Netflix film ‘Dhamaka’ is based on a former reputed journalist whose career and personal life are on a downward spiral. When he gets a call from someone claiming to execute bombs in Mumbai, he sees a chance to get back to the top.
Arjun Pathak (Kartik Aaryan) and Saumya Mehra Pathak (Mrunal Thakur), both journalists, are shown to have been very content in their marriage. But, in the current day, they are on the brink of divorce.
Arjun has been relegated to a radio jockey from a prime time journalist. When he receives a call from someone named Raghubeer Mhata claiming to set off a blast at the Sea Link in Mumbai, he gets angry thinking it’s a prank.
The blast occurs, and Arjun and his team are left shaken. He calls the police, but upon realising the potential of this as a prime time exclusive, relents and calls his boss Ankita Malaskar (Amruta Subhash).
He offers her this news if he gets his prime time role at TRTV back. She agrees, and he starts broadcasting right in the radio room.
Raghubeer reveals he destroyed the Sea Link because he worked on its construction in 2000, and when he and his colleagues were asked to repair it a few years ago, three of them fell into the water and lost their lives.
He requests Arjun to call the minister in charge of the repair and ask him to apologize, but Ankita tells him to stall. When Raghubeer reveals he planted a bomb in his earpiece, Arjun realises what’s at stake here.
The minister’s deputy shows up instead and starts to chastise the caller, repeatedly calling him a terrorist. His earpiece is also a bomb and Raghubeer sets it off to kill him.
Ankita convinces Arjun to keep going for the sake of ratings. He is also worried because Saumya has been sent by Ankita to the Sea Link to report the news.
Will the minister apologise? Will Arjun survive this and become a prime time journalist again?
Dhamaka ending explained in detail:
A journalist from a rival news channel accuses Arjun of having taken a bribe to bury critical news, revealed to him by Ankita herself when Arjun refuses to cooperate with her.
It is also revealed that the report that bagged Arjun the award for Journalist of the Year was actually his wife’s and he had stolen it.
To make this worse, the producer of his radio show has told the rival journalist that he opted to go for an exclusive instead of calling the police.
As the ratings hit 70%, Ankita gets the role of the channel’s director, and she leaves, but not before telling Arjun that he won’t become the Prime Time Journalist.
Raghubeer is angry that Arjun took a bribe and that too for the story that three of his colleagues had been killed during Sea Link repair. Arjun retorts that his hands were tied and that he is also just a cog in the corrupt system, calming down the caller.
Saumya asks Raghubeer to let all the women and children go, and he agrees. When she tells him that she wishes he gets his apology from the government, because apologising doesn’t make anybody smaller, Arjun agrees, indirectly apologizing to her for stealing the report.
Both talk during the feed and hint at being together again after all of this is over, however, right then another blast occurs and the channel loses connection with her, as Arjun fears the worst.
Distraught, Arjun requests the nearby boats and life-saving crews to help those at the bridge. He criticizes Raghubeer for taking innocent lives, but he responds that he didn’t mean to do this and apologizes.
However, he says that he’s already said that the bridge would fall and asked them to help those on it, but the minister and government decided not to take action.
The counter-terrorism squad tells Arjun that they’ve found Raghubeer in the building right next to the one they’re broadcasting from, but the caller reveals to Arjun that he’ll blow that building as well.
Unable to inform them on time, the squad ends up dead and part of the construction equipment falls and destroys part of the building Arjun is in as well, leaving the room in tatters.
The rival channel breaks the news that Raghubeer Mhata was actually one of those labourers who died in the Sea Link incident, meaning the caller’s real identity is still a mystery.
Arjun cracks the case, and figures out that it’s actually his son Anand Mhata. He calls him and threatens to expose him if he doesn’t come to the room Arjun is in.
In a broken down room, he finds a camera and keeps broadcasting. As Anand shows up with a button to explode the building, he reveals he chose Arjun for the exclusive because his father loved watching his news show. He says that all he wanted was an apology, subsequently getting shot by a nearby sniper.
In a turn of events, the rival news channel claims that Anand was a chemical engineer and explosives expert and that Arjun worked with him to get the exclusive, with fake sources to back it.
Anjali reveals that the channel threw him under the bus because, otherwise, the channel would have suffered.
Right then, news of Saumya’s death comes in, leaving Arjun devastated. He remembers the first time he hosted the prime time news show and how she had been his support. Arjun records a voice note for Saumya, finally directly saying sorry to her, but it’s too late now.
As the forces come in to arrest him for allegedly collaborating with Anand, he finds the remote for the bomb in the building.
With his life ruined, and Saumya not alive, he finds no reason to go on, choosing to destroy the building and himself, as he silently rues the bad decisions that took everything from him.
In the end, he gives a strong gaze to the viewers as the building slowly collapses and the explosion gulfs him, and he remains unflinching throughout, having completely decided to let go.