Satirical humor is one kind of comedy, and it works only when the story and screenplay go hand in hand and the point it is trying to make comes off well. Satirical humor also requires people to understand the humor behind the situation put in front of them; otherwise, it defeats the purpose. Kathal is yet another political satire coming out of Netflix India, and it wows us with its story, performances, and entire setup. The plot of the movie revolves around two exotic fruits that get stolen, with the local police being assigned the task of locating these fruits.
The movie begins with a man named Veer Singh being lured by a woman named Radha, with the man planning to meet this lady the next day at a spot decided by him. By their conversation, it is assumed that Radha and Veer Singh have been conversing with each other for a while, and it becomes clear Veer Singh is keen on meeting this woman. The next day, Veer Singh meets Radha at the said place, and very quickly, the scene changes, and the man is surrounded by cops in plain clothes. Radha turns out to be a cop as well, and Veer Singh escapes from the police. A crazy chase ensues between the cops and Veer Singh. The man is finally found inside an empty water tanker and is arrested immediately. Radha is not her real name; she is Mahima Basor, an SI with Moba police station. She finally arrests the man who has been being hunted for a while, who has multiple cases against him.
The Story Of The Lost Jackfruits
Mahima is happy to have caught this man, but her superiors claim credit for her hard work and her success. She doesn’t mind that because if criminals stay behind bars and do not create menace, that’s enough to keep her happy. Mahima is a very grounded person who does not get carried away by her success. She only believes in doing her job the right way. Her boyfriend Saurabh is a constable with the same police station. He has been with her since their police training days but didn’t get insecure when she was promoted as her superior officer in the same station.
During the press conference, when the police were letting the media know about the arrest of Veer Singh, Mahima’s boss receives a call from a local MLA and asked him and Mahima to urgently head towards the MLA’s residence. This scenario is proof of how the local politician does not care about a dreaded criminal being arrested, but affairs relevant to his home come across as more important to the man in charge of the district. The MLA and his family have gathered the police in his garden to let them know of a robbery that has happened in their yard. Two Uncle Hong jackfruits, expensive exotic ones, were stolen from the premises, and the MLA and his family want the Moba police to investigate and find the culprit behind the theft of these jackfruits. Mahima is aware that this case is as absurd as it sounds, and she would rather help her team solve the far grittier crimes that take place in the town than waste time looking for something that is quite easily replaceable. Since the pressure is high on Mahima and her superior officers, the team starts the work of investigating where the jackfruits could have gone.
The MLA also brought in the forensic team to look for some footprints or DNA evidence that would lead them to the culprit as soon as possible. Mahima is annoyed at the amount of time and resources being spent on finding a fruit, but she has no choice but to follow the orders and make sure the investigation is going on without any glitches affecting it. Anuj, a local journalist, too, is trying to find a foothold by running his own channel, Moba News. The man is a typical journalist who would reach any place where he could sense he would get a scoop. Just like any other journalist, he asks the right question and makes the speaker quite uncomfortable, and rightly so. Journalism is supposed to question the status quo and not butter up the system at any cost. Anuj’s Moba News also gets a whiff of the jackfruits being stolen, and this allows him to publicize the news. Moba News is also a take on how news channels, in the course of seeking information, would cover practically everything just to get enough traction. Though Anuj comes across as a decent journalist, he would want to cover all kinds of news. Be it the jackfruit being stolen or any other hard-hitting journalistic stories from this small town.
As the investigation began, Mahima and her team suspected Birwa, the MLA’s gardener, who was fired from his job days before the jackfruits were stolen. He comes across as the lead suspect, and their lookout brings positive news. His phone is also found in the yard, and they conclude that the man was indeed in the yard, cementing him as the prime suspect. Making the gardener the prime suspect only comes easy to the MLA or the police because they are always on the lookout to target people who do not have much access to money to defend themselves. Birwa was an easy suspect because everyone knew it would be easy to nab him and put him on trial. The police work here is getting more embarrassing day by day, and the MLA has no time to realize these jackfruits could be replaced easily. An older gentleman comes by the Moba police station regularly and requests Saurabh to file a missing report complaint for his daughter Amiya, who has not returned home for a few days. Saurabh, being a typical cop, refuses to file an FIR because he believes the girl is 18 years old, and since she is an adult now, the girl left her household on her own, and she would come back when she thinks it is the right time. Saurabh, who is supposed to be Mahima’s right-hand man and help people, turns out to be exactly like other policemen and refuses to help people coming by to file complaints.
Birwa makes sure to approach Mahima directly to file a complaint, and she does so without knowing he is the gardener they are tracking. As soon as his name is revealed at the police station, he is immediately arrested and put in lockup. The man begs and pleads to be let go because he has no connection to the jackfruit’s theft. Birwa only wanted to file a missing case so that the police could begin the search and bring Amiya back. But here at the station, a different story is cooking inside Mahima’s mind.
‘Kathal’ Ending Explained: What Was Mahima’s Plan To Find Amiya?
As Birwa’s interrogation goes on, she learns from him that he was here at the station to file a missing complaint for his daughter, but he is always stopped and discouraged by Saurabh. Mahima is livid at Saurabh for doing so and not helping this elderly man look out for his daughter. The man is initially let go because there is no evidence against him, but her superiors force Mahima to put Birwa behind bars and parade him as the man who stole the jackfruits. Mahima was feeling her hands tied, and she was not sure how to let Birwa go and help him find Amiya instead. She feels that as a police officer, her duty remains helping the needy and the poor, and instead of doing that, she is being forced to find some inane objects that do not have any impact on anyone other than being a delicious dish on the plate. On the other hand, Mahima is also livid at Saurabh for not doing his work as a police officer. He was supposed to file the case, but he walked away from his responsibilities. She is now not on speaking terms with him because of this mishap.
Saurabh takes her words seriously and begins the investigation. Saurabh is not just doing this for Mahima. The man realizes he must make sure to do the right thing for the needy and the poor so that he will feel proud of himself. Mahima, on the other hand, is asked by her superiors to hold a press conference putting forward Birwa as the jackfruit thief and closing the case. Mahima puts a spin on this story and lets the media know that Birwa confessed to the police that his daughter was the one who stole Uncle Hong’s jackfruits and is currently absconding. The whole point of putting the onus of stealing the fruits on Amiya stems from the fact that Mahima, her superiors, and the MLA would agree to find Amiya and start a lookout for her on an urgent basis. This way, the girl would be found. Mahima knew there was no other way to utilize the police force to get hold of Amiya. She had to find an alternate way, and Birwa came in as a blessing in disguise. This helped her formulate a plan, which would at least give the police some leads on her whereabouts.
Saurabh, on the other hand, gets the phone records from the cyber cell, and he finds three numbers from an optician’s shop linked to Amiya’s number. The optician reveals that one of his employees was the one who used the owner’s name, and he has been AWOL for the past few weeks. Saurabh is elated to find some leads in Amiya’s case, and they now know the girl has been kidnapped by three men, as per eyewitnesses in her village, Karehra. A lead like this would help Mahima come closer to her goal, which is to locate Amiya. The police, through cell phone tracking, locate the men and Amiya in Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh. This would mean the team would have to go to the neighboring state to get hold of the kidnappers and Amiya. Mahima is finally on track, and she is happy to have a team to support finding closure in this case.
As they reach Madhya Pradesh, they are initially clueless about how to find all of them. Through CCTV footage, they conclude the kidnappers are residing between the petrol station and a dhaba. One of them switches their phone on, and soon the police can trace their location. But once they reach the spot, the men and Amiya are far from gone. They are quick to conclude that Amiya was here because the place was littered with Madhusree packets, which happen to be Amiya’s favorite edible. With no way to know where the men with the girl were headed, Mahima was quick to conclude that they must have headed to the town of Panna because the town happens to serve the best sweet delicacy, which is the optical shop owner’s weakness. The dhaba owner on the highway also confirmed that Gulab Seth in Panna makes the best Khoya Jalebi, the sweet delicacy. On a hunch, Mahima and her team now head to Panna, hoping to finally get the girl and nab the kidnappers. Mahima, as of now, is in no mood to slow down, and she can sense that the case will conclude very soon. They track Gulab Seth’s home only to know this man is one who runs a confectionery store as a front, and behind his legit business, he runs a human trafficking ring. Gulab Seth planned to add Amiya to this ring, but not before Mahima and her team nabbed the men and arrested them.
Amiya is brought back to Moba for a trial, and the woman is shamed for wearing the kind of clothes she wears, and there is no talk about why the girl stole those exotic fruits. Birwa, Amiya’s father, reveals that he lied as per the instructions given to him by SI Mahima Basor. Mahima wanted to find Amiya under the pretext of finding jackfruit. Mahima is accused of misleading an investigation, but the judge commends her for not wasting precious police time on finding 360 bucks worth of jackfruit and prioritizing locating Amiya before she got sold to a human trafficking ring. Mahima is lauded for the work she has done, and the Moba police start a drive to save girls from getting kidnapped. Mahim is finally happy to see her work being recognized, and all she can do is find ways to fight crime, not just against women but against men as well.
Saurabh is promoted to the position of SI, and at the same time, Mahima is promoted to the post of SP. She is not happy because she is sure this will create some disparity when their marriage talks begin. Saurabh promises not to get carried away by anyone else’s words, especially his family’s, because he is proud of what Mahima has achieved so far, and he will never dare to stop her from pursuing what she deserves. The Uncle Hong jackfruits are finally found on the roof of the MLA’s home, being eaten by a monkey. It turns out they were not stolen by any humans at all. Monkeys managed to get hold of it and consume it by themselves. The MLA or his family never concluded that it could be the case of animals working on their instincts and devouring the fruit. The fruit for which they had been frantically searching for days ended up on the roof after all. The MLA and his family should not have panicked and could have done a thorough search of their home instead of involving the police. The jackfruits were finally found, just not in the condition they were expected to be in.