Directed by Sujoy Ghosh, ‘Jaane Jaan,’ also known as ‘Suspect X,’ Netflix’s Hindi crime mystery film revolves around a police investigation with a single mother at its center. Maya D’Souza, a woman with a fraught past, resides in Kalimpong alongside her teenage daughter, Tara. However, after Maya’s past catches up to her, it turns her into the prime suspect in a murder investigation. While a persistent cop, Karan Anand, scrutinizes Maya’s every move, she finds unexpected help from her reclusive neighbor, Naren Vyas, a genius mathematics teacher. Together, the neighbors try to throw Karan off Maya’s scent as they cover up the death of her former husband, Ajit.
The film, starring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Jaideep Ahlawat, and Vijay Varma, chases a thrilling narrative within a game of moves and countermoves. As Karan’s case builds, Naren and Maya insert their own defenses until their battle reaches its inevitable climax. Given the film’s intriguing conclusion, viewers may have some questions about the ending. If so, here are some of them answered! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Jaane Jaan Plot Synopsis
Maya D’Souza, a single mother to a thirteen-year-old, works in the Tiffin cafe, regularly visited by her next-door neighbor, Naren Vyas, the local high school teacher. Unbeknownst to Maya, Naren has been long-beguiled by her, eavesdropping on her early mornings through their shared wall while building the courage to ask her out. However, one morning brings an indefinitely more sinister customer to Tiffin’s door: Maya’s husband, Ajit, a cop she ran away from fourteen years ago.
Having caught wind of his wife Soniya’s residence in the small town under a new identity, Ajit seeks Maya out in pursuit of their daughter, Tara. Although Maya tries to evade Ajit, the man finds his way to her apartment, disclosing his intention to take Tara with him to sell her into a life of exotic dancing as he previously did with Maya. As a result, Tara comes out from hiding in her room and defends her mother by attacking Ajit with a heater rod. The situation rapidly escalates as Ajit turns his violence toward Tara.
In an effort to subdue the man, the mother-daughter duo ends up choking Ajit to death with the heater rod’s wire. As such, Maya and Tara find themselves with an unexpected dead body on their hands. Soon, Naren knocks on their door, having correctly deduced Maya’s predicament through trivial details, and offers help hiding the body. Even though Maya considers turning herself in for the crime, Tara’s involvement in the murder complicates matters, forcing Maya to cover up Ajit’s death.
Naren takes responsibility for Ajit’s body and ensures Maya that no one will ever find it. Afterward, he instructs Maya and her daughter on what they must do next. Meanwhile, Karan Anand, a Mumbai police officer, tries to track Ajit down because of his corrupt involvement in several money laundering cases. As such, Karan’s search brings him to Kalimpong, where he runs into Naren, whom he attended college with in his youth.
Shortly after, a body is found in the mountains, almost charred to ash. Still, a pile of half-burned clothes helps Karan identify the body as Ajit. Consequently, Naren realizes that Maya will easily become Karan’s top suspect and advises her to stick to the previously discussed script. After forensics reports return, dating Ajit’s murder to the 10th, Karan questions Maya about Ajit, and she shares that he visited her a few days before. Yet, when Karan inquires about Maya’s whereabouts on the night of the 10th, he receives a stacked itinerary of Maya and her daughter’s day with a movie, dinner, and karaoke, serving as her alibi.
Nevertheless, Karan continues to suspect Maya for the crime since the likelihood of Ajit finding another enemy in Kalimpong is extremely thin. Despite Karan’s instincts and dogged efforts, every piece of evidence points toward Maya’s innocence. Thus, the authorities decide to take the case back to Mumbai after the forensics confirm the murder weapon to be a heater rod, which does not match the one in Maya’s house.
In the end, just as Karan is about to close the chapter on Kalimpong and Maya, he learns about a crucial detail from Maya’s gossipy coworker about Naren’s apparent crush on Maya. The night after Karan confronts his old friend about the same, Naren walks into the police station and confesses that he committed Ajit’s murder at the behest of Maya D’Souza.
Jaane Jaan Ending: How Does Naren Frame Himself For Ajit’s Murder?
Initially, Naren stays away from Karan’s investigation of the murder case, only occasionally showing his face due to his friendship with the officer. During their encounters, Naren maintains that he rarely ever sees Maya and is barely acquaintances with her. Therefore, when Karan finds out that the teacher is an obsessive regular at the cafe, it directly leads him to a suspicious connection between Maya and Naren.
Once Naren discovers the same, he has to adapt his plan accordingly and take it to the next level. During his confession at the station, Naren divulges that he killed Ajit because Maya asked him to. Naren claims that he’s Maya’s bodyguard and that her safety is his religion. However, in an effort to avoid unwanted rumors, the pair always kept their relationship a secret, so much so that they never talked to each other in public. Instead, Maya would discuss her problems with her daughter while Naren would listen in through a hole in their shared wall.
Due to these “conversations,” Naren knew about Maya’s contentious relationship with her husband, Ajit. As such, when the man showed up at her apartment complex on the night of the 10th, Naren guided him to the mountains behind a monastery. In the woods, Naren killed Ajit with a heater rod, hastily grabbed as a weapon before leaving the house. Furthermore, Naren describes burning the body, ridding it of DNA evidence in precise detail. The conclusion remains that only the murderer could give such a detailed account of the body’s treatment without a first-hand autopsy.
Furthermore, there’s a stark lack of evidence against Naren, squarely framing him for the murder committed on the 10th. Even though Naren hasn’t taken a day off in years, the teacher didn’t show up for work on the 10th. When compared to Maya, whose day out, confirmed by ticket stubs and establishment owners, serves as an excellent alibi, Naren has no evidence proving his innocence.
Consequently, Naren’s entire plan hinges on Maya having an alibi on the night of Ajit’s death. Since giving Maya a believable alibi would be impossible, Naren realizes the only solution is to change Ajit’s death date. So far, Karan assumes Maya has been lying about her alibi, and so does the audience because we witness her killing Ajit. Nevertheless, Maya’s alibi was always true since Ajit actually died on the 9th rather than the 10th.
After Maya kills Ajit, Naren hides his body and plants a decoy dead body in the mountain. He takes a homeless man from the streets and treats him to a meal and shower at Naren’s hotel to ensure the man leaves behind ample DNA samples. Afterward, Naren kills him in the mountains with the same method that Maya had killed Ajit and bashes the man’s face with a rock to ensure he couldn’t be recognized. Once dead, Naren burned the homeless man’s body to a crisp but prevented the pile of clothes from completely burning.
By doing so, Naren was able to leave behind Ajit’s ID on the clothes, where the Police will find DNA that will match the DNA found in Ajit’s hotel room. Once he stages the perfect decoy body, he tasks Maya with collecting evidence of her innocence on the night of the 10th. Therefore, by cleverly setting Karan on the wrong path from the start, Naren saves Maya from persecution and frames himself for the murder.
Furthermore, by associating cultish imagery with his obsession with Maya, Naren hands Karan an indisputable motive that absolves Maya of all fault while still providing Karan with a satisfactory explanation for Ajit’s connection to her. Then, all that’s left to do is accuse Maya of betrayal in their one-sided, imaginary relationship to explain Naren’s confession and further ensure the Police view him as a manic, obsessive man. The final nail in the coffin comes when forensics confirm the heater rod at Naren’s house, something he likely swaps from Maya’s house in the start, to be a perfect match to the murder weapon.
Why Does Naren Help Maya?
Amidst the overarching criminal mystery that clouds the narrative, another perplexing detail persists throughout the story: Naren’s motive behind helping Maya. At first glance, Naren’s offered involvement in covering up Ajit’s murder can be credited to his withdrawn, reticent personality and infatuation with Maya. However, if that were the case, the obvious progression would be Naren’s expectation for Maya to end up with him.
Yet, even after Maya spends time with Karan and reacts to rumors of Naren’s affection for her with dismissive surprise, Naren continues to stand by her side. If Naren hoped to win Maya’s companionship by helping her, he wouldn’t have condemned himself to fifteen years in prison. In the end, Maya, who previously assumed his affections to be his drive as well, learns the truth.
The film opens with a shot of Naren trying to hang himself by the ceiling until a knock on the door startles him to his imminent death. Nevertheless, since it’s followed by Naren jerking awake, the common assumption remains that the man was having a nightmare about his death. Ultimately, the scene turns out to be a dream, but one inspired by a real memory.
Mathematics has always been Naren’s first love, and he once devoted ten years to solving one problem. Even though Naren solves the problem, he discovers that someone else has found the solution to the same problem just 46 hours before. As such, he deems his life’s work a waste and loses sight of the future. Still, when he tries to hang himself, Maya knocks on his door and asks for trivial neighborly help. Naren’s encounter with Maya fills him with a newfound appreciation for life and the will to live it.
Consequently, since Maya saved Naren’s life, he wanted to ensure she lived a safe life with her daughter, Tara. As a result, he goes to unimaginable lengths and pulls Maya out of danger, accepting the punishment for her crime.
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