Neelkantha Bagchi, a disillusioned, impoverished intellectual and an alcoholic, is abandoned by his wife Durga. Soon after Durga leaves with his son Satya, he meets Bangabala, a young refugee from Bangladesh. Though she comes to him for shelter, Neelkantha is turned out of his flat. Along with Bangabala and another young companion, Nachiketa, Neelkantha sets off on a journey looking for shelter. On the road, they meet Jagannath Bhattacharya, an old Sanskrit teacher whose school has closed down after the riots during the Partition. Jagannath has come to Calcutta in search of employment. They also meet Neelkantha’s old friend Shatrujit, a writer. As they all drink together, Shatrujit discusses the futility of his life.
Eventually, the four head to the countryside. They meet a Chhau artist and trade union leader named Panchanan Ustad, who laments the slow death of Chhau due to a lack of patronage. The group stumbles onto the landowner Madhab Haldar trying to seize land for himself, and a fight breaks out. Jagannath is shot, and he dies. The three remaining members of the group go to Durga, and Neelkantha convinces her to look after Bangabala. He attempts to win her back, but she is not moved by his declarations. Bangabala intervenes, and tells Durga that she will bring Neelkantha back to her when he truly changes.
Neelkantha, Durga and Nachiketa spend the night in a nearby forest where they meet a group of Naxalite students. The students warn them of an impending attack, but Neelkantha decides to stay and speak to them. They debate through the night. When dawn breaks, Durga arrives with Satya to meet Neelkantha, but the police attack begins and Neelkantha is shot. Durga meets Neelkantha as he takes his dying breath, and he tells her that the universe is burning along with him.
Thought to be an autobiographical film, Jukti Takko Aar Gappo features Ritwik Ghatak as the doomed protagonist in his last directorial venture.