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Kalki 2898 AD character guide: Who is Deepika Padukone's SUM-80 aka Sumati?

Kalki 2898 AD marked the Telugu cinema debut of popular Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone. Here’s everything you need to know about Deepika’s character SUM-80 aka Sumati, in the film.

Kalki 2898 AD character guide: Who is Deepika Padukone's SUM-80 aka Sumati?

Deepika Padukone in a poster of Kalki 2898 AD.

Last Updated: 10.50 PM, Jul 07, 2024

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Kalki 2898 AD, the epic sci-fi film directed by Nag Ashwin, has emerged as a major critical and commercial success. The movie, which stars Prabhas as the protagonist, features Deepika Padukone as the female lead. The Bollywood actress made her Telugu cinema debut with the blockbuster film, which stars legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan in pivotal roles. As you may know, Deepika Padukone appeared as SUM-80 aka Sumati, who is carrying Kalki, the 10th avatar of Lord Vishnu in her womb.

Kalki 2898 AD – Who is Deepika Padukone’s SUM-80?

Deepika Padukone in Kalki 2898 AD trailer.
Deepika Padukone in Kalki 2898 AD trailer.

When we first meet SUM-80 in the world of Kalki 2898 AD, she is leading a mundane life inside the lab in The Complex, the third world created by antagonist Supreme Yaskin (Kamal Haasan). She is just a tool of ‘Project K’, the experiment conducted to find a special serum that can bring back the dying Supreme Yaskin into life. The young, fertile women who are brought from the earth are admitted to the labs, where they would get pregnant through certain procedures. The serum is extracted directly from the womb of these pregnant women, and most of them die in the process.

Deepika Padukone in a still from Kalki 2898 AD.
Deepika Padukone in a still from Kalki 2898 AD.

While none of the women can carry the artificially inseminated fetus for more than 90 days, SUM-80 manages to carry it for over 120 days. Surprisingly, she also turns negative during the pregnancy test, which helps her hide her condition from the authorities and scientists. However, the baby in her womb shows rapid growth, and when the authorities find out, they are unable to extract the serum from SUM-80 due to the power of the fetus.

What is SUM-80's real identity?

Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, and Shobana in Kalki 2898 AD.
Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, and Shobana in Kalki 2898 AD.

After SUM-80 manages to escape The Complex and join Kyra (Anna Ben) and her team of rebels, she is renamed Sumati. Interestingly, when she reaches Shambala with the aid of Immortal Ashwatthama and others, the head of the community, Mariyam (Shobana) instantly recognizes her as the ‘Mother’ who is destined to carry the chosen one. Later, Ashwatthama enlightens Sumati that she is selected by the divine to carry Kalki in her womb and become his only parent (this somewhat reminded me of Mother Mary of the Holy Bible). Meanwhile, Bhairava, unaware of SUM-80 and her baby, is hellbent on catching her and handing her over to The Complex. 

Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Hasan in Kalki 2898 AD.
Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Hasan in Kalki 2898 AD.

In one scene, from her early memories, SUM-80 recalls that her mother died at an early age and her father sold her to The Complex for some units. From Mariyam’s words when she finally reaches Shambala, it is safe to assume that Sumati was born in that divine land, which is more like a refugee camp of the humans who are left on the dying earth. Deepika Padukone conveyed the fear, helplessness, and resilience of SUM-80 with her powerful performance, in Kalki 2898 AD. However, the character lacks a proper arc in the film and needs to be explored more, in the upcoming installments.

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