‘Kannai Nambathey’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Does Arun Prove Himself Not Guilty? Is Somu Dead?

Tamil cinema and its love for masala storytelling are a never-ending relationship that will go on for a long time. The telling of a story and mixing it with some commercial elements, and giving it some human-interest angles makes the film more appealing to mass audiences, who love to watch such stories. Commercial films are the game, and nothing could beat Tamil cinema in this field. “Kannai Nambathey” is the story of a man who unexpectedly gets involved in a criminal case that he wants to get out of, but things get complicated very quickly. Will Arun find a way out, or will he face any criminal charges?

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Spoilers Ahead


Arun’s Increasing Problems Are At Hand

The movie begins with a shot of two men carrying a bundle of cash in their hands and deciding to spend some of it in return for some hard-core narcotics. One of the men accuses the other man of eloping with his wife. Things escalate quickly because they are high; one of them takes up the gun he had on him and shoots. As the gunfire goes on, the man realizes the mistake he’s made. The scene goes back a few days to when Arun and his friend were desperately looking for a place to stay after Arun’s previous house owner asked him to vacate the place as soon as possible. Arun is frustrated, agitated, and tensed about the whole situation as he must find room for himself by the end of the day. All his leads take him nowhere, but finally, he gets a contact who helps him get a house that has two rooms. One room is already occupied by another tenant, but Arun can occupy the other room.

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Arun is happy to have finally found a solution to his problem, and that too, in a matter of hours. The reason he was asked to vacate his previous apartment was that Arun fell in love with Divya, who is the owner’s daughter. Divya loves him too, and they have been in a relationship for a while. Her father is informed about it by a nosy neighbor, and that forces the father to throw Arun out of the house as soon as possible. Arun’s being cornered by Divya’s father forces him to look for another outlet for himself. He has no option but to oblige to what Divya’s father demands him to do. Arun comes across as a decent person, which is why he does not indulge in any sort of fight with Divya’s father. Divya, on the other hand, is still by Arun’s side and helps in any way she can to ensure that he safely finds another apartment. They continue their relationship even with the restrictions put on her. There is nothing that can stop them from being together. Divya being the strongest in the relationship, helps him to put back pieces of his life together. 

Arun ends up with Somu, his roommate. Somu’s job status is not shown in the film, but somehow he can pay the rent without any delay. Somu comes across as an interesting and understanding man who is willing to listen to Arun’s love-struck tale of how he and Divya are being forced to separate by her parents. Somu is understanding of the situation, and as a roommate, he asks Arun to accompany him to places just to cheer the man up by distracting him from the problems he is facing. Somu and Arun gel as roommates.

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Arun witnesses a woman crashing her car into a cart. Thankfully, the woman is not injured, but by the looks of it, she seems drowsy and confused. She requests that Arun drop her off at her home, as she is in no condition to drive the car back home. Arun is initially reluctant because a stranger has asked him for a favor in the middle of a rainy evening. This throws him aback, but as it’s the woman requesting it, he agrees to drop her back off. She asks him to take the car back and return it the next day, as it is raining heavily. Arun is again not sure whether to fall for all this because he can sense something is wrong, but he also senses the woman is not in the right condition, and she is just a Samaritan who wants to help a man who helped her. Arun goes by what he feels is right and takes the car with him, as requested by the woman. His friend and Somu joke about how he cannot take advantage of the woman when he is alone. Arun makes his stand clear by saying that he had no intention of harming the woman, who seemed genuinely helpless. At this point, Arun is the only man with a progressive mindset who would not seek to harm any woman. He helped a woman out of genuine concern, and there was not a cruel cell in his body that would provoke him to take advantage of the woman who looked unwell.

After Arun takes the car back home, Somu wakes up in the middle of the night and checks out the car for any driver’s registration that would have the woman’s address, and he finds one. As he drives to this woman’s house, he finds her sleeping in her room. Somu barges in, intending to harm the lady, which he does. It is not clear why Somu does this. It is obvious from his actions that he is a rapist. He brutalizes the woman, and she ends up dead. The very next day, as Arun is headed back to return the car, he notices the woman’s body in the trunk, and he is not sure who put it there. It’s obvious that Somu is the one who did the crime, but now that he has to stay away from the police and knows Arun would immediately go to the police to report this crime, Somu decides to take Arun on a ride until the body is disposed of. Arun is genuinely scared of the police piling the case on him, as he was probably the last person she was seen with. He also has her car. The police will not believe his story, for the woman is now dead, and there is no way Arun can get away with this crime. Arun wants to steer clear of the rape and murder of the woman because he has a stable job and Divya is his girlfriend. If this becomes the case, he will not be able to go back to his normal life.

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‘Kannai Nambathey’ Ending Explained – How Does Arun Prove Himself Not Guilty?

Somu takes him for a ride when he convinces Arun not to go to the police because he is sure that the police would never trust their words. They wait for nightfall and park the vehicle outside her home to make it appear as if the car never left her home. This is nothing but obstructing justice while tampering with the evidence as well. Arun notices there is a CCTV camera right outside her home, and when he goes in to check the footage, the footage seems to be missing. This means the person who murdered her was clever enough to remove the footage so that they are not implicated in the crime.

On the other hand, Somu, while driving his car to run away from a chasing dog, hits a young boy with the car. It was only then he noticed that the boy had kidnapped a woman to molest her, and the girl tried to push away the boy, and he landed himself in front of Somu’s vehicle. With two bodies that have piled up in a matter of a short time, Arun and Somu are not sure how they will even get rid of this mess. Arun and Somu let the girl know that if anyone asked her about her missing two-wheeler, she would say that it was stolen from the market. The men promise her to get rid of the boy’s body. The “girl,” who got caught in the middle is hoping that this case will not come and bite her. Meanwhile, Arun and Somu are in two minds about how to get rid of two dead bodies. They are not serial killers. Though Somu was the one who killed the woman, he is stressed out trying to come up with ideas of how to save himself as well. He comes up with a plan he saw in a film, and he hopes it can save them a lot of time. They plan to throw both bodies from two different bridges and make it look like suicide. The only difference is that once they throw the woman’s body off the bridge, they do not find her body on the road under the bridge. There is utter confusion and chaos over how to manage to remain calm in the situation.

The police officer on patrol happens to be Divya’s uncle, and he comes across the scooter of the woman when she claims it was stolen. The police figure the woman has been lying about it, the woman under interrogation reveals the story of two men saving her and killing the man. She had no intention of ratting them out, but being in the police station brought out her fear, and she ended up revealing that two men were driving a black car. Arun and Somu do not realize that the police might be much closer to catching them. It would be only a matter of time before they were arrested.

Arun and Somu go to the other bridge to check out the body of the boy. They come across police and people who think the boy committed suicide by jumping in front of a truck. The boy turns out to be the son of the police officer, Divya’s first cousin. Arun has no clue how he will recover from this and get himself out of this situation. Knowing Divya’s father hates him, the police officer, too, would pick on him unnecessarily, and he sees some jail time in his future. Arun reveals everything to Divya, hoping that she will understand his situation, which she does. The first thing she says is to not trust Somu and probably speak to her uncle. But Somu goes against the plan.

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On the news as well, they are made aware that the prime witness, the woman with the bike, was kidnapped, so she does not testify. Arun and Somu are confused about who would kidnap the girl. They are clueless at this point. But things just get more convoluted for them. They receive a blackmail call from a woman who demands 25 lakhs from both of them, or she will give the video of them dropping the body of a woman from the bridge to the police. To get 25 lakhs, Arun and Somu get the CCTV footage to check who took the body from under the bridge as they locate the man using his car registration number. Arun and Somu blackmail him to get him 30 lakhs, threatening to release his footage to the police. The man in the CCTV footage happens to be Ilamaran, an owner of a pharmaceutical company. Illmaran has everything to lose with this mistake he made. The man agrees to pay Arun and Somu the money, only for them to realize he had no intention of letting them keep the money. He hires men to steal it from them. Now rendered penniless, Arun and Somu plan to confront the woman blackmailing them. There is no other way to finish off this matter if they do not confront her. She will have to be dealt with on a personal level to be able to get out of the case.

The woman blackmailing them turns out to be Somu’s accomplice, who reveals that he was the one who had killed the woman and put her in the trunk, and the ride along with Arun was his way of showing support and finally getting some ransom money from Ilamaran and eliminating Arun once and for all. Arun is shocked, but he gets out of the situation way quicker than anticipated. Somu and the woman run away, too, in the hope Arun will not catch up with them.

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Arun, in the hope of closing the case and saving himself from trouble, decides to follow Ilamaran, hoping he will help him. But to his shock, he sees the woman with Ilamaran, whom he thought was dead, as he follows them to a dilapidated home that happens to be an NGO home for young orphan girls. He confronts the woman and Ilamaran about what is being concocted here, and they reveal that she is Dr. Savitha, who is planning to make a medicine using plasma, which is available only in a pregnant woman. That medicine can be used on athletes so that they perform better at sporting events. The woman that was killed was Kavitha, who happens to be Savitha’s twin sister. On learning what Savitha is up to, Kavitha had protested, but Savitha ended up killing her in the fear that she would go to the police. Somu had initially knocked Savitha unconscious, but Illamaran had helped switch her with Kavitha’s actual dead body. This shocks Arun because, in the hope of saving himself, he discovers a racket.

As the police follow them, Somu ends up dead in the crossfire, and the police personnel, including Divya’s uncle, get injured as well. Arun follows Savitha and Illamaran when they are hit by gunfire, which is the first scene of the film. Their car meets with an accident because of it, and it explodes into a ball of fire. With Somu out of the picture, Arun tries his level best to clear his name from the case by being honest. With the help of Divya and her uncle Arun, he finally gets to do so. But in the end, he receives a phone call claiming they know the car carrying Illamaran and Savitha exploded because Arun set the petrol-leaking car on fire just to get rid of the two vile people he has come across. The last scene of “Kannai Nambathey” has the caller not blackmail Arun but informs him that he did the right thing.

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Final Thoughts

There must be a better way to describe a film as dumb as this one. The premise they set up was good, as was the story, which was written and directed by Mu. Maran makes you feel like the intelligent viewer who would understand what is transpiring until it doesn’t, and the story takes a weird turn. The plot had so many twists and turns that it felt like a road uphill toward a hill station. The movie becomes so bizarre by the end of the film that a new subplot is introduced, which begins and ends so quickly that one doesn’t understand the need to bring it in.

The story felt slightly believable until the director decided to take the plunge and utilize suspension of disbelief as his only way to salvage the film. The direction of the film is awkward, as is the performance of the actors, who seem so disconnected from the lines being told to them and the way they have been delivered. The films could not have existed, but still, the world would have been the same, and nothing would have changed. A film that can be completely avoided because time is precious.

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“Kannai Nambathey” is a Tamil-language film, now streaming on Netflix with subtitles.

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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