Merry Christmas Ending Explained: What Happens to Maria and Albert?

Directed by Sriram Raghavan, ‘Merry Christmas’ is a Tamil and Hindi-language mystery thriller starring a combination of some prominent names in Bollywood and South Indian cinema. Set in the financial capital of India, Mumbai, the narrative surrounds itself in a dreamy Indian Christmas setting filled with all the festive cheer one would enjoy during the last week of the year. Equipped with an 80s visual tone and an intertwined thread of mystery, the film is packed with subtle hints that its audience must piece together to understand it altogether.

Based on Frédéric Dard’s French novel ‘Le Monte-charge,’ translated to ‘Bird in a Cage,’ the feature finishes with what may appear to be an elusive ending featuring an inconclusive ultimatum for its characters and their situations. This, in turn, births queries that may puzzle many. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Merry Christmas Plot Summary

The film follows Maria and Albert. Albert (Vijay Sethupathi) has just returned from an extended tenure elsewhere and is grieving the loss of his mother, who recently passed away. Through fate, he is introduced to Maria (Katrina Kaif), an alluring woman who is celebrating Christmas Eve with her daughter Annie. Out of unadulterated courtesy, Albert insists that he walk them home and, during this time, gets to know a little more about the beautiful woman.

Sparks fly as they converse, which opens up a gradual attraction between the two. A night of loneliness turns into a night of romance as the duo spend more time together. However, things quickly turn sour as true intentions are revealed, followed by a fortitude of intrigue, deception, cover-ups, and an evening filled with surprises.

Merry Christmas Ending: Does The Police Arrest Maria For the Murder?

The film ends quite obscurely with no confirmation of the fates of both Maria and Albert. Interviewing all the suspects affiliated with the night, Albert, Maria, Annie, and Ronnie are present at the police station on Christmas Day. Each of them is obliged to state what happened the previous night. While giving their testimonies, Ronnie who was initially hesitant with the details, reveals that he mistakenly left his wallet at the crime scene in Maria’s house. The sub-inspector insists that they add this to the testimony for more clarity.

Ronnie then goes on to reveal that he hid the wallet in between the sofa’s cushions. He purposely did this in hopes of retrieving it later, and in the process, he could meet her again. Maria, who is trying to keep the information from the police, denies seeing any wallet at her premises when she returned. Ronnie then suggests that the wallet may have been stolen from the crime scene if someone had broken in and taken it. Using this angle, the police officers suspect that it wasn’t actually a suicide but a murder by justifying that they could catch the killer if they found who had the wallet.

At this time, one of the inspectors asks Albert for his release documents. As he removes his wallet from his pocket, he realizes that he’s been carrying Ronnie’s wallet all this while. Shocked to see this, he tells the inspector that the documents are left at home while quickly putting the wallet back into his pocket.

All interviewees are dismissed after this point, and as they walk out of the station, the inspector calls out to Annie. He asks her to take back the toy souvenir she left on his desk. He playfully hands it over to her and asks who gave it to her. All this while, everyone in the room believes that Annie is mute, but this time, she replies, stating that “Santa” gave it to her and points at Albert. Stunned by this revelation, everyone in the room is happily surprised, except for Albert and two police investigators. Police now know Annie is not mute and can make a statement about what happened.

Albert is now aware that the jig is up. He takes out Ronnie’s wallet and shows it to the police and Ronnie as well to confirm its authenticity. While Albert does this, he approaches Maria and gives her the ring he got for Rosie. He then takes a seat on the perpetrator’s bench, ready for the consequences of what is to come. This entire segment is without any dialogue, which presents a metaphor for an unspoken truth. Although Maria committed the murder, Albert stands up for them and takes the blame for it.

The ultimatum for Albert, although not decided in the final scenes of the film, is implied. He uses the logic that the killer has Ronnie’s wallet, as the police officers previously suggested, and presents it as proof. While the film implies this and ends without confirmation, we can speculate that it goes both ways. If Albert presents this proof, he could turn it around and confess the entire truth to the police, including how Maria was able to cover it up. However, he gives Rosie’s ring to Maria, which is a purposeful representation of his affection towards her and, in turn, a depiction of him taking the blame.

To further probe this scenario, in reality, this would be far from a conclusive investigation. Maria would be further interrogated, which would require her to make up another entirely different story about the incident if she wanted to be considered innocent. They would also now consider questioning Annie. Reacting to the divulged information, the police would also be extra careful when extracting information from her. They would make sure to use alternative methods to get this information, even if it resulted in a black eye or two.

Additionally, the story would also need to match Albert’s account, who would take the brunt of the police’s interrogative advances. Any mismatch in their stories may result in both suspects being further questioned or even charged. Either one for murder and the other for being an accomplice. Both these charges are lengthy ones. Conclusively, in this scenario, it is improbable that either one gets away with it.

However, as the story stands, Albert would be taken into custody, and he would claim that he had planned it all along. According to the evidence, Maria returned home with Ronnie to her murdered husband. Albert would just need to state that while she was away, he broke into Maria’s home and killed Jerome, collecting Ronnie’s wallet on the way. They would not question Annie about what really happened due to her immature age and her alleged “treatment.” He would then be charged with Murder, and Maria would be allowed to leave scot-free.

How Did Maria Kill Jerome? How Did She Hide The Body?

As Maria comes clean to Albert about what she’s done to Jerome, she begins narrating how she did it. Maria reveals that she owns a replica apartment on the next floor, through which she can lure unsuspicious strangers. The living room of this apartment is identical to the other, but its inner rooms are completely unfurnished.

While she puts Annie to bed, she is, in fact, taking the back door staircase to the floor below, which is her actual apartment where Jerome lay dead. She admits that when they go out and come back, they enter the apartment one floor below. This would make it seem like they entered into the scene of the crime.

Maria drugged Jerome’s drink, which made him unconscious. This would give her enough time to invite an unsuspecting stranger into her replica apartment, excuse herself to tuck Annie into bed on the floor below, kill Jerome, and then proceed back up to convince them to go out again. She must take them out again because they need to return to the actual apartment where Jerome’s body is for the plan to work.

This meticulous plan fails when Albert returns to Maria’s house through the back entrance after he is dropped off by Ronnie. He realized that there was something dangerously fishy going on there. The stage is set again for Ronnie when he and Maria return to Jerome’s body in the real apartment. Knowing that Albert is hiding in the apartment, Maria finds him and tells him to leave. While trying to escape from the police, he hides on the floor below, only to realize that the living room is identical to the one above.

After the police leave, Albert is once again in the real apartment, confronting Maria. She tells him everything, and while initially hesitant, he decides to help her get rid of the evidence. The two then burn all the furnishings in the replica apartment through the bakery’s furnace below. Due to the festive season, many wouldn’t be suspicious that the furnace was burning through the night.

Through this detailed plan, Maria had set up an almost fool-proof way to kill Jerome and get rid of his body. The police would naturally think it’s a suicide, and there would be enough witnesses to prove it. Since the building was also empty, she didn’t have to worry about neighbors, and her bakery would provide the much-needed fire to burn the evidence.

Do Maria and Albert End Up Together? Why Does Albert Give Her The Ring?

In the final sequence of the film, Albert takes Ronnie’s wallet out of his pocket and displays it to the police and everyone in the room. He wanted to conclude the investigation by proving he was the killer all along. As the scene progresses, he approaches Maria and gives her Rosie’s ring. He slides the ring on her finger as a gesture of affection and sits down on a bench with a smile. The film’s finale implies that he loves Maria as much as he does Rosie.

Albert seemingly gives up everything to protect the truth from getting out and to showcase that he has found love once again, he gives his beloved’s ring to Maria. While the film does not confirm this, it is implied that Maria walks free while Albert is charged with the murder of Jerome; however, they wouldn’t have ended up with each other. Through obvious circumstances, such as Albert being in jail and Maria being out free, the couple wouldn’t be able to form a relationship.

Through Albert’s sacrifice, Maria can now raise Annie the right way, which was Albert’s intention when he gave Maria the ring. While it is clear that the ring signifies his affection towards Maria, it also represents the truth and the freedom that comes with it. To reiterate, the ring symbolizes three things: truth, freedom, and love. A hidden truth through which Maria is free and both these elements are enabled by Albert’s love.

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