Monica, O My Darling (2022), On Netflix, Ending Explained: Often in the noir genre, films explore the moral conundrums of their central characters using the backdrop of neon metropolitan cities. But neo-noir is much more about setting up the mood of your movie by imploring a filmmaking language that supersedes the audience’s predictability factor. Filmmaker Vasan Bala proved with his sophomore film (Mard Ko Dard Nai Hota) how capable he could inject dry and quirky humor into otherwise standardized templates.

Monica, O My Darling Movie: Plot Explained

The movie opens with an ordinary blue-collar worker Gaurav (Sukant Goel), looking at a video of a girl named Shalu (Zayn Marie Khan) while sitting at a robotics factory. While awestruck by her, he is interrupted by his best friend, who informs him that he has proposed to Shalu. Gaurav initially shrugs off his proposal thinking she wouldn’t have agreed, but later learns of how she indeed had. In response, Gaurav chooses this moment to kill his co-worker with one of the hydraulic arms, thus twisting his friend’s head and submitting him to death.

We then cut to a ceremony in the office where the founder, Satyanarayan Adhikari, revealed that Jayant Arkhedkar would be getting a seat on the board of directors of Unicorn Robotics. This company owned the factory where the film’s opening occurred six months before this meeting. Through the reactionary shots of other potential candidates who were expecting the same position, that include Nishikant (Satyanarayan Adhikari’s son), Tamang (Satyanarayan Adhikari’s right-hand man), and Arvind (the CA of the company), the tension starts to simmer within the company. The movie cuts to its first musical number here, thus, introducing the catalyst for the events that would ensue for the course of the runtime. 

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Monica, O My Darling’s Mood Building & Setups

Huma in Monica O My Darling (2022) Explained

Through the introduction of the titular Monica (Huma Qureshi), Vasan Bala and his extraordinary technical team set up the mood for this neo-noir where aesthetics and the filmmaking language put the conventions of a whodunit thriller in the backseat. This movie would throw a hundred easter eggs and 60s pop culture references at you and get away with it just because of how joyously it beats along its setting while enhancing it with each passing musical motif. The soundtrack is a mix of modern instrumentation and upbeat tunes, injected by lyrics (Varun Grover) that hit home the slapstick humor and quirkiness of the film.

As the film expands upon revealing more of its character dynamics, we learn that Jayant is dating Satyanarayan Adhikari’s daughter, Niki, and hence, that might’ve been a critical factor behind the latter choosing him as a likely candidate for the promotion. But Jayant spends his laidback time hanging out with Monica, indulging in an affair even before his fixed marriage with Niki. Monica then reveals to him that she is pregnant with his child, which throws Jayant off guard as he gets paranoid about his recently acquired position at the company falling into jeopardy. Monica insists that she would want to keep the child and make Jayant pay for a chunk of his/her upbringing, indirectly asking him for a part of his salary. However, Jayant later finds out that she’s been using the same tactic to blackmail both Nishikant and Arvind. The three secretly meet at a hotel, where they plan on killing Monica, citing it as the best-case scenario for securing their positions at the company.

But the plan of the three colleagues – once envying each other over their work and now disposing of a woman’s body – doesn’t go well. After a leopard appears out of nowhere, scaring off Jayant and Arvind, the two run from the secluded area after partially dumping a body. Now concerned about how they would react at work with Monica’s unheard absence, the two plan on how they would take things further. But it’s here when Monica appears at work the next day in the office all well. Whose corpse did they really dispose of, then? In one of the many twists and turns of the film, we find out that it was, in fact, Nishikant who was murdered. Did Monica reach the decided place earlier? Or was it someone else?

Who Is The Killer?

Soon after this event, Arvind receives a mysterious parcel at his place while he’s sitting with his children. The package had a venomous cobra, which led to Arvind’s sudden death. Jayant learns of his death through a news channel – which also becomes the movie’s way of dealing with exposition – and receives a similar parcel with a cobra. But he manages to avoid getting bit by the snake by staying up all night and not moving. The sequence juxtaposes flashbacks from his childhood, one of the many hints we get of how he always thought he had things too hard in his life. It’s played poignantly but brings the audience cracking up due to how quirkily it’s executed.

Jayant, as earlier, suspects that it is Monica who is behind all this. However, the movie doesn’t keep the killer’s true identity away from us for long. As we soon begin to connect the dots, it’s revealed that it was Gaurav (who had also been tailing Arvind and Jayant by overhearing their conversations about the attempt to murder Monica that got him offended) who was behind all this right from the start. The film visually reinforces this in a scene where he pushes Jayant off a building after luring him up through a note. Jayant, however, couldn’t catch sight of who pushed him and survived the fall by holding onto the ledge right below. Surely, a task that the actor wouldn’t have had a problem cracking.

Simultaneously, a police investigation follows, headed by ACP Naidu (a stunningly charismatic Radhika Apte who subtly breaks the conventions of a male Marathi cop in Bollywood) who keeps suspecting Jayant of the murder(s) while also advising him of how to keep his storyline subtle (a brilliant meta-commentary on the filmmaker’s approach to the sub-genre in itself).

We then finally lead to Monica and Jayant’s brutal confrontation with each other, where Monica tells him that she didn’t kill anyone. Yes, she was blackmailing the three into making ends meet, but she did know who the natural killer was. Before she can say anything, Jayant finds out she is being poisoned. After not-so-successfully escaping the building, Satyanarayan advises his soon-to-be son-in-law to take a break from his job. He then goes to meet Faridi Baig, who took the fall for Dev Prakash’s death six months ago, which was supposedly claimed to happen by a robot malfunction. It’s here when Jayant learns that someone had him killed very intentionally. Faridi makes Jayant look at things from a more practical point of view and how the company had framed it. So based on that information, Jayant suspects Tamang had done it all and, along with Gaurav, goes to look at the data and records of the last person who had used the maligned robot arm and finds out that it’s not Tamang but fact Gaurav who couldn’t tolerate Dev marrying Shalu, Jayant’s sister. Gaurav beats Jayant unconscious and drags him to the same place where he had inflicted his first crime.

What Happens In The Final Showdown?

However, Jayant already seems to have cracked the robot’s algorithm and can use his smart-watch to help one of its arms kill Gaurav. After all, the robots were his creation from the start. Before the incident, though, Gaurav confesses the whole story of why he chose to kill the people he did. On the night of Dev’s murder, Nishikant saw Gaurav as he had manually used the robot to kill his friend. Nishikant then used Gaurav’s crime as leverage, making him install hidden cameras in Jayant’s rooms, where he would often indulge in making love with Monica. The same cameras recorded Jayant and Monica’s affair, and Nishikant thus used that to maintain an upper hand to torment Jayant. But once Nishikant became the victim of Monica’s blackmail, he ordered Gaurav to kill her on his behalf. When Gaurav refused to do so, Nishikant threatened him with revealing the truth about Dev’s death to Shalu, which would ruin his relationship with her. Gaurav, with his instinct, kills Nishikant, and when he finds the murderer’s agreement that Nishikant, Jayant, and Arvind had signed upon at that hotel, he decides to get rid of them, too as he wants to live a peaceful life later with Shalu.

Gaurav blames it all on his love for Shal and Arvind and Jayant’s disregard for him. He also soon noticed how his class and position at the company allowed him to go unseen for so long. Thus, the very clever storytelling choice of keeping the audience ahead of the characters works here to the film’s advantage as we consciously become aware in the movie’s climax how Jayant, Arvind, and Nishikant too had intended to murder a woman even after eloping with her, a narrative choice that shows how villainy is not exclusive to class or position. On top of this, after Gaurav kills Dev, Satyanarayan throws Faridi – the only Muslim character in the film – under the bus to save Jayant’s career and, thus, the company itself. Jayant’s fate of dating Satyanarayan implies that he was always in line to take a seat on the board of directors.

Who Killed Monica?

When Jayant thinks that he will soon be caught as the police will link him with Monica’s death, ACP Naidu holds a press conference reporting how Tamang was the one who killed Monica because she was pregnant with his child. Tamang had merely used Gaurav’s style of killing people using snakes as a cover to slide under and inject Monica’s wine with snake venom. However, when he felt guilty, Tamang consumed the same venom and died. On the day of Tamang’s funeral, however, we learn of who Monica was actually pregnant with. It was Tamang who had killed Monica with snake venom, but Monica was actually pregnant with Satyanarayan Adhikari’s child. She threatened to reveal that information to Nikki, so he ordered Tamang to perform the deed. The price for that was Tamang’s inclusion on the board of directors and a portion of Unicorn’s shares. But the crony capitalist Satyanarayan never had any intention of giving Tamang anything, so he had ordered ACP Naidu to get rid of Tamang, as it’s eventually the police that serve as the highest bidder for the person in control.

Is Jayant Dead?

Rajkumar Rao in Monica, O My Darling (2022) Netflix

After ACP Naidu tells Jayant of what actually had happened, he also realizes that there’s still the murderer’s agreement from earlier that Jayant, Arvind, and Nishikant had signed from earlier, so he realizes that that’s the only thing that will ruin his life. So, he searches for it in the unicorn factory and then in Shalu’s house. Finally, Jayant finds the paper and sets it on fire, right after which snakes surround him from all sides in pitch darkness. It’s here when the film’s central themes merge, only to leave things open-ended for us. In an earlier scene in the film’s second act, Jayant tells Naidu that he has ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) because someone back in his childhood had pranked him by putting a snake in his school bag.

Perhaps Gaurav had placed those snakes in the house when he came to hide the murderer’s agreement, assuming that Jayant would eventually come looking for the evidence one day. Is Jayant dead or alive, though? More than that, the central focus of the ending is on obliquely commenting on the nature of the crony capitalists disguising under the facade of self-proclaiming themselves as having been gone through a lot, while not even considering to know the names of the people working as blue-collar men in their same companies. Jayant may have won the game of snakes and ladders once, but can he cheat his way through the top this time?

Everything Related to Monica O My Darling:

Monica, O My Darling [2022] Review – Vasan Bala’s Nostalgia-induced Mystery Is A Rambling Mixed Bag

6 Movies You Should Watch If You Liked ‘Monica O My Darling’ (2022)

From 1899, Disenchanted To Monica, O My Darling, Movies & Tv Shows To Stream This Week (Nov 11 – 18)

Where to watch Monica O My Darling

Similar Posts