Directed by Rajendra Reddy, “Friends” is the story of three doppelgangers who meet through a website and decide to meet and celebrate the miracle of nature. But things don’t go as planned, since one of them was the most wanted criminal in India and wanted to use the identities of his doubles to hide from the intelligence agencies. “Friends” is so absurd in its approach that sometimes you can’t help but laugh at the kind of twists and turns it incorporates. The narrative is not only irrational and redundant, but also so predictable that you can foresee the kind of ending it will have in the first few minutes of the movie.
Summary of the plot of ‘Friends’: What is the movie about?
Siddharth had recently learned that there were websites that help people find their doppelgangers and set up matches with each other. He obtained this information by accident when, in a bar, his uncle ran into a boy who believed that he was his business partner. The guy got a little agitated because he had no idea who Siddharth’s uncle was, and he thought that since he was drunk, he was saying all those things unnecessarily and wasting time. When things calmed down, a stranger who was watching everything approached Siddharth and told him how there could be two or more people who were not related by DNA but still had similar physical characteristics. Siddharth, out of sheer curiosity, logged into the website and uploaded the photo of himself and other details. Siddharth got very excited when the first match came out – he was a guy from Bangalore named Manjunath. Siddharth called Manju and both of them decided to meet next month as Manju was going to be in Hyderabad for some work. Later that night, Siddharth got another match, and this time, it was a guy named Michael who hailed from Kolkata. Siddharth also told Michael about Manju, and how the three of them looked almost identical. Michael was of the opinion that instead of waiting a whole month, they should probably go to Goa, since Manju was already there for official work.
Siddharth went to Goa with his uncle, and there they met Manju and Michael. The three of them were shocked to see that even though they weren’t from the same family and hadn’t heard of each other until that moment, they still looked like triplets born to the same mother. The three “Friends” decided to celebrate this union and make their stay in Goa a memorable experience.
Siddharth fell in love with a girl named Ishika the moment he saw her. Ishika knew that she couldn’t choose any random boy to be her life partner, and that’s why she had the habit of subjecting them to hypothetical scenarios to verify if they were worthy of being with her or not. Siddharth had told his family that he wanted to marry Ishika and they had also talked to her parents. Ishika rejected Siddharth’s proposal; Coincidentally, they met in Goa. Siddharth did not want to pass up the opportunity and with the help of Manju and Michael, he won over Ishika. Ishika had no idea how Siddharth had been able to approach every situation she had put him in because she didn’t know that there were not one but three people operating together. Ishika agreed to marry Siddharth, and she couldn’t thank her “Friends of Hers” enough because she knew she wouldn’t have been able to woo Ishika without her help.
Who was Bipin Roy? What was his plan?
What Siddharth and Manju were unaware of was the fact that Michael was one of the most wanted fugitives in the nation, and the national investigative agency i.e. NIA had been after him for a long time. Michael’s real name was Bipin Roy, and he was a dangerous arms dealer who had been accused of many crimes like murder, extortion, etc. Bipin was using both Manju and Siddharth to fake his death and then take their identities to leave for US. The NIA had learned of a secret meeting that had taken place between James Buster Douglas, an international lobbyist, and Bipin Roy. Bipin was supposed to provide a large consignment of arms and ammunition to James, who in turn was to deliver it to his boys in India. This unknown terrorist organization had planned to wage war on Indian soil. This new coalition between Bipin and Douglas was being backed by China, and they were going to bomb 26 different cities on the next Independence Day. The NIA wanted to stop the attack at all costs and wanted to crack down on these various terrorist groups who were a threat to the security of the nation.
Bipin knew that the NIA had no idea that he had two other doppelgangers and had planned to use them for his own cause. He was well aware that the NIA would find him and track his movements, since he had killed one of his officers in Hyderabad. Bipin called Manju and told him to meet him under the pretense of wanting help, but actually it was a trap. The NIA mistook Manju for Bipin and took him into custody. When Siddharth saw the news, he knew that the guy who had been arrested was Manju and not Bipin, as Manju had six fingers on one of his hands. Siddharth bribed a nurse and asked her to force him to talk to Manju, otherwise he would not be able to enter the hospital as the security was very tight. Through Manju, he learned that Bipin’s real target was Siddharth, and he wanted to take control of his life and escape to the United States using his passport. But at the last moment, Manju and Siddharth’s mobile phones were exchanged, and instead of Siddharth, Manju took the bait and fell for the trap.
Before Siddharth could realize what was happening, the damage had been done. Bipin had taken his place in his family, and Siddharth knew he had to do something fast before Bipin made his next move.
‘Friends’ ending explained: Could Siddharth expose Bipin?
Ishika was going to travel to Bangalore to attend her friend’s wedding and Bipin accompanied her on the trip. Siddharth had a plan in mind and knew that he would have to try to beat Bipin at his own game. Siddharth locked Bipin in his hotel room in Bangalore and went with Ishika to his friend’s wedding. Siddharth pretended to be Manju, as he knew that Bipin had no idea that it was not him but Manju who had been detained by the NIA. Siddharth had managed to place a prosthetic sixth finger on one of his hands, as he knew that Bipin would want to see if he was actually Manju or not. Bipin managed to get out of his hotel room and reach the wedding venue. Siddharth told him that he had accidentally met Ishika in the hall and that he had no choice but to play along.
Siddharth’s father found out that the person living with them was not his son. Siddharth met his father, who explained everything to him from the beginning. He asked his father to take Bipin to the central mall to inform the NIA and prove to them that they had caught the wrong guy. But Bipin would not be so easily fooled. He saw a syringe in Siddharth’s father’s pocket and instead of going to the central mall, he took the whole family to a different place. Meanwhile, Siddharth went and took Manju’s place and led the NIA agents to where Bipin had taken his family. Finally, after a fight to the death, Bipin was arrested by the authorities, and Siddharth thought that his nightmare had finally come to an end.
The biggest mistake Siddharth made was that he didn’t tell the NIA about the doppelganger story. The NIA still believed that there were only two people who looked alike, totally unaware of the fact that there was a third type as well. While being taken to a high security cell, Bipin killed the NIA agents and escaped captivity. Manju was preparing to take his flight to Bengaluru when Bipin arrived on the scene, killed Siddharth’s uncle in cold blood, and then went after Manju. Before he could kill Manju, Siddharth arrived and took revenge for the death of his beloved uncle. The three doppelgangers got into a fight towards the end of “Friends” and eventually Siddharth took the gun and shot Bipin several times. Bipin succumbed to his injuries and Siddharth revealed the entire story of the doppelganger to the NIA.
Will there be a sequel to ‘Friends’?
Siddharth went back to his normal life and finally started living with Ishika. Just when we thought there would be no surprises from now on, the ending of “Friends” makes another reveal that likely sets the stage for the second film in the franchise. Ishika had been checking the doppelganger website and had run a search just to make sure there were only 2 doppelgangers of her husband. The search result turned up nothing at the time, but later in the evening, when the couple had gone to sleep, another anonymous man turned up in the search results. So, it means that Siddharth has another doppelganger living somewhere, of which he is unaware. Perhaps in “Friends” Part 2 (if there is one, though we hope there isn’t), we’ll find out if this doppelganger turns out to be friendly like Manju or becomes a nightmare for Sidharth like Bipin had become.