Darlings is a dark comedy film based on the plight of a woman who is regularly abused by her husband. Their lives take a wild turn when she decides take a stand against him.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Badru (Alia Bhatt) believes that her fairytale has begun when her lover, Hamza (Vijay Varma) bags a government job and they get married.
However, their relationship is revealed to be abusive. Whenever Hamza gets drunk, he becomes violent and beats up Badru.
Her mother, Shamshu (Shefali Shah), wants her to stand up for herself and leave him but she continues to bear him.
She tries to give him pills that will curb his addiction to alcohol but he figures this out and beats her up again. Despite all the injustice Badru faces, she seems to give in every time Hamza apologises to her for the violence.
Hamza is also revealed to be frustrated with his government job as a ticket collector (TC) as his job mostly involves doing chores for his boss such as cleaning toilets.
Zulfi (Roshan Mathew) is helping Shamshu with her food catering business. Looking at Badru’s condition, he files a complaint in police station for domestic violence against Hamza.
Badru and Shamshu are called to the station where they realise what’s happening. Hamza is brought as well and Badru claims she wants to file a complaint against him that would land him in jail for a few years.
When she tries to bid goodbye to him, he convinces her again that they should have a child together as he would stop drinking if this happens.
She refuses to file a complaint despite the pleas from her mother, who tells her the tale of a frog and scorpion that gives the message that the scorpion will always sting as that’s in its nature.
Badru, on the other hand, believes Hamza loves her and they are not like Shamshu and her father. Apparently, her father had left her mother, while Hamza would never do that according to her.
On their way back, Hamza thinks Shamshu filed the complaint and hits her. She tells Badru to choose between her and him but leaves her when she remains silent.
Hamza is diagnosed with liver cirrhosis and the doctor warns him to stop drinking. At home, Badru reveals to Hamza that she is pregnant, and he is overjoyed by this. He acts as if he will stop drinking because of this and doesn’t tell her about the diagnosis.
However, the situation takes a turn for the worse when Hamza realises that Zulfi was the one who filed the complaint.
He assumes that Badru and Zulfi were having an affair. Zulfi calls and warns Badru but he arrives and pushes her down the stairs, leading to the death of her unborn child.
About to commit suicide due to the pain of her loss, she changes her mind and decides to take revenge. She calls Shamshu, who arrives at her house where Badru has managed to tie him up as he lost consciousness.
The two ponder what to do with him. Badru gets him to sign papers to developers that he had been delaying.
Hamza gets his hands on a piece of glass and cuts the rope. As he is about to kill Badru with the glass shard, her mother shows up and they capture him again.
Meanwhile, Hamza’s boss needs keys from him and comes to his house. He is barely conscious and unable to communicate with him. He assumes that Hamza is drunk and leaves.
Darlings ending explained in detail:
How does Hamza escape?
Badru and Shamshu decide to visit the police station and file a missing person report for Hamza. But the police get suspicious, believing Badru and Zulfi had an affair and killed Hamza.
They start by searching their house, finding Zulfi there, furthering the suspicion. But Zulfi reveals to Badru and Shamshu that he let Hamza escape because he promised to return to his village, who are shocked by his naivety.
Furthermore, Zulfi confesses that he is not interested in Badru at all, and is actually attracted to Shamshu, shocking everybody present.
Hamza is revealed to have been found and is at the police station. They all rush there but before leaving, Shamshu kisses Zulfi, starting their romance.
How does Hamza die?
Due to the state that he has been put in by Badru and Shamshu, Hamza is unable to speak properly and tell the police that he had been captured.
Badru acts as if everything’s fine and takes him home. There, the three decide to kill him once and for all. But before they do, he claims he’ll return to his village and Badru seems to believe him.
She gets him to confess on video that if anything happens to Badru, he is responsible and that he abused her. It wasn’t the alcohol, as the night he killed their child, who was revealed to be a girl, he wasn’t drunk. He claims on video that he will go back to his village.
But Badru knocks him out, leaving Zulfi surprised. Badru tells him the same story of frog and scorpion that her mother told her. She did not believe he could change and decided to kill him.
They tie him to a railway track and walk away. Badru has a change of heart again and realises if she kills him, he will always remain on her mind. They untie him and he survives.
But just as they thought, he continues to come after Badru. When she rejects him, he threatens to kill her like he killed their child. Unbeknownst to him, he is standing on another track and a train hits and kills him. It was karma, and not Badru, that ended up in his death.
It is revealed that Badru recorded his confession in such a way that he only accepted the domestic violence and claimed he would ‘go away’. She cut out the village part. She made it seem like a suicide instead.
Did Shamshu kill Badru’s father?
As they return home after his death, Shamshu tells Badru that she did the right thing and she was correct in believing that he would always be on her mind.
Badru has the startling realisation that Shamshu is talking from experience. Her father, and Shamshu’s husband, Javed, had been reported missing.
But the truth is that Shamshu had killed him one night and it is strongly hinted that he would physically abused her as well. This is why she wanted Badru to leave Hamza so badly, not wanting the cycle to repeat.
Do Shamshu and Zulfi end up together?
After Hamza’s death, the police are convinced by the footage that Hamza accepted his crimes against Badru and decided to kill himself.
As Shamshu and Badru put up a facade of being distraught by his death, Badru urges her mother to see Zulfi, as he is not like Hamza or her father, strongly pointing towards a future between the two.
In the end, Badru is starting to adjust to her life alone. As she watches a movie, a disclaimer comes up on the screen that declares ‘violence against women is injurious to health’, encapsulating the film’s core message.