‘Smart Casuals’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Do Taki And Tumi End Up Together?

Finding love has been one of the major issues for many in the times we live in. Shows like Modern Love have portrayed different shades of love and heartbreak quite well. I’m afraid Zwo Farisani’s Smart Casuals goes straight into a genre of films nobody would take time to think about. The film jumps at a frantic pace, trying to keep up with its own premise, but the blandness of the screenplay eventually bores you.


Spoilers Ahead

What happens in the movie?

There are two different storylines that we’re supposed to keep track of through the random cuts and jumps. The first follows Taki, a photographer and a playboy who’s had his heart broken in love once, and who makes it clear to every woman that he doesn’t date. His life is pretty simple—hooking up, exercising, and showing the door to the women he brings home before leaving for work. A photographer by profession, Taki has made himself a classic playboy. All of it changes when he sees Tumi at a poetry session and instantly falls for her. His pursuit of Tumi’s validation forces him to confront his own denials and insecurities, while both of their lives take an unexpected turn. On the other hand, there’s Mahlatsi and Bheka, two people who have been trying to get married for the third time. A group of filmmakers shoot their pre-wedding interviews, as Mahlatsi and Bheka spend barely any time together if not sitting in front of the camera. Bheka flees to his “important meetings” whenever he sees fit, and these meetings are for his mistress, whom he actually has feelings for. 


How does Tumi give Taki a reality check?

Taki can’t stop thinking about the girl he saw, and he’s obsessing over her pictures, not knowing who she is. Just like the rest of the world, Joburg is a small place after all, and he sees Tumi again outside a cafe. They connect pretty quickly, and a dinner plan is made. Taki’s “I don’t date” line isn’t a big deal for Tumi, and she’s secure knowing that people who don’t have love to give can’t know what it feels like. They hook up nonetheless, and Taki finally feels happy and complete. That changes soon, when Tumi receives a call and makes dinner plans with her boyfriend. Taki reacts like he’s been cheated on, and Tumi explains that she’s in an open relationship. He thinks open relationships only happen in movies, so that’s the standard for being a playboy in Johannesburg. Be dumb. Taki stops talking to Tumi soon and shifts his focus to other women, literally on the same day. 

Does Mahlatsi accept Bheka’s cheating?

Bheka keeps postponing his interviews for the wedding film. He comes back to Mahlatsi, acting sweet and caring, but as soon as she forgives him, he’s back to being his usual self. Bheka is a typical man who thinks he’s doing his part by providing, and he’s allowed to get away with anything he wants. Mahlatsi tries to humble him, but Bheka’s ego won’t let him hear a word she says. Bheka disrespects the wedding filmmaker, Tresor, and thinks it’s not even a real job. Mahlatsi keeps making excuses for him, but how far would a person go to justify their partner’s hurtful actions? One of Mahlatsi’s friends suggests that she should adapt to Bheka’s cheating situation and do just the same to him. Mahlatsi is too proud for that; she still gives Bheka chances to redeem himself. 


Why can’t Taki move on from Tumi?

The women keep changing in Taki’s life, from models to artists; he goes into bed with everyone who’s into him. Taki’s emotional maturity is extremely low, and falling in love is scary for him. He thinks being vulnerable only leads to pain, and he’s scared of getting hurt, just like babies are. Katlego, a woman he was involved with, asks him if he’s jealous about her going out with another man. Taki very casually says that they’re not dating, so he’s okay with it. Katlego lashes out at him for being cruel and makes him understand how his approach is hurtful. Another woman Taki enjoyed spending time with ends up having a boyfriend and disappointing him. Taki has now begun to see how precious Tumi was to him, and she’s not someone he can replace with someone else. Just then, Tumi drops a bomb on Taki and tells him she’s pregnant with her boyfriend’s baby. Tumi’s boyfriend is the same person who is doing the wedding film for Mahlatsi and Bheka.

Does Mahlatsi get out of the abuse?

Mahlatsi runs out of patience when Bheka doesn’t come to pick her up when he promised he would. She feels humiliated, and Bheka tries to gaslight her like he always does. Mahlatsi calls him out on the cheating, but Bheka denies it at first. He loses his cool pretty soon and blames her for being the reason behind it. He explains how she was a radiant, beautiful woman when they met, and now she’s gotten too comfortable. Bheka points out the burgers she eats, and the casual fat-shaming comments are really triggering. Bheka thinks women need to do far more to keep a man, and this dynamic won’t be any different. On the day of the wedding, Mahlatsi finally breaks free and ends the relationship. Bheka begs for forgiveness, but Mahlatsi doesn’t change her mind. Bheka runs to his mistress, proudly confessing he has left his fiancée, only to find out the mistress has been cheating as well. Sweet karma, right?


Do Taki and Tumi end up together?

Taki spends a few months reflecting on what Tumi said to him. He tries to change his lifestyle and address his emotional issues. He even starts to take therapy for better results. At a dinner with his best friend and his wife, Taki confesses his love for Tumi and how badly he wants her. He tries to contact Tumi, only to find out that she’s blocked his number. Shaking in disbelief, he drinks the pain away. A few days later, he meets Tumi and asks her why they can’t be together. Tumi refuses to believe that Taki has changed, and that he’s still not carrying his baggage. Tumi is a woman who understands herself and knows what’s best for her, and she’s not going to settle for anything less than that. Taki’s broken heart is not the most important thing to Tumi; her and the baby’s well-being are. Taki cries over the fact that he didn’t even get a chance, but Tumi is clear that the chances we get in life are based on the life we live. She isn’t ready to take a chance on a playboy who claims to have become a better person. 

Smart Casuals manage to communicate the deep complexities we often bump into while approaching a relationship with a new person. Everyone is different, and if one loves the other, they manage to work their way according to the other’s wants and needs. A relationship takes the same amount of effort from both parties, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The fact that Taki and Bheka didn’t get to be with the women they wanted to is only because of their poor choices and their insensitivity toward their partners. 


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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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