Welcome to the Ending Explained for Shantaram, a new series coming from Apple TV+. The series is based on a novel of the same name, written by Gregory David Roberts. The novel takes experiences from Roberts’ own life and mixes them with fiction to create a tale of redemption in one of the most interesting urban settings in India, the city of Bombay. The series stars Charlie Hunnam, Alexander Siddig, and Antonia Desplat. The series tells the story of an Australian fugitive finding the chance of a new life in the slums of Bombay.
Shantaram could be classified as one of those white savior stories, but it is so much more than that. It is a tale about what it means to be alive no matter the skin color and how having the will to do good and respecting others for what they are can be the best tool to open up people’s hearts. The series is very well-made thanks to the direction of Justin Kurzel and the rest of the filmmaking team, who really did the project out of their passion for telling the story. The best things are all made with love.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Episodes 1-3 of Shantaram, Season 1. Read at your own risk.
Why Did Lin Escape From Prison in Shantaram?
The series begins by introducing us to the character of Lindsay, later known as Lin. He is a prisoner in Australia, and he is looking to escape. He fears for his life inside the prison, and so the only choice he has is to escape. Lin recruits the help of another companion, and together they escape prison in one hell of an escape in the middle of the day. Lin escapes with only the clothing on his back, so he needs help to start again. However, he doesn’t decide to go to his mother’s.
Lin decides to go see his old college professor. We can see that Lin is very remorseful for whatever happened that sent him to jail. He speaks about how while people say there is always a choice; sometimes there isn’t one. He feels like he is trapped. Lin cannot go back to college to finish his doctorate education or even work as a paramedic. He has nowhere to run. His professor says he knows who Lin is and offers him help. He gives him money and a chance to start again.
Lin has decided to leave the country, so he takes his fake passport and boards a plane to India, Bombay. There, he is ready to start anew. He is received by a man named Prabhu, who says he is the number one guide in Bombay. Prabhu guides Lin through the city, and quickly enough, he finds himself well acquainted with the kind of people who live in the city. He also meets a beautiful woman called Karla. Lin explains how Bombay is just a stopover for him, as he has decided to live in Germany.
The two clearly like each other. However, after a fire happens at the place where Lin is staying, Prabhu’s place in the slums, Lin decides to stay and help the people around the slums with medical attention. In flashbacks, we see that Lin became a criminal, robbing banks, and in one of those robberies, he ended up killing a policeman. This is why he was in danger of dying inside the prison. They don’t like police killers in there. Lin reflects that no other criminal could help these people because they lack his training, but no other doctor would because they are not criminals.
Who Is Khader Khan In Shantaram?
During the fire in the slums, a woman is hurt, and her lung gets punctured. Lin has been doing a lot of good, but he does have the supplies for the instruments to do more than the bare minimum. He tries to help the woman and tries to take her to a hospital, but she dies on the way. Lin feels guilty because she didn’t allow her to die next to her son. This decision makes him feel like he is always making mistakes.
Alongside Lin’s story, we also get introduced to another major storyline. The protagonist of this other storyline is a man called Khader Khan. Khan is a sort of Godfather around the Bombay area. He is respected, and his reputation is a bit intimidating. He is trying to get rid of his rivals, who are trying to get into the drug business. Sometimes things get violent, and Khan is not afraid to get his hands dirty. He is a philosopher gangster.
Khan hears about the foreigner doing doctoring in the slums and wants to meet Lin. They meet, and although Lin is a bit intimidated at first, they both start talking, and it seems like they might actually be able to be friends. They go to dinner, and they meet Karla, who finds it surprising that Lin is still in the city. Khan, Lin, and the entire table fall in love with the woman.
Khan returns Lin to the slums and says they shall see each other again. Lin is confused about the entire situation. He doesn’t know if he was put on some test, but he feels a kinship with these men. He arrives at the moment of the funeral for the woman who died in the fire, and the woman’s son confronts Lin. The son blames Lin for his mother’s death. Lin accepts the responsibility, but some people stop him before the kid can get violent. Lin is told he now has his own hut and that he can start being the doctor of the place. Lin reflects that his redemption might be harder than expected.