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Qala ending explained – Dissecting the poetic justice and tragic breakdown of Triptii Dimri's character

Qala ending explained – The plot revolves around Qala Manjushree (Triptii Dimri), an aspiring singer who is caught in a world of patriarchy and gender bias

Qala ending explained – Dissecting the poetic justice and tragic breakdown of Triptii Dimri's character
Tripti Dimri in a still from Qala

Last Updated: 07.40 PM, May 21, 2024


Qala plot

Anvita Dutt’s period psychological drama film Qala stars Triptii Dimri and Swastika Mukherjee in the lead roles. It also marks Babil Khan’s debut, for which he received acclaim from viewers and critics. The plot revolves around Qala Manjushree (Triptii Dimri), an aspiring singer who is caught in a world of patriarchy and gender bias. Set in pre-Independent India, the movie follows Qala’s rise and fall, her tumultuous relationship with her mother, and a competitor who derives her to the edge.

What drives Qala to descend into madness?

The story of Qala keeps switching between the past and the present. It begins with Qala rejoicing amid a crowd of cheering people as she is bestowed with a prestigious golden vinyl. During an interview, she has a traumatic flashback that shows us why Qala never received love from her mother and craved for her approval and attention. When Qala was in her mother’s womb, she survived several complications, but her twin brother died. This sows the seeds of hatred within her mother, which only worsens with time.

From struggling to get her domineering mother Urmila’s attention to finding herself on the edge of jealousy and rage, the last few minutes of the movie highlight Qala’s growing insanity and how the people in her life, especially Urmila, lead to her descent into madness.


When Urmila meets a gifted singer, Jagan (Babil Khan), during a stage performance, she asks him to come with them. This way, she forms deeper cracks in an already doomed relationship with her daughter, Qala.

In the climax scene, we see a grim flashback of the time before Jagan’s death and his doomed future. It shows how Qala was driven to jealousy and rage, which forced her to mix mercury in Jagan’s milk to ruin his voice. In the present day, despite the accolades and praise that she has received from legendary musicians, Qala bears the heavy weight of guilt for robbing someone of their musical gift. In her hallucinations, Jagan blames Qala for stealing his fate of becoming a singing sensation. Her fame and therapists also can't rescue Qala and she sinks further into crisis and guilt, which ultimately leads her to take her own life.

In key moments of the tragic climax, we see a troubled and mentally ill Qala reaching desperately for her mother as she calls her, only to be dejected again and again. In the last scene, reflecting on the poetic justice of endings, Qala succumbs to the same fate as Jagan. Despite the fame, name, and money that Jagan once dreamed of, and which Qala receives, she is burdened by loneliness and puts an end to her misery by hanging herself, mirroring Jagan’s death.

When Urmila finally goes to take Qala home, she is too late. When she barges into her room, she frowns when she sees that Qala has committed suicide. Urmila is left to experience the poetic deaths of two family members in the same manner. The ending beautifully reflects on the regrets and missed chances that are heavier when you carry them with hatred and unnecessary boundaries.

How Jagan’s death affects the relationship between Qala and her mother

Babil made an impressive debut as Jagan by playing a simple boy with big dreams. His charismatic eyes and talented voice as a self-trained artist captivate Urmila, and she wants to give him everything that she had dreamed of giving her son. He becomes like an adoptive son who Urmila sees making her proud by winning accolades. From training him to become a big artist to later caring for him like a mother, Urmila showers all her love on Jagan, which she has been carrying inside for years but has never offered Qala.

This acts as a catalyst for Qala’s growing obsession to get back at Jagan. When Jagan dies and Qala behaves manically for validation, even calling her mother a courtesan, she slaps her and asks her to leave their house. The rigid Urmila also disowns Qala after knowing what she did and asks her to never return. The movie follows a slow-paced narrative by frequently juggling past and present timelines, but it captures the essence of Jagan’s presence in both Qala and Urmila’s lives. Ironically, they both used him for their own motives, twisted with fame.

Qala is currently streaming on Netflix.

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