asmaa’s plight at the back of her mind and had started comparing herself with Asmaa, making her think that she would face the same fate. She also had flashes of the times when she used to practice as a ballerina, but then how her dreams had been trampled upon in the name of family traditions. 

Final Words

There are several complications associated with circumcision, which the director has tried portraying in Kamla. The societal trouble that women have to face in many segments of the world has been brought out. The intimate drama talks about a cause that itself is a taboo, which sets it apart from other social message-oriented films. The cast of the film featured faces like Injy El Mokkaddem, May Elghety, Firas Saayed, and Salwa Othman, all of whom have done justice to the screenplay. The film has given out a message that is often overlooked by many.


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Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti’s obsession with creativity and travel fervor has helped her branch out into the entertainment genre. Her love for psychological thrillers helps her get a daily dose of adrenaline. A regular caricature of the films and its characters is what keeps her going!

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