‘Kumari’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: What Is Lord Thuppan’s Story And Chattan’s Curse?

Since “Tumbbad” has revolutionized fiction fantasy wrapped around the folklore genre, plenty of films have made it to the big screen that would explore and dive deep into stories surrounding myths and mythical creatures. “Kumari” comes under the same category. “Kumari” is the tale of a woman who would go to any extent to save her only child from the rituals and practices her husband’s family has indulged in for years. Kumari comes into the family only to break away from the mistakes of the family and forge a path of righteousness slowly and steadily. “Kumari,” a Malayalam-language film by Nirmal Sahadev starring Aishwarya Lekshmi, Shine Tom Chacko, Swasika, Surabhi Lakshmi, and Spadikam George, is a must-watch for many reasons. Here we are explaining the ending for those who enjoyed this film.

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Spoilers Ahead


‘Kumari’ Plot Synopsis: Story Of Lord Thuppan And The Curse Of Chattan

The story begins with an old lady narrating a story to her grandson about a goddess who fell in love with the earth as a planet and married an earthling, only to produce cruel and gruesome-looking kids who, as per the grandmother’s lore, did not look like gods or humans; they were known as Chattans. Her children, the Chattans, who wanted to attain power over the earth, started fighting only for the Goddess to unleash her wrath, curse them to have to be buried below the ground, and abandon them in forests. The Goddess seems to have returned to a heavenly abode. Centuries later, while the Chattans seemed to be abandoned by those who never prayed for them, all are slowly awakened through sinister powers and prayers that want to unleash chaos. 

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The story moves to a time when landlords were the supreme leaders of a village and decided the amount of agricultural produce to be delivered to their granaries by the slaves working on their lands. A young boy named Chokkan often stops by Lord Thuppan’s illam (home) for the food that is served to the workers working in the field. Landlords were the cruelest of the people in a country that was ridden with rampant poverty. One of the landlords of the Kaanhirangat family, Lord Thuppan, was always angered by people from a lower caste; caste discrimination was a rampant practice in our country. Chokkan is a dear friend of Illymala Chattan (Goddess’s child), as he always offers Chattan fresh meat to consume. One night, before supper is served, Lord Thuppan confronts his wife for eating mangoes meant for the tribals and workers. He decides to take a dip in the family pond to cleanse himself of the touch of a person he doesn’t consider equal. He sees Chokkan taking a dip in the water. An enraged Lord Thuppan kills the kid and thus faces the wrath of Illymala Chattan, who wants to avenge Chokkan’s death. Lord Thuppan is a product of a time when it was normal to treat people who were considered to be from the lower caste less than a human. He believes his actions will not have any repercussions, for he considers himself to be a powerful person who could get away with the heinous act of murder.

Illymala starts unleashing his terror on the Kaanhirangat village as the villagers start facing drought year after year, ruining their lives and source of livelihood and food. Some of the villagers also died of painful blisters that boiled all over their bodies. All of them are aware that it is Chattan who is responsible for everything that goes wrong. The crops get ruined, and the men of the family fall to death. To Lord Thuppan’s horror, it starts affecting his family, too; the scars and boils start appearing on his body. To stop the catastrophe unleashed on his villagers and himself, Thuppan called the powerful Gari Devan using his blood. Lord Thuppan can no longer bear the thought of him suffering, and as an extension, the people of his land suffer due to a mistake he made, but a bigger mistake is about to take place, unaware to many. Lord Thuppan is rich, and he believes he would never face a problem of this magnitude unless it finally hits home, so he decides to take things into his own hands.

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Decades later, Kumari is born to another aristocratic landlord family on the other side of Kerala. She and her brother are orphans, raised by their uncle and aunt after their parent’s deaths. Kumari receives a marriage proposal from the Kaanhirangat family’s younger son, Dhruvan. Kumari has no choice but to accept the offer, while her brother is not sure if the family is right for her. He mentions the family being cursed. Soon after marriage, Kumari comes across various rituals Dhruvan’s uncle indulges in and is curious to know what they are all about. Dhruvan turns out to be someone who was traumatized as a child by his family, teachers, and villagers and ends up becoming a recluse while everyone mistakes him for being mentally unstable. Kumari sympathizes with him and starts taking care of him, and he reciprocates her love. Dhruvan’s state of mind is caused by the age-old patriarchal belief that men should act like men and follow traditional gender roles from a young age. All powers were given to his elder brother. Dhruvan being the quiet one becomes an issue, followed by years of trauma unleashed by villagers who start harassing him, making him the person he is right now. The second in line to become the landlord of his village, he has no ambition as such because his elder brother is still alive. Dhruvan is a simple character, and anyone would sympathize with his traumatic life so far, and Kumari does the same.


How Does Kumari Save Her Child? 

Kumari, meanwhile, starts exploring the forest around Dhruvan’s home and enters the forbidden section of the forest, where she sees Chokkan asking her to cross the gate and follow him. She is stopped by her sister-in-law, who retells the story of Lord Thuppan and the mistake he made in killing a young boy. As Kumari gets curious, she enters the forbidden section of the forest and comes across a tribal woman Muthamma who reveals that Kumari is pregnant and Illymala Chattan will protect her child at any cost. Unable to decipher what Muthamma meant, Kumari comes back to the village all tired and is taken home by her sister-in-law. Their local doctor confirms that she is pregnant, and everyone is happy except for Dhruvan’s brother and sister-in-law. Kumari is elated to know her love for Dhruvan is bearing fruit, and they finally start trusting one another. Kumari isn’t demanding, but she ensures Dhruvan is always on her side if anything goes wrong. She is proud that she can control his emotions just by spending time with him in and around the village.

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Kumari wonders why they are not happy to know of this news, and her sister-in-law finally reveals the secret this family is holding. When Lord Thuppan invited Gari Devan to protect his family and his village, the demigod demanded a human sacrifice, and by that, the demigod meant that the first son born to him should be sacrificed. Lord Thuppan’s wife refuses, but everything falls short as Thuppan wants to save his land and himself. His son is sacrificed, and peace is restored in the village and the family. Gari Devan protects the village and his family from Chattan, but all at a cost. Thuppan’s wife kills herself out of guilt, and Lord Thuppan is still alive, living in the attic of this Illam, barely alive. He is breathing only because of the ritual he conducted, because of which he has to remain alive even though death is what he seeks. Kumari would have to give up her child for the ritual that would be conducted that year, and her husband and his uncle won’t stop at any task. Kumari is determined not to let go of her child and is ready to face anyone to stop that from happening. She loves Dhruvan and does not want him to suffer Lord Thuppan’s fate. Since Dhruvan is about to become the father of the first child of the family, he is made the heir apparent, and his brother is asked to step aside. Drowning in the power he always wanted, Dhruvan is more than happy to take up the role. Dhruvan, because of his reclusive nature and the villagers’ perception of him, never realized he would be attaining so much power over the emotions of the same people who branded him mentally unstable. Dhruvan enjoys having the power on his side and starts misusing it, much to Kumari’s horror.

Kumari gets in touch with Muthamma, who helps Kumari meet Illymala Chattan. Chattan promises to protect her child at any cost. But soon, Chattan starts unleashing terror on Dhruvan’s family and village. Just like before, a stone rain is a warning of the nasty events that are on the way. Followed by the deaths of Dhruvan’s uncle and his brother, the villagers start losing their cattle. Dhruvan is rattled by the turn of events, and with him being the sole proprietor of the land and the new landlord, he starts unleashing terror on people he starts suspecting. Dhruvan goes from someone you can sympathize with to a man no one can recognize, especially Kumari. Dhruvan learns of Kumari’s involvement in releasing Chattan from Muthamma, the tribal woman, and restricts her from leaving her room as she enters the seventh month of her pregnancy. Dhruvan, meanwhile, kills her brother, who had come to take her back. Out of breath and out of options, Kumari approaches Lord Thuppan for a solution. Lord Thuppan conveys that only bringing back Devi (the Goddess) would solve this matter and replace the demigod Gari Devan with the goddess’ idol and sword, and this is possible only between the lunar eclipse and the time of sacrifice when the demigods Chattan and Gari Devan will be vulnerable as they will be aggressive against one another. Kumari is lured by this idea of letting Chattan fight Gari Devan and goes along with what Lord Thuppan convinces her to do. Kumari is terrified of what is about to be unleashed, but she wants to do anything to save her child and will not give up.

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She gives birth to a boy, and Dhruvan snatches his son from her for the sacrificial ritual; Gari Devan comes out, but his strength is matched by Chattan, who had promised to save Kumari’s child. They unleash a bloodbath against each other. Kumari comes back with Devi’s (the Goddess’s) divine sword and kills her husband. Meanwhile, Chattan succeeds in killing Gari Devan by tearing off the demigod’s tongue. Kumari saves her child, meanwhile, and Chattan ceases his quest for revenge against the Kaanhirangat family. Lord Thuppan is finally freed from living a life of misery and dies. Kumari leads the village by doing the right thing going forward and not exploiting the slaves. Kumari finally takes it upon herself to save her only child from the wrath unleashed by Dhruvan. Even though Kumari and Dhruvan loved each other in the beginning, his quest for power made sure to bring out the worst in him, making him forget the love they shared. Kumari, unhinged by the love she still bore for Dhruvan, devises a way to take the matter into her own hands and kill him. Kumari, in her way, tries to rectify mistakes her husband and their family made in the past to get rid of all things evil around them and start treating the workers and villagers with the respect that they deserve. She strongly believes it is high time they accept their mistakes, own them, and learn from them. The film ends with her toddler son accidentally walking into the forbidden forest as he sees Chokkan gesturing to him to come over.


Final Words

“Kumari” is a one-of-a-kind film that had a delicious and ravishing first half but a disappointing second half. The film sets up the characters systematically and yet in a daunting manner, followed by creating a sense of horror and an atmosphere of fear. Fear of all things devilish, fear of superstitions and rituals. Fear that would take away things close to your heart. The second-half syndrome hits the film, as the screenplay is stretched too far to prove the same point repeatedly: Gari Devan needs to be defeated. Plenty of scenes could have been chopped on the editing table. But what “Kumari” does in the horror fantasy genre is push boundaries by retelling the stories our grandmothers told us as kids and giving it a spin on how most of the rituals and superstitions involved women giving up on beings close to their hearts for the sake of the power men seek. “Kumari” is unwilling to give up on her child, and her sister-in-law making sure she never gets pregnant to stop this horrendous practice of human sacrifice is shown as women taking control of their bodies. The cinematography by Abraham Joseph is exquisite. So are the performances of the lead actors, Aishwarya Lekshmi and Shine Tom Chacko. Despite its flaws, “Kumari” is an engaging watch, and you will be surprised by the overall sense of astonishment pulled off by a team that is willing to extend the limits of this genre.

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“Kumari” is a 2022 horror thriller movie now streaming on Netflix with subtitles.

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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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