‘Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum’ (2023) Ending, Explained: What Happens To Nidhi, Laila And Pachu?

For anybody who has grown up on Sathyan Anthikad movies, it is not news that he is known for directing soulful dramas about daily life and relationships. Many of his films are a testament to how drama can be subtle without any theatrics. As an extension of his style of storytelling and filmmaking, his son Akhil Sathyan brings you Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum, which loosely translates to Pachu’s magical lamp. The movie is about a man whose change in travel plans brings him unexpected luck. There are elements of love, loss, struggle, determination, and an overall understanding in this film dealt with the utmost care. A wholesome film such as this one takes the viewer on a pleasant journey.


Spoilers Ahead

Pachu’s Life In Mumbai

Prashanth, who is known as Pachu, runs an Ayurvedic store in Mumbai, and it has been a while since it has seen some progress but he is happy to be running a profitable business.  He plans to head to Kerala to purchase medicines for his store. He intends to be back in a few days, but this journey that he embarks on becomes a crucial part of his life. Pachu’s journey commences, keeping in mind only the bare minimum work that needs to be done. A health emergency forces him to stay back in Kerala, which sets in motion events that Pachu never thought he would experience.


Pachu is requested by his store’s owner to assist his mother on her way back to Mumbai by train. She is an aging person with many ailments, so having Pachu around would be helpful throughout the journey. He is awaiting rewards in return for the favor he will be carrying out, and Pachu wonders if the health emergency came in as a lucky charm for him. The man is initially not keen on carrying out this job, but he knows Riyas is a man of his word, and there are perks Pachu could be privy to and that’s why he agrees to the job in the hope Riyas will reduce his rent. His store’s owner, Riyas, is a powerful man and Pachu takes up the offer to help Riyas’s mother Laila and thus begins their journey of a lifetime.

‘Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Nidhi And Pachu?

Pachu and Laila embark on the journey from Kerala to Mumbai, and Pachu is aware that being nice to his boss’s mother will open many avenues for him as a businessman. Laila comes across as an affable elderly lady who has lived quite a life so far. Her health right now does not allow her to travel much, but she shares stories of the travels she did with her husband to Pachu. Right now, she can barely manage to be on her own, and thanks to Riyas’s strict orders, her ailments restrict her.


Pachu is perplexed to see Laila getting off the train at a station in Goa because he is not sure if Laila suffers from some form of dementia. Pachu does some damage control by following Laila, and he reaches a home in rural Goa that belongs to Hamsadhwani. He knew Laila was in the house when he saw her shoes there. Pachu refuses to leave the premises and informs Riyas about the detour. Pachu knew this was a situation that was beyond his control, and only Riyas would be able to salvage it. Though Laila leaves Hamsadhwani’s home the next day, Riyas and Pachu are unable to find her anywhere in the vicinity.

Laila turns out to be smarter than the men in her life, and she wouldn’t leave Goa without having her plan come to fruition. It is hard to understand at this point who she is trying to defy and why Hamsadhwani is part of her plan. It is evident from Riyas’ body language that he is angry at his mother, and he knows what her plans are. He is not keen on making her plan a success. Is Riyas a control freak or a manic son?


Laila is finally located, and she is forcefully taken to Mumbai by Riyas. The viewers, as well as Pachu, are confused about what is transpiring in front of them because it is obvious there is more to what Laila wants to do and why Riyas is hellbent on stopping her. At the airport in Goa, Laila shares the story of a young girl named Nidhi, who is the daughter of a helper at Riyas’ home. Laila, who had been feeling alone since her husband’s passing, found a purpose in helping Nidhi pursue school and funding her education.

Laila was happy to be doing this, not out of pity or charity, but because she was happy to see a girl willing to be different and have goals for herself. Laila probably saw herself in Nidhi, a woman who defied the system to become educated and independent. She would want the same for Nidhi, and this allows Laila to help Nidhi by giving her education, shelter, and other basic amenities. Nidhi is unfortunately forced to leave Mumbai and stay in Goa with her ailing grandfather and abusive stepmother, who stopped her education and forced her to work without her consent. She managed to get in touch with Laila, and this detour was Laila’s plan to bring Nidhi back to Mumbai, which, thanks to Pachu, has been derailed. As viewers, it is interesting to watch an earnest woman like Laila go out of her way to rescue a young girl, and this pushes Pachu to help Laila. In return, Laila would give him ownership of the store.


Pachu comes across as selfish for taking up the task to rescue Nidhi because it could be easy to believe that he is doing this for money. As his journey begins, he slowly starts understanding Nidhi as a person. Pachu, who got off on the wrong foot with Hamsadhwani, forms an unusual friendship over time as they meticulously plan to extract Nidhi safely. 

After many failed attempts and Pachu getting physically attacked by Nidhi’s family, he is finally able to rescue her because of her ailing grandfather. His only granddaughter had to be rescued, and he came forward to help her so that she could lead life the way she wanted. Pachu went into this conflict knowing he might become collateral damage, and he was willing to take the blow coming toward him. Though his biggest motive remained to get the shop in his name, his concern for Nidhi also grew over time, and he realized that heading out of Goa without Nidhi would never be an option for him.


As a viewer, it is endearing to watch Pachu’s brief stay in Goa help him understand human stories and their struggles. Nidhi’s struggle and Laila and Hamsadhwani’s constant effort to give Nidhi the life she deserves made Pachu and us, the viewers, be in awe of women standing up for women. It was also endearing to see Pachu grow as a human being. This proves that there is no age to learn new lessons. Life keeps throwing situations at people, and one either learns from them or walks away from them. Thankfully, Pachu decided to do the former

Riyas is livid at his mother’s plan to transfer the store to Pachu’s name and bring Nidhi back into her life. Riyas was not very keen on sheltering Nidhi for it is only Laila who believes the girl. His affluent lifestyle makes him wonder if Nidhi and her family could be taking advantage of his aging mother. This kind of thought process can be considered elitist, that is why Riyas initially was not willing to help his mother rescue Nidhi.  Laila convinces her son to think beyond his wealth and think about the kind of light Laila could bring to Nidhi’s life by giving her basic facilities and allowing her to grow. Riyas, though, will always remain money-minded, but this time he softened up to his mother’s demands and agreed to her terms because, at the end of the day, he wants her to lead a joyful life.


Pachu receives a message from Hamsadhwani while on his way back to Mumbai from Kerala after dropping Nidhi. She admits to missing him and his company. Though their friendship fluctuated, Pachu and Hamsadhwani came to realize that despite their differences, they wanted each other in their lives. Pachu has come a long way from being a possessive boyfriend to an understanding human being, which allows him to pursue Hamsadhwani. In Pachu, Hamsadhwani saw a person who could be honest with her. There is no conflict here, just a basic understanding between two people who have organically grown to love each other. Pachu gets off the train at the same station as before in Goa and heads to meet Hamsadhwani.

Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum ends with Pachu’s mother wanting to meet Laila and Nidhi at her school. Pachu probably told his mother about his fascinating journey, and this increased her curiosity to meet these women. His mother is excited to meet Laila because of the kind of contribution she is making to educating young girls. Charity begins at home, and Laila surely does her part with Nidhi. Pachu’s mother does not get to meet Nidhi because of her class, but she is happy to see a girl being encouraged to study and live her dream. In this film, Laila is not just Pachu’s magical lamp; she is also Nidhi’s lamp. The lamp that fulfilled their dreams.


Final Thoughts

Akhil Sathyan’s three-hour-long movie does not become dull at any point. The movie is about a journey Pachu takes that helps him understand there is more to life and he also goes through monumental changes in him as he comes across human stories of struggle. The screenplay, though, meanders a lot before getting to the point, but once the main plot is set in motion, the story becomes highly engaging. Viewers will otherwise not lose interest in the subplots, supporting characters, or lead characters. The most challenging part of the movie is showcasing Pachu’s arc. Writer and director Akhil Sathyan takes his sweet time to make Pachu an adorable and honest person, and an evolved Pachu works like a charm. Performance-wise, Fahadh nails the role of a goofy, slightly selfish man who learns many lessons about life. Fahad is a treat to watch, and it makes one wonder if there is any role this person cannot nail. The surprise package is the actress Viji Venkatesh, who plays Laila. Her strongly determined approach to the role left us with happy tears in our eyes. In its entirety, Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum is a delightful watch.

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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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