Jubilee revolves around the lives of those individuals who dream of making it big in the Hindi film industry during the golden age of Indian cinema, but they soon realize that real life is not as dreamy as the films. The show is now streaming on Prime Video.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
In July 1947, Binod Das works for Srikant Roy, the owner of a famous film studio called the Roy Talkies, in Mumbai. Roy was educated in Germany. He is known for introducing fresh talent in his films and turning them into stars.
His wife, Sumitra Kumari, is not only a renowned actor herself but also has an equal share in the studio. She is in charge of the business matters of the studio.
For his next film, Sunghursh, Srikant Roy wants to launch a new actor. He chooses Jamshed Khan as the hero of the film, but since Jamshed is Muslim, he will have to change his name to Madan Kumar.
Soon, Roy finds out that Jamshed is having an affair with Sumitra and sends his loyal man, Binod, to bring them both back from Lucknow. On his way, Binod bribes the police on the train to help out a stranger, Jay Khanna.
Jay’s father owns a famous theater company in Karachi called the Khanna Theater Company. Jay is friends with Jamshed, who sent him a telegram to tell him that he will be accompanying Jay to Karachi and will work in the theater.
When Binod finds out about this, he blackmails Sumitra with her pictures with Jamshed that Roy had given him. Sumitra and Jamshed love each other and decide to run away to Karachi together. Sumitra plans to join him from another city.
The night Jamshed is supposed to meet Jay at the station and leave with him, Binod pays Jamshed a visit and introduces himself as Sunder. He offers to give Jamshed a lift, but on their way, Jamshed finds out that Sunder is not his real name and that he works at Roy Talkies.
Jamshed fights Binod in the car, which results in an accident. Binod manages to crawl out of the burning car. When Jamshed begs him for help, he starts beating him. He leaves him in the car to die when he sees someone watching them.
This is also the time when communal riots were taking place all over the country before the Partition. The rioters come there and kill an injured Jamshed. Jay also arrives at the scene, but Binod stops him from risking his own life to save his friend.
Binod then takes him to the station, and they part ways. On the other hand, Roy does not let Sumitra go to Karachi, but she never gives up on finding Jamshed or his friend, Jay Khanna.
Back in Bombay, the person who was watching Binod and Jamshed gives Roy the pictures of Binod kicking an injured Jamshed.
An angry Roy confronts Binod, who starts acting out the scene that the hero of Sunghursh was supposed to perform and that Binod had been practicing secretly. His performance wins Roy over, and he decides to launch him as Madan Kumar, but he does not show him the incriminating pictures.
Not everybody is happy with Roy’s decision to launch a man who is a nobody and used to work for Roy. The film’s financier, Walia, insults Binod and refuses to finance the film. With no other option left, Roy has to mortgage the studio to make Sunghursh.
Binod also has a hard time on set because he keeps seeing the ghost of Jamshed. Additionally, Sumitra tries everything to sabotage the film, but Binod outsmarts her every time, and his film finally makes it to the theatres.
Meanwhile, Jay’s family loses everything during the partition and has to migrate to Bombay. In the refugee camp, Jay agrees to murder a man named Raghu Jalani for some money to save his sick brother.
He fails to kill Raghu and is arrested. His father manages to get him out, but the case has been filed against him. Raghu decides not to get his revenge right now and lets Jay go for the time being.
Jay then focuses on finding a job. Initially, he does not find anything. He eventually goes to meet Binod, who is now known as Madan Kumar, and Binod helps him get a job in the studio’s canteen.
When Jay had gone to Lucknow, Jamshed had sent him to a sex worker, Niloufer. She also migrated to Bombay and started an affair with Walia for money. Walia pays for all her needs and helps her become an actor.
At an audition, Niloufer befriends a girl named Meena, who moves in with her. When Madan Kumar’s film becomes a super hit and he becomes a superstar, Niloufer wishes to be with him, even though she knows he is married.
Jay and Niloufer run into each other in Bombay and become friends. She knows that Jay holds a menial job at the studio and accepts him for what he is.
Jamshed did not have anyone in his life except a man he used to work with, Maqsood, who finds out that Madan Kumar was driving Jamshed to the station the night he died.
Maqsood tries to blackmail Madan into giving him money, but when it does not work, he tells Sumitra everything. Sumitra wants to file a murder case against Madan, but they do not have substantial evidence against him. Roy and his colleagues convince her not to do anything just yet.
Nanik Jotwani, a very influential man who has contacts in the government, meets Roy. As the Cold War has begun, both the US and the USSR want to exert their influence over India through cinema and radio.
The USSR sends their representative, Vladimir Sayadyants, to make propaganda films in India. Jotwani wants Madan, the leading star of the country, to act in these films, but Roy refuses to make propaganda films.
Jotwani then talks to Madan about it, but he also refuses because he is completely loyal to Roy. Jotwani also approaches Sumitra, who tells him that Madan is a murderer. To get proof against him, they tap the phones in the studio as well as in Madan’s house.
Jotwani holds influence over the radio in India. He knows that Roy is investing in a recording studio to make his films better. To pressure him, he gets the government to put a ban on airing Indian film songs on the radio, as songs were an integral part of films.
Jay had once written a script for Jamshed, which he abandoned after losing his home and the theater. Jay works on it again and shows it to Madan, who is now his friend. Madan likes it, but Roy does not allow him to play the role of a poor taxi driver.
Roy does not like Jay and Madan’s friendship, so he gets Jay framed for stealing from the canteen, and Jay loses his job. Roy then meets the Americans, who also want to influence the Indian masses.
He promises to help them with Hollywood movies in India, but he wants them to help him with his film songs in return. The Americans have purchased a radio station in Ceylon. Indians can tune into this station, and Roy wants them to play Indian songs to get his songs to the masses.
Roy wants Madan to carry out one more confidential job for him. He asks Madan to disguise himself and transport the song spools from music companies to the office of United States Radio, a job that causes Madan a lot of trouble.
On the other hand, Jay has made up his mind to become a director. With Niloufer’s help, he gets an opportunity to meet Walia and fulfill his dreams.
Jubilee ending explained in detail:
Does Jay convince Walia?
Jay meets Walia to show him the script that he has written for a film called Taxi Driver. To his disappointment, Walia only bets his money on actors and not the scripts. He refuses to even look at it and asks Jay to work as his driver.
Jay takes the job because Walia tells him that he might get to meet people from the industry while driving Niloufer to the film studios. He also asks Jay to run an errand for him.
Jay does not know that he is getting pirated films made for Walia and almost gets caught by the police. An angry Jay confronts Walia and insults him for being a coward who does not have the courage to bet on someone’s ability.
He reminds him that he once lost an opportunity to make a lot of money when he refused to finance Sunghursh because he did not have the same courage as Roy to take a risk.
Walia finally gets convinced to take this risk. He promises to finance Jay’s film, but only if Jay manages to get Madan Kumar to star in it.
Does Jay agree to marry Kiran?
Apart from the money, Jay needs to get the land to build his studio. He talks to Pratap Singh, a local politician from the Punjabi community in the refugee camp, and asks him for help to get the land through the Refugee Department quota.
Initially, Pratap refuses to do anything for him because earlier Jay had refused to help him with the elections. Pratap loses the election to Jotwani’s party, which represents the Sindhi community; Jotwani is known for being photographed with celebrities.
Furthermore, Pratap finds out that his daughter, Kiran, has fallen in love with Jay. He then decides to help Jay if he agrees to marry Kiran. However, Jay is in love with Niloufer.
He wants her to play the role of the lead actress in his film. Niloufer will be in his film, but she refuses to marry him because she only thinks of him as her friend. She asks him to make the film for himself and not for her.
Jay agrees to marry Kiran, who knows that he does not love her, and Pratap helps him get a huge loan as well as the land for the studio through the quota.
Does Raghu take Walia’s offer?
The man Jay had tried to kill, Raghu, belongs to the Sindhi community and does not like the fact that the Punjabi community might end up making a film with Madan Kumar.
He attempts to discuss this with Jotwani, but Jotwani dismisses his concerns. As Jotwani and the Soviet agents have been tapping Roy’s phones, they find out that Roy has been sending tapes for weekly radio broadcasts to the Americans.
Raghu takes matters into his own hands and reaches the studio on the inauguration day with his goons. He gets into a fight with Jay, but Walia intervenes.
He placates Raghu by giving him the opportunity to open a theater in the refugee camp with his money and get a share of the film’s profits through it. Raghu stops fighting Jay when he is assured that the film will do well because Madan Kumar will star in it.
Does Madan Kumar star in Jay’s film?
Jay asks Madan to star in Taxi Driver, as he had earlier liked the script. Madan, who is getting tired of being under Roy’s thumb and wants freedom, agrees to be the hero of Jay’s film.
He informs Roy about the same, but Roy lies to him and tells him that Sumitra is still looking for Jamshed and Jay Khanna. If she ever ends up meeting Jay, Madan’s involvement in Jamshed’s death might come to light, and he might lose everything.
Madan goes to the inauguration with his wife, Ratna. However, when he discovers that Walia is financing the film, he refuses to star in it. Jay and Walia plead with him to forget the past, but he is not ready to forget the insults Walia hurled at him.
Madan tells Jay that he will act in the film if he gets another financier, but Jay does not want to let Walia go, as he is the one who invested in him first. Madan walks away from the film, leaving behind a devastated Jay with nothing but debts.