Overshadowed by the much anticipated sequel to Breaking Bad , El Camino, Fractured has turned out to be this fall big surprise on Netflix. Of course, you could not expect less from a film by Brad Anderson, the same director of The Machinist, the acclaimed 2004 film starring Christian Bale.
And like all the films where Anderson works as a director, there is much more at stake than what we get to see on screen, for this reason and without further ado, we will now explain not only the ending, but everything that happened on Fractured. Keep on reading!
1 | What is wrong with Ray and what happened to his first wife?
First thing you can notice in Ray since the movie starts is he has a serious problem with alcohol. And it is not precisely as a result of the tragedy he lived with his first wife Abby, it is a problem Ray has had long before and that tragedy simply made it worst.
About eight years before the events of the film, Ray was driving with his wife Abby, who was pregnant; Big problem was Ray was drunk and caused an accident in which Abby and her unborn daughter both died.
Although Ray reorganized his life with Joanne two years later, having another girl, the problem with alcohol persisted, as a symptom that it was extremely difficult for him to face the consequences of his actions, and that it was much easier to always pose as the victim.
2 | What really happened to Peri and Joanne?
After the argument Joanne and Ray had inside the car about the unsuccessful Thanksgiving dinner at Joanne’s parents’, after which Ray declared himself a victim, and after Peri reported her music listening device had run out of batteries, the Monroes stopped at a gas station, so Peri could go to the bathroom and Ray could buy another set of batteries.
But, guess what … when the woman on the desk informed Ray the no plastic policy of the place, he spend the cash to buy alcohol and mix it within his coffee, instead of getting the batteries Peri needed, Ray’s despair for keeping on drinking his alcoholic coffee was such that when Joanne asked him to check the backseat of the car, to see where Peri had left her makeup, he kept the cup closer to him, spilling it seconds later.
While Ray was cleaning the seat, Peri dangerously approached the edge of a construction, cornered by a wild dog. When Ray realized his daughter was in danger, he tried to scare the dog away, but Peri couldn’t keep her balance and fell, hitting his head and dying instantly.
When Joanne returned, she realized Peri was seriously injured and she was asking Ray to do something, and he, in a state of semi-unconsciousness, due to the blow he received on his head trying to catch Peri, threw his wife against the iron rods exposed on the ground.
3 | What did Ray do with the bodies?
In the same state of semi-unconsciousness, Ray threw the bodies into the trunk of the car, while his mind began to make a very well crafted fantasy, and certainly a much more optimistic fantasy than its much more crude reality. In that fantasy Peri was not hurt, and Joanne represented the voice of his subconscious, which encouraged him to go ahead and save them.
Too late, because they were already dead.
4 | What really happened in the hospital?
Ray’s fantasy continued on the road and inside the hospital. But what really happened? According to what the hospital staff reported, Ray arrived at the hospital in the morning and requested to be treated for his blow to the head, however Ray refused to have the brain scan recommended by the doctor and became violent, demanding to see Abby, his first wife. Ray decided to go to the waiting room to rest, while Abby arrived.
Ray fell asleep, and when he wakes up, it is when the fun part of the movie begins, when he believes his daughter and wife has disappeared in the hospital.
5 | What fantasy did Ray invent to justify the absence of his wife and daughter?
Now, everything that happened between the moment Ray murders Joanne and the moment he wakes up in the hospital waiting room, believing that his wife and daughter have been kidnapped are fragments made by his head, based on real events.
For example, the detailed description of the possible effects of a blow to the head, as well as the faces of Dr. Berthram, Bruce and Nurse Anne, come from the moments in which Ray was treated for his blow, but he twisted that reality and modified it to convince himself that the one who had been treated was his daughter.
That explains why Ray had a cure on his forehead, when in his fantasy he had said he was «a tough guy» and therefore rejected any need medical attention.
6 | Why did Ray imagine all that?
It is a mix of two factors: the first one, the huge blow Ray suffered on his head, which probably made some physical damaged in the way his brain processed and organized information, and the second one, the huge trauma and guilt for losing another wife and another daughter for his erratic behaviour, the fantasy works as a way to cope with the tragedy and his guilt.
7 | What did Ray really do and why did he do it?
Now, seeing it from the real perspective, what Ray did is quite scary, and not only for having hidden the bodies of his wife and daughter in the trunk of the car, but the fact of making a scandal in the hospital, claiming with no doubt that they had been there.
He then managed to lock up a group of police staff, pointing them with a gun and then – inside the hospital – killed a security guard. He enters an operating room where a boy was treated for his appendicitis, takes him out of there, injured, he attacks the operating room staff, and finally shoots Bruce on his knee.
At that time, Ray is not only guilty of the deaths of his wife and daughter, but of kidnapping, assault on a hospital, and attempted murder against several staff members of the hospital. That definitely will make a big opening line for CNN or Fox News.
8 | What about the scarf? And why wasn’t there any file for Ray?
However, there seems to be evidence that Ray was right, the first is the absence of the entry file on behalf of Ray Monroe and the second is the scarf that appeared near the bed where Ray claimed that Peri had been seen by Dr. Berthram
The first evidence, which is the most suspicious, is explained by something that the hospital staff had informed him, and that when the information is entered in the system in an erroneous or incomplete way, it is difficult to find it. In the case of Ray, it is most likely that he has provided erroneous information in the spelling of the surname or in the social security number – as a consequence of his mental state – that is why the file only appeared when it was searched very carefully.
And now, the scarf. How did the scarf get to the hospital if Peri was never there? Here you can only argue that when Ray entered the hospital he had the scarf with him and when he was treated by doctors, he dropped the scarf that was impregnated with the girl’s blood after falling.
9 | What does the final scene in Fractured mean?
At the end of the movie we see things from a real point of view. Ray entered the hospital, reached the underground floor, where operating rooms work. Ray’s fantasy led him to believe that it was an organ trafficking operation and he saw all the signs, just as it was pointed by the magazine he had in his hands earlier in the film.
However, Ray took a patient with appendicitis from the operating room and confused him with his wife and daughter, after attacking the hospital staff, he put the subject in his truck, and there, he began to sing the rainbow song that had sung at the beginning of the movie, with his daughter.
What does this all mean? First of all, the blow that Ray suffered finally allowed his subconscious, in the form of Joanne’s voice, to develop his lowest instincts. If you pay attention to Joanne’s words, in Ray’s fantasy, that is, after she dies in the construction hole, his message is always violent.
Joanne asks Ray to drive at high speed, to drag the doctor with his own to check Peri, and she also stated that she will crack someone’s head if her daughter was not treated immediately … and then we see Ray developing a behavior framed in the violence, with the aggravating fact that he believes in his fantasy, that violence is completely justified.
And in the last shot, it is shown that, indeed, Ray has completely freaked out and will not stop at anything, to try to maintain his fantasy, becoming a lethal killer.
10 | What message does the movie leave?
The 100 minutes of this film are an invitation to assume and face our actions and their consequences, to face adversities, without hiding in the effects of alcohol, addictive medicines, or illegal drugs, since in doing so we can depend so much of these substances that we will finally put our lives and those of others at risk, as happened to Ray – he was so addicted to alcohol, that he put his own needs above those of his family, which he ended up losing, for that same bad decision.
A second message of this movie is to allow ourselves the benefit of the doubt. For a good part of the movie, and although there was overwhelming evidence against Ray, we, as spectators, stood completely on his side, on the side of an insane murderer, because the man simply awakens our solidarity, believing that he fights for a just cause. That he fights for justice.
Do we make that same mistake in our daily lives? To back people, who we want to believe they are right to the point of completely ignoring logic and facts? It is – perhaps – we find that idea that certain people sell us more attractive, because reality scares us and we want to make a fantasy that completely covers it. A fantasy in which some are fascinated to believe that they are the victims who fight for their rights, instead of seeing the sad reality, that they are the cannon fodder of some dangerous charlatans, manipulated by their 50 cent demagogy.
If the movie is good or bad, we will discuss that later, on the review of the film. Questions? Annotations? Doubts? Insults? The comments section is open just below this post. See you in another post of Ending Explained, here on El Sabanero X.