‘Pathu Thala’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Will Gunalan Change His Mind About AGR?

Pathu Thala means ten heads, and the only person we have all grown up reading about who’s a ten-headed man is Raavanan. A man so intelligent and powerful carried the power of ten heads in him, and all the people respected him and were afraid of the power he had. Based on this mythology, Obeli N. Krishna brings you Pathu Thala, which could have been mirrored by the demon King Raavanan, who has always been misunderstood in the scriptures. The movie is all about an extremely powerful gangster based in Kanyakumari whose power is unmatched, and who makes sure people stay loyal to him.

Spoilers Ahead

The Disappearance Of The Chief Minister

Pathu Thala begins with the chief minister announcing a new vaccination program that would help the people in this state combat disease. The chief minister right now is the talk of the town, and his aim is to get as much attention as he can. The deputy CM holds most of the power because he is someone who has many MLAs under him. He makes it clear to the CM that all is not well between them and that both will always be at loggerheads. Deputy CM Gunasekaran is power hungry, and he knows being a deputy CM and having MLAs backing him gives him the power to be the decision-maker in the government. On the night of the announcement, Gunasekaran lets the CM know that the deal should be cut off because he did not receive the money he was expecting.

The CM is scared to cut the deal off because of the worry of tarnishing his image. The man lets his deputy know that he will sort this matter out, and he heads out of his official residence to do so. On the way, the man is kidnapped, and ever since, the man has been missing. There is a statewide hunt for the leader of the state carried out by the CBI, but they get no information about him. They come close to capturing Ameer, the henchman of the gangster AGR, but he commits suicide. The man would rather kill himself out of loyalty to AGR than reveal anything about his boss. There is a rumor that maybe Gunasekaran might be behind the kidnapping of the CM because his hunger for power was known to everybody.

Another person from the same party who is loyal to AGR is made the Chief Minister, who makes sure to listen and do everything that AGR asks of him. AGR is the kingmaker, and Gunasekaran is trying hard to kill the power AGR has over politics. Gunasekaran happens to be from a higher caste, and he makes sure to talk about that to belittle AGR. So far, AGR has been painted as a dreaded powerful gangster who does everything as he wishes so that he remains powerful probably till his last breath. He has an illegal sand mining business, and he makes sure to keep most of the police and politicians on his payroll so that nobody touches him. The man is known to have plenty of henchmen working for him, and they vow to remain loyal to him. AGR’s face is not revealed in the first half of the film just to give the man enough weight. The buildup about him allows the people to get an idea of how magnanimous this man is, and his power is unfathomable. He lives in a palatial bungalow, which protects him from outside attacks. He makes sure to plant his people as local MLAs so that things in the town and the rest of the state carry out as per his whims.

Gunasekaran is trying hard to kill the power of AGR, and he plans to place a candidate against him and make AGR look like a corrupt man. Gunasekaran also supports a local activist who raises a voice against the illegal sand mining that AGR indulges in. As the election heat builds, the local candidate backed by Gunasekaran is getting a good amount of support. Amidst all of that, Gunalan, aka Sakthivelan IPS, is a CBI officer who is sent undercover to infiltrate AGR’s gang and get close to AGR because the CBI is keen to know if AGR is involved in the disappearance of the chief minister. They are also keen to know the holdings this man has and if they can build a big case against AGR, who almost runs a parallel government. Gunalan is successful in infiltrating the AGR gang, and he starts getting along with the people close to him, except Selvin. Selvin is not sure of what Gunalan is capable of, and he refuses to trust the new man.

But as the election heat is flaring up, the old age home run by the activist is set on fire, and one of the residents also ends up getting charred to death. The blame is put on AGR for doing this to get back at Gunasekaran’s candidate, who was supporting this activist. AGR is being blamed for everything that is going wrong, and Gunasekaran is hoping this will help him win the local by-elections. Just weeks before the election, AGR managed to grab hold of power and kill the only opposition he had so far, who had been naming and shaming them. The candidate is killed by AGR because he does not want anyone to oppose him and his power. AGR always wants to be in power, and he would do anything to do that.

‘Pathu Thala’ Ending Explained – Will Gunalan Change His Mind About AGR?

With AGR’s candidate’s main opposition dead, Gunasekaran has again lost the game of power. AGR is back to being the powerful gangster who is on a spree to get rid of any traitors that got along with Gunasekaran to remove him from power. Gunalan is intrigued to see the power AGR has and how he can make sure to command attention. On his way to get himself into the gang that is closest to AGR, he manages to foil a deadly attack on AGR. This catches AGR’s attention and allows Gunalan to work closer to him. AGR starts liking the new boy, which irks Selvin, his other henchman. The men are not very sure of the new boy because they seem to have issues with him coming in. Gunalan is intrigued to get to know more about AGR.

Gunasekaran starts working on another plan to get rid of AGR, which is to make the local tehsildar named Leela Thompson, who is also an ex-student of the activist Gunasekaran was backing. I’m hoping an educated female candidate will allow people to crave some change in the constituency and help them get rid of AGR’s candidate. But sadly, Leela fails against AGR’s candidate, and she is not sure what to do from here on. AGR’s candidate’s victory brings him back to becoming more powerful than he was before. Amidst all of this, Selvin is killed by someone inside Gunalan’s apartment. Everyone suspects Gunalan, but AGR is aware it was someone else who killed his closest henchmen. It turns out his oldest confidant was the one who killed Selvin because he came to know of this man being Gunasekaran’s man and working on his behalf. Gunasekaran bribed a lot of people in AGR’s gang to betray him so that AGR would lose power and Gunasekaran could become the kingmaker. After the election frenzy, the local activities and Leela Thompson came to know that all of their old age home funding and other charity work in the town and state are carried out by AGR. AGR also managed to build another old-age home for the people who lost their only shelter in the fire. The activists, Leela and Gunalan, are enamored to see this generous side of AGR, which no one knew existed.

AGR is not keen on publicizing his philanthropic side because he would rather remain behind the scenes and carry out this work than let people know about it. He wants to remain the bad guy so that his good side always remains behind the curtains. Soon, AGR reveals to Gunalan that he was the one who, indeed, killed the CM, his brother-in-law. The CM was planning to introduce the vaccine, which was a failure in African nations. AGR was not keen on making the people here suffer, but his brother-in-law, being a corrupt politician, went ahead with the launch of the vaccine.

With the power he had, he always wanted to help the poor; this was the only way he could stay grounded and powerful at the same time. He was sure that by helping the poor, he would get votes for his candidate. Because his brother-in-law went against him right after becoming the CM, he killed him, for as a leader of the state, he is supposed to help the poor and not take advantage of them. Gunalan realizes the man is a saint in the guise of a bad man, and his intentions have always been to help the needy. Soon after this revelation, there is a nonstop gunfight that ensues between AGR’s men and Gunasekaran’s men. Gunalan ends up getting seriously injured in the crossfire. After a heavy battle of gunfire, AGR manages to kill Gunasekaran because he finally wants his nemesis out of his way. Gunasekaran was the corrupt one who only wanted power. AGR, though, always wanted to serve the poor and the needy. His being in power was a necessity for that town.

AGR is arrested for killing the deputy CM, and Gunalan is also under observation in the hospital. Gunalan refuses to share the information he has on AGR and lets his boss know that all the chips that had information got corrupted in the gunfire. His boss now knows that Gunalan has also gone to the other side, which is supporting AGR. Gunalan refuses to share the information on AGR because he is sure that if AGR stays in power, he will be the samaritan that the people deserve. The ending scene of Pathu Thala has AGR being released from the police van itself because neither the police nor the CBI has enough evidence to put him behind bars. The man is back to being more than just the powerful gangster and helping hand that the locals want. The significance of the word Pathu Thala comes from the fact that AGR was the samaritan Raavanan who used all his might and power to contribute to the poor and the needy, and the corrupt kingmaker role he put up only to let it remain a façade.

Pathu Thala is a Tamil-language film now streaming on Prime Video 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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