Ambulance ^ Ending Explained

What would you do if the only way to save a life is by committing a crime? Is it worth risking your life, and lives of innocent people to save just one person? Would you sacrifice someone you love, for doing the right thing?

The above are the main questions around Michael Bay (Bad Boys, Armaggedon, Transformers) drives Ambulance, a fairly effective mix of action, chases and yes, even some drama. Now, if in the midst of the shootings, the betrayals, the medical procedures and the personal traumas you are wondering what the heck was going on, do not worry, right now and without further ado, we’re going to deeply analize Ambulance!

1 ^ What is the story of Danny and Will? Why are they brothers if one is white and the other is black?

Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Will (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) are actually orphans. Or at least their biological parents did not take care of them, leaving them in the U.S. child protection system, where a cruel bank robber they identify as LT adopted them, more with the intention of training them as help for his operations, than as sons as such. However, the two boys formed a bond of brotherhood.

Over time, however, a difference developed between the two. When LT died – apparently in a situation where Will and Danny had to choose between them and him – Danny decided to continue with the business of LT and Will, decided to go to fight with the army, to change his focus on life. Will eventually married and started a family, with the problem that his daughter had a fatal disease, whose only hope was an experimental treatment not covered by insurance.

2 ^ What’s the problem with Cam?

As Cam (Eiza González) told Danny, when she started on Medicine School, she managed to complete 3 years, after which she started using. She lost everything and once she tried to get her life back, the conviction that she should pay for ruining her own life prevented her from having meaningful relationships, like the one she had with Collin Waters. Cam is aware of this issue, because within her phone contacts, there is a psychiatrist. However, she does little to nothing to fix this problem, because -as she tells Emt- on his first day, she doesn’t like to get attached to anyone at all. Neither with his co-workers, nor with his patients. The only thing she has in mind is to fully fulfill his tasks and his work, which she believes, is the only thing she can do to fulfill her karma.

3 ^ What was Danny’s plan and why did he need Will?

Danny and his army of thieves had the goal to steal 32 million dollars from the Federal Bank, in downtown Los Angeles. The plan was to subdue the employees, take the money, take it to Randazzo’s vehicle, flee and then distribute the money. Danny had reason to distrust his team, as all of them were extremely unstable and would not hesitate to kill him just to have a better chance to run away and escape. Danny needed Will, because he knew that he could protect him, and it was precisely because of that, that the Hell’s Doors were opened.

4 ^ What went wrong in the robbery? Why did Will shoot Zach?

Officer Zach was simply interested in asking out Kim, one of the Federal Bank workers, and his partner, Officer Mark, encouraged him to do so. Zach entered the bank, and realizing what was happening, he indirectly alerted the police who immediately closed the building. Zach, trying to be of use in taking down the criminals, attempted to subdue Danny, and Will shot him.

5 ^ Why didn’t the LAPD just blow the Ambulance’s tires?

Well, because then we wouldn’t have a movie. But hey, the script was a bit bold in trying to logically explain this gap. The police were trying to protect Zach’s life and to some extent Cam’s. Cam were in position in the bank building, after Mark’s emergency call, but once on the way, Danny and Will kidnapped her, leaving Emt out of the vehicle.

According to the film, the Los Angeles Police could not afford to provoke a situation in which two innocent people could die in front of the entire country, since the persecution was on national TV.

6 ^ Why did Will save Zach and Cam?

Will helped Cam do Zach’s bullet removal surgery, after which the internal bleeding stopped and she was able to stabilize him until the end of the film when he was treated at a specialized medical center. Likewise, Will also saved them both from being taken by Papi (A Martinez), who demanded them as insurance against the police. Of course Papi’s intention was to abandon them and use them as a decoy while they escaped.

7 ^ Why did Danny and Will go to Papi? What was his plan?

Because the police literally had them surrounded. The only way was to confuse the Police about which ambulance they were requesting and in the midst of the confusion to flee, now to another country, because they were already fully identified.

Danny offered Papi 8 million dollars, of the 16 he still had, to get a fleet of ambulances out, and to help get his own, painted a different color, for what they needed Castro. But Papi also added an ambulance with a bomb to neutralize the police. When this happened the brothers were to report to Papi, who demanded the two hostages, which Will refused. When Papi found out about the death of his right-hand man, Roberto, Danny and Will teamed up to take down the team of criminals. And run away… again.

8 ^ Why did Cam shoot Will?

Well, Cam already knew that Danny or Papi wanted to get rid of her, now that they were safe and sound, the only option she seemed to have was to run away, but if someone stopped her, she would be lost, so when she saw the door of the ambulance opened, the windows being covered by green paint, she didn’t realize it was Will, and she fired. Danny asked Cam to save her brother, while he was driving, until he understood that she was the one who had shot him. Now, with Cam’s help, the police have relocated the ambulance. Danny was lost.

9 ^ Why did Will kill Danny?

Desperate, believing that his brother was dead or about to die, and with the police surrounding him and without any support, the only thing left for Danny was to die, and the only thing he had to do was take down the person who helped foil his crimes. Danny planned to kill Cam and then immolate himself, but seeing that his brother was about to become a version of his father, Will – who was not yet dead – took his brother’s life, leaving Cam alive.

10 ^ What does the ending of Ambulance mean? What is the message of the film?

In the end, Danny apologizes to Will before he dies. The cops were willing to let Will die, but Cam, attending to her commitment to her patients, helped him up with the help of Mark, who also felt responsibility, as Will helped Zach. Finally, Cam gives him the part of the money for the treatment of Will’s daughter, and Will stays in the hospital, while Cam visits Lindsay, the girl she saved in the first scene of the film.

Danny apologizes to Will because he finally understood that it was his actions that brought him to that critical situation where they were both about to die. Cam understood that behind a criminal, there is always a story, a human face, and that a life is something much more complex than she believed. In the end Will is alive, but he will end up in prison, although with the satisfaction that his wife will be able to have money to pay for her daughter’s treatment.

But the most significant scene in the film is when Cam visits Lindsay. At the beginning of the film, Cam had declared that she could not be feeling affection, neither for the patients, nor for the colleagues, because they were just work. In the end, Cam realizes that the best way to heal is to let those bonds surface and emerge as naturally as they did with Will, and even with Danny, and if he could with them, why not with Lindsay or with Emt? ?

Even when we punish ourselves for not being perfect, that punishment does not have to be forever.

Questions? Annotations? More doubts? The comments section is open just below this post so feel free to use it. See you in the next installment of Ending Explained here at El Sabanero X.

Encanto | Ending Explained

Have you ever felt excluded from your family? Maybe you haven’t felt as smart, or as good-looking, or as classy, or as successful as the people around you? If so, how did that make you feel? What did you do about it?

These were the questions directors Byron Howard ( Bolt, Tangled, Zootopia ) and Jared Bush ( Zootopia, Moana ) kept in mind to bring Encanto to the big screen. Encanto is Disney’s 60th animated film, and also Disney’s first animated film that takes place entirely in South America, in my beautiful country, Colombia.

Now, if in the middle of the wax palms, the arepas, the buñuelos, the nice coffee, the magic candles, the terrifying visions, and the secrets of the past, you have been left with doubts, or questions about the film, do not worry, because now, and without further ado, we’ll talk about Encanto in deep, and we will figure out what the ending means.

Let’s go for it!

1 | Where does Encanto’s magic come from?

Encanto’s magic stems from a miracle that occurred after Alma Madrigal (María Cecilia Botero) witnessed the murder of her husband Pedro, the father of her triplets. Alma was so deeply affected that she wished from the bottom of her heart, to separate herself and her children from such violence.

Her plea caused the surrounding mountains to close around the spot, preventing the passage to and from that place. The magic was channeled into a candle with the figure of a butterfly, which always remained lit, but the big question that remains is: who listened to Alma? Who caused the miracle? The answer is in the house.

When Mirabel first saw the cracks in the house, she was able to see faint symbols on the clay tiles that fell from the ceiling. Then we see these symbols again in the mysterious cave of Bruno. These symbols come from an indigenous culture, so it can be assumed that it is a local deity, which due to the geographical location of El Encanto, would necessarily have to be a Quimbaya deity, a pre-Columbian culture whose spirituality is associated with harmony and nature.

And although the candle that never goes out is the bridge between the deity and the Madrigal, the most interesting thing is not the candle, it is the house. La Casita.

2 | What really is the Casita in Encanto?

Disney usually animates things like teapots, candles, chairs, and even volcanoes, giving them life, giving little or no explanation about it. Or have you ever asked why the cups in Beauty and the Beast could speak?

However, in Encanto the matter of the house, la Casita, is very interesting. Although at first glance it seems to be simply an effect of the always-lit candle, what really seems to happen is that while the candle serves as a bridge, it is the house that is the origin of all magic and therefore, it is the physical manifestation of the spirit who heard Alma’s plea.

This spirit, to stay on this plane requires harmony.

3 | Why was the House cracking? Why was the Encanto dying out?

Whatever the source of the magic, it requires that there be harmony around it in order to manifest itself, however, as it became clear that the Madrigals were the only ones touched by this power, Abuela Alma began to assume that her responsibility, and that of his family was to maintain this magic, even at the cost of sacrificing the wishes and desires of each one of them.

Alma saw this guardianship as a privilege, a privilege that comes from the sacrifice of living exclusively to serve her community. But the truth is that magic, more than sacrifice, demanded harmony from them, which was destroyed by Abuela’s demands.

4 | Could the people in El Encanto get out of there?

The darkest thing about this story, and what is barely talked about in the film, is that – as Bruno said – once inside El Encanto it was impossible to leave. All the inhabitants of El Encanto are those who fled along with Pedro and Alma and their descendants. Very similar to the exodus of Jose Arcadio Buendía and Ursula Iguarán, which ended in the founding of Macondo, in One Hundred Years of Solitude.

However, one has to wonder if anyone was ever frustrated for that reason, and if that could be a cause for unsolvable conflict in the future. Would you feel good about living in Paradise, on the condition that you will never be able to leave?

5 | In what part of Colombia does Encanto take place?

Unquestionably in the Coffee Region. Or by extension, anywhere in the Colombian Central Mountain Range. Although there are many cultures and many ethnic groups in El Encanto, the type of vegetation, the climate and even the mountains are the same that can be seen in that area of ​​Colombia.

6 | And why are there people of all ethnicities in El Encanto?

If you have ever been in Colombia, you could notice there are Colombians from a wide range of ethnicities, thanks to the mix of the three main source groups: White (European), Black (African) and Native-American. So, it is easy to find within the same area people from these three ethnicities and everything in the mix. Also, every region in Colombia is unique in their cultural expressions. We can see not only different ethnicities in Encanto, but also different cultural expressions, like the culture of the Colombian Caribbean, or the Colombian Pacific, or the Colombian Andean Region. But why?

The Colombian coffee zone has always been full of people from all corners of Colombia, since the coffee harvesting process always requires a large number of employees. It would not be strange at all if among the people who fled the town under attack, there were people from all over Colombia, from the Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast, the Altiplano. It would then be like a Colombian microcosm where all the cultures of the country coexist, or at least those that were represented by the people who fled the town.

7 | Why wasn’t Mirabel gifted like the rest of the Madrigals?

Let’s speculate a little – the spirit that keeps El Encanto had to feel at some point that harmony was fading away, either because of the frustration of not being able to leave the town, or because of envy of the Madrigals, and that those negative feelings would eventually destroy everything. However, the isolation of the village was linked to the miracle of the candle – because that was Alma’s wish. The only way to avoid the total destruction of the town was to change the original miracle, and let a new one began to shine. For this, the harmony within the Madrigal had to be altered and what better way to alter a family than the appearance of someone different within them? That’s where Mirabel comes in.

By not giving gifts to Maribel, this spirit simply planted the seed that would lead to chaos, which Bruno managed to see in his visions.

8 | Why did Bruno hide from his family?

Because he wanted to protect Mirabel from her grandmother’s rigidity, especially from her obsession with preserving magic at the cost of the happiness of her family members. If Alma had known from the start that Mirabel was connected to the destruction of magic, she would probably have banished her from El Encanto, fracturing the family forever.

Bruno did not want to reveal how little he had seen in his vision of the future, so he simply left, although he did not get very far high in the mountains. And finally he hid in the hidden part of his own house.

9 | What is the message of the movie Encanto?

The most important message of Encanto is to recognize each member of our family as valuable; Many times we tend to minimize people close to us, because they are not so outgoing, or so smart, or so attractive, or so elegant, or so successful, or simply because they are the so-called Black Sheep. But not because something is different, it means that it has to be minimized, much less destroyed. It is definitely a call to be unconditional in the fact of loving our family.

Likewise, there is a hidden message in the film. Abuela Alma represents the past trauma of violence, and above all the fear of suffering such violence again. That trauma and that fear generated that the new generations had to pay with their happiness for the Abuela’s need to feel safe. What Mirabel represents is a new way of seeing the world, a new perspective on how to heal and maintain magic.

Perhaps, those of us who experience violence in Colombia or anywhere in the world are afraid of returning to that darkness that for so many years gripped our people, and that is why we tend to be rigid and strict, but perhaps it is good, perhaps not to change from one day to the next, but to give the opportunity for other perspectives, other points of view to appear and propose new ways of healing.

What better way to take advantage of the ideas and experience of others close to us, to begin to heal?

Questions? Annotations? More doubts? The comments section is open just below this post so feel free to use it. See you in the next installment of Ending Explained here at El Sabanero X.

Awake: Netflix Original ^ Ending Explained

What would happen to us, the humankind, if we suddenly lost our ability to sleep? With that simple question, director Mark Raso (Kodachrome, Copenhagen) establish Awake, the most recent Netflix bet on apocalyptical thrillers on the vibe of Bird Box or The Silence.

Now, if in the midst of the chaos, the military, family conflicts, and sleep disorders, you have been left with some question, doubt or concern about the film, do not worry, because right now and without further ado we will jump to the Analysis and Explanation of… Awake (2021, so you don’t confuse this movie with the zillion other movies than share the same title).

1 ^ Does Awake (2021) have post-credits scenes?

Given the film’s somewhat ambiguous ending, maybe we might think the director was careful to include an explanatory scene after the credits, right? Well the truth is no. Awake: Disomnia has no post-credits scenes, so if you want to fully understand the film you need to gather all the clues we can find throughout its 96-minute run. And of course, keep reading this article.

2 ^ Why can’t people sleep in Awake?

The first seconds of the film show us a close-up of a starry night sky, without any clouds, a shot that appears in several later scenes, such as when Jill (Gina Rodriguez – Jane, The Virgin) realizes that Noah (Lucius Hoyos) is still awake, and then again the night Dodge (Shamier Anderson) takes the family to the hub where Murphy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is working on a cure.

These shots are an indication that the cause of the insomnia plague is in outer space. Murphy even points out to Jill that there is a theory that it is solar radiation that created the disorder. Human beings are biochemical machines that run on fuel (oxygen) and that communicate all its parts through electricity and fluid movement. Electricity in humans is so essential that when the body loses the elements that transmit it, such as potassium, lethal pathologies can easily emerge.

Now, the fact that the radiation comes from space does not necessarily mean that it is accidental. For this I have two theories: the first, that what we saw in the film is the first phase of an alien invasion that used a weapon as simple and simple as an electromagnetic pulse that melted at the same time human technology and its ability to sleep. And the second, that it is a weapon, which was used to deprive the people in a specific region of the world of their ability to sleep. The question remains whether the effect is global, or simply limited to the United States. If there is a sequel to this movie, maybe we can have an answer or two about these issues.

3 ^ Why does Noah hate Jill?

To understand why Noah hates Jill so much, we must collect the clues of how that family was formed. According to Jill, she became pregnant with Noah, as a teenager, she and Noah’s father did marry, but because they were financially limited, they both enlisted in the military.

In her time in what appears to be serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, Jill worked with Murphy in interrogation of prisoners, while her husband died in service. These traumatic events generated post-traumatic stress (PTSD) in Jill, to the point that she could only sleep using pills. The problem is that she later became addicted to these pills, and most likely she was caught stealing these highly regulated medicines at work, so the judge ruled that Noah and Matilda (Ariana Greenblatt) should remain under the tutelage of Doris (Frances Fisher).

The reason Noah hates Jill, or at least doesn’t like her very much, is that he blames her for leaving them alone when they needed her most, just when they had lost their father.

4 ^ What happens to the human body if we cannot sleep?

According to the Everyday Health portal, the damage suffered by the human body when it is deprived of sleep is gradual:

24 hours without sleep: The body reaches a level similar to that of a 0.10 alcohol intoxication. Judgment is clouded, there are memory issues, impaired decision-making ability, and loss of coordination between sight and extremities. There is emotional susceptibility, loss of attention and hearing, which increases the risk of dying in an accident.

36 hours without sleep : The symptoms listed above worsen, and markers of inflammation begin to appear throughout the body, which affects the cardiovascular system, and the endocrine system, so that the normal functioning of the organs begins to be affected .

48 hours without sleep: This is where there are differences with the film. When the human body is exposed to 48 without sleep it begins to fall into microsleep, this causes the brain to shut down momentarily trying to find a balance. However, in the film the micro-dreams do not appear so all the aforementioned symptoms worsen, including an exponential increase in disorientation.

72 hours without sleep: Multisystem failure begins to affect the brain, to the point where hallucinations begin to appear.

96 hours without sleep : catastrophic failure of all body functions, heart failure, irreversible multi-system damage. Death.

5 ^ What exactly is the sleep disorder in Awake?

Now, as we saw, the sleep disorder that we see in the film is not exactly like the one that is documented in any health portal you might find. The electromagnetic radiation that causes this disorder keeps the brain constantly on alert, and only shuts down when the individual dies. That is why there are no states of unconsciousness, even when someone is seriously injured.

When someone receives a traumatic injury or loss of blood, or a strong emotion, in general, loss of consciousness occurs in response to a loss of pressure in the pumping of blood that causes the brain to shut down as a preventive measure against a decrease in blood pressure. With a more limited flow of oxygen to the brain, it tries to keep online the functions we do not control such as breathing, the endocrine system, and so on.

But in the film, the brain cannot turn off momentarily and perhaps that is why the other symptoms worsen brutally, because the brain perhaps begins to turn off other areas in order to keep the individual awake.

6 ^ What is the cure for sleep disorder in Awake?

As we suspected at the beginning of the film, and then confirmed at the very end, the way in which the malfunction of the brain can be reversed is to momentarily stop vital functions, and reactivate them again. Matilda did indeed stop breathing for a minute, before the cops brought her back. Noah stopped breathing when in the middle of his disorientation he hooked up to a bare electrical current wire and was then brought back with a defibrillator.

The woman they had in the military installations stated that it was not the first time and she must have been dead, so it is inferred that at some point after the electromagnetic pulse she suffered a cardiac arrest and then was brought back.

7 ^ Why does the disorder seem to affect some faster than others?

Throughout the film we see how while a few hours after the event, many people already showed considerable signs of deterioration, Jill, and her family, and then Dodge showed a relatively stable state. Why?

In Noah’s case, the ultimate key factor is age. A teenager’s body is much more resistant to the effects of sleep deprivation than an adult. In Dodge’s case, he claims that he generally slept only two to three hours a night, so his body is used to some loss of sleep. And in the case of Jill, who suffered for a long time from sleep disorders, her body also has some adaptation to those symptoms.

8 ^ What does the final scene of Awake mean? Is Jill alive or is she dead?

In the end, after Matilda realizes the connection that exists between the momentary deaths of her and her brother, with their ability to sleep, they decide that to save Jill, they must do the same, literally kill her and then bring her back to life.

The movie is deliberately ambiguous in this regard, and we only hear a gasp at the end before the screen goes dark. Does this mean that Jill is alive? The answer is yes. In fact, this scene is very similar to the scene where the car falls into a lake at the beginning of the movie, and in both, Jill ends up taking a deep breath. Which implies that – these scenes being a reflection of the other – Jill did indeed survive.

Now, just like Noah, Jill needs a long break to start normalizing her bodily functions assuming some of them have not been irreversible.

9 ^ What is Awake’s message?

The premise of the film is to ask ourselves if we would put someone we love at risk for the sake of many more people. Many of us would not hesitate for a second to hand over a stranger if doing that could save millions of lives, but we would not think the same if it were a son, a daughter, or a brother, or our mother who was at risk.

Jill decides very early in the film that she is not going to put her daughter at risk, even if it means that she has no idea how to cure the disorder, she simply makes the trip to the facility hoping to free the sleeping woman, and that together with Matilda they can start a new life in that new world, in fact everything Jill teaches Matilda is with that goal in mind. Jill never thought of putting her daughter at risk.

However, Noah and Dodge did think that way, they both believe that Matilda can help them and the others to sleep, which is their only way out of almost certain death. And to avoid a mass extinction event.

What would you have done instead of Jill or Noah? I will read your answer in the comments.

Questions? Annotations? More doubts? The comments section is open just below this post so feel free to use it. See you in the next installment of Ending Explained here at El Sabanero X.

Outside the Wire | Movie Explained

Directed by Mikael Håfström (Rite , Escape Plan) and starring Anthony Mackie, and the rather unknown Damson Idris (Black Mirror) – Outside the Wire mixes some science fiction, with war genre and a good dose of technological suspense.

Now, if in the midst of futuristic border conflicts, state-of-the-art robots and the characters betrayals and ulterior motives you are still wondering what was going on, do not worry. It is time for Outside the Wire: Explained.

1 | Where and when do the events of the film take place?

Outside the Wire takes place in 2036, in the midst of a conflict in Eastern Europe involving Russia, Ukraine, and of course the United States.

2 | What is the war in the movie all about?

In the context of the film, a group of Ukrainian fanatics called the Krasnys aim to integrate Ukraine with Russia, as in the old days of the Soviet Union. Of course, a good part of the Ukrainians does not agree with such an idea, and they have formed a resistance.

The war between the Krasnys and the resistance has been intervened by the UN, trying to mediate with the creation of a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), but the UN left, and the only actor that remained there supposedly on a peace mission was the United States.

Now, something important to note here is that the Krasnys are supported by Russia, and the Resistance, while taking advantage of the help provided by the United States, believes that this presence prevents them from reaching some kind of agreement with the Krasnys. Hence, peace.

3 | Who is Viktor Koval and what is his goal?

Viktor Koval (Pilou Asbæk) is the leader of the Krasnys and his goal is to gain access to Perimeter, a Russian defense system that literally was built to launch a massive nuclear attack against any hostile country to the Soviet Union.

Koval does not really want to join Russia, but to become a nuclear power himself and revive the Soviet Union but under its command.

4 | What is really Leo?

Leo is a state-of-the-art android, capable of having emotions and empathy for human beings, so within his programming he is allowed to feel pain. In 2036 the idea of ​​having robotic soldiers is already a reality with the inclusion in war tasks of the so-called Gumps, rather elemental robots, but with Leo a gigantic leap is taken, since it allows to have a machine with a high level of resistance and strength, capable of generating strategies at quantum speed.

5 | What is Leo’s plan? Why did he bring Harp to work with him?

Within his first-rate analysis, Leo realized that his very existence, that of a prototype of a robotic super soldier, would make the United States, once again, an unparalleled military power, which would make other countries, such as Russia, very nervous to the point to do anything to keep up, as they did with the Atomic Bomb, and thus generate – again – tensions and satellite wars, in the style of the Cold War, with the burden of dead, displaced and orphans that this entails.

In order to force the United States to leave the program, it occurs to Leo that he becomes a threat, but he knows he needs someone who plays the hero to his villain façade. Leo manages to convince Harp that he wants the Perimeter nuclear codes to exterminate the United States and thus prevent it from continuing to intervene in conflicts, which instead of ending, seem to drag on indefinitely.

But Harp calculates very well what Harp is going to do, and really wants the boy to stop him just in time.

7 | What does the end of the Risk Zone mean? What is the message of the movie?

The entire film is Harp’s journey to understand that what he understands as collateral damage, that is casualties from some perspective, necessary to achieve a greater good, have a face and a story, and are not simply numbers used to compare.

In this sense, the film confronts – like many, many other films – the conflict between utilitarianism and the deontological moral approach, in which acts are judged on their moral value, and not on their numerical impact.

In the end, when Harp walks back into his life, he no longer does so as the cold arrogant drone driver, but as a man who understands the meaning of a life, and how everything possible should be done to save it.

Questions? Annotations? More doubts? The comments section is open just below this post so feel free to use it. See you in the next installment of Ending Explained here at El Sabanero X.

i’m thinking of ending things ^ Ending Explained

Directed by Charlie Kaufman, the mind behind the 2004 hit Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Do you remember that one? Starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet?), I’m thinking of ending things is another magnificent puzzle that deserves to be seen on more than one occasion. And maybe then, we can see the big picture.

And yes, I get it, this is a world where the trend in cinema (and almost everything else) is to go easy, the not-so-challenging (look at the numbers on the box office of Fast and Furious , and the Marvel Cinematic Universe ), and a film like this implies a challenge, since it tests the viewer to analyze a myriad of details strategically placed by the director to understand them.

But don’t worry, because if after watching the 134 minutes of this movie, you still have no idea what exactly happened on screen, and especially what the ending of this movie really means, don’t worry, because then and without further ado, we open the analysis and explanation of  I’m thinking of ending things .

What the heck is going on in «i’m thinking about ending things»?

Let’s not beat around the bush and get straight to the point. At the beginning of the film we see two segments, which apparently have nothing to do with each other:

  1. The story of «Lucy» (we’ll get back to that soon) and Jake. The couple is on their way to visit the big man’s parents.
  2. Scenes of a school janitor, which seem rather random.

The janitor scenes are real, Lucy and Jake’s story is primarily a hallucination of the school janitor.

Why would the janitor have such a hallucination?

A mix of two pretty serious factors, by the way:

  1. The janitor suffers from a condition called Lewy Body Dementia, a neurodegenerative disease that includes symptoms that we saw in the scenes where the old man appears: tremors, stiffness, slowness; and also the appearance of quite vivid hallucinations that include not only the sense of sight and hearing, but also of taste, touch and smell. In other words, someone with this condition can have a rich sensory experience, without distinguishing it from reality.
  2. The janitor was left in his truck, in the middle of a snowstorm, in freezing temperatures, and therefore is suffering from severe hypothermia. This type of hypothermia -which we could see because the old man took off his clothes- aggravated the preexisting mental condition, and caused the possible mental defenses to fall completely, causing the hallucination that we saw in the form of the story of Jake and Lucy.

And how do I know that the janitor suffered from Lewy Body Dementia?

Well, it is one of the details that you have to pay close attention to. When the hallucination begins to crumble (evidently the janitor is dying), Jake’s father appears elderly and informs Lucy that he cannot remember many things, and that she has to label the rooms and objects in his house, to remember them.

Lucy asks him if he suffers from Alzheimer’s, but the old man confirms that it is not about that, but about Lewy Body Dementia, evidently it is a reflection of the condition the janitor suffers from.

Who really is Lucy?

The key is in the conversation over dinner. Lucy tells Jake’s parents that they met on a trivia night, where Jake was playing games and somehow they started talking and then she gave him her phone number.

But, here comes the glitch in the Matrix, or well, a mistake in the hallucination. First of all we see that Lucy completely changes her mood when she tells the story. Then we see that the story changes, first she says that she started talking to Jake when she asked her for the name of her trivia team (Brezhnev’s eyebrows). Then she says that they had not spoken, but only exchanged glances, which causes commotion at the table.

This is obviously an invention of the Janitor’s mind. The Janitor surely saw a woman with Lucy’s face once one trivia night, but they never exchanged a word, and even her name is made up, that’s why we see the girl sometimes called Lucy, other times Louise, other times Louisa , and even Ames. Those are the names of some women whom the Janitor felt afection to, or even loved, but up to there.

Also consistently inconsistent is the fact that Lucy changes occupation almost every scene, being a physicist, a poet, a film critic, and even a waitress.

In conclusion: Lucy is the version of the ideal woman that the sick and dying mind of the Janitor created from all the women who were important in his life, and that works as the way to externalize his own misery.

So Jake is the Janitor?

Indeed Jake is the most faithful representation of the Janitor, when he was young. In one of the dialogues, Jake affirms that being young is the ideal version of each person, and that is why his mind decides to see himself that way, in his best years of youth. And we can say that the Janitor’s name is indeed Jake.

But all the characters in the hallucination correspond to a part of the experience, or of the Janitor’s personality.

Who really is the Janitor?

According to the pieces that we can rescue from both the hallucination and the real scenes of the Janitor, we can assume the following about Jake:

  1. He grew up on a farm, along with his parents, who must have provided him with some kind of comfort, but who were also quite weird and even violent.
  2. He was an only child, and over time he had to take care of his parents, as they aged, feeding them and watching them die.
  3. He never left his parents’ farm, where he lived until his death.
  4. He was quite literate, consuming books, and especially a lot of popular culture, cinema and theater, especially musicals.
  5. He also had to read a lot about other subjects, such as physics, and science in general.
  6. Being tied to his parents and to his farm, he was never able to develop strong enough emotional ties to be independent, and therefore did not have the motivation to grow professionally, despite being very intelligent.
  7. When he wanted to find someone to share his life with, his previous lifestyle, he simply made it impossible, until he ended up alone on his parents’ farm, with a job as a Janitor and with a serious mental illness.

What does the end of «i’m thinking of ending things» mean?

The end of the film, involves the conflict in Jake’s mind, between dying peacefully in a hallucination that gives him some peace (at least he is not alone, he is with Lucy), and his survival instinct that tells him he has to do something, and that he should not let himself die locked in his truck in the middle of the snow.

This conflict is observed in the dance scene, Jake is dancing with Lucy, enjoying his moment of happiness, but his survival instinct (the policeman) tries to force him to come out of the hallucination and fight. But in the end, Jake ends up accepting his death, thinks of the end as his only way out, and achieves it in one last act in which he receives all the applause he never received in life, for the achievements he never had.

What is the message of the movie?

Message? Well, rather, messages … the film refers to various written and audiovisual works that indicate Jake’s reflections, which incidentally invite us to reflect as spectators.

  1. Ralph Albert Blakelock’s paintings : in which the expression of trauma through painting is discussed. A very well posed metaphor, since the film itself is a deep and artistic expression of a monstrous trauma such as living a lifetime in complete solitude and without having achieved any of your dreams.
  2. A woman under the influence : Oscar-winning film directed by John Cassavetes and starring Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk. The film here implies the extent to which the labels and expectations of society towards its individuals generate in them the aforementioned traumas. In the film, a woman suffers the consequences of fitting in with the labels of being a good mother and a good wife. Labels can also be negative, and the worst part is that it is usually much easier to fit in a negative label than to try to reach a positive one.
  3. Ice by Anna Kavan: A novel in which after an apocalypse, which covers the earth in ice, a man tries to get the attention of a woman. This is a reference to the very build of Jake, a man nearing the end, and trying to achieve a little happiness with an invention of his own mind.
  4. Rotten Perfect Mouth by Eva HD: A book by a Canadian poet, in which she tells with an open heart, the emotional traumas she has been through.
  5. Something Supposedly Funny I’ll Never Do Again , by David Foster Wallace: Where he recounts the experiences on a pleasure cruise, and how the very structure of the cruise, where his needs are met at every level, drives him to despair. This work is in tune with the following book.
  6. Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord: It is a book that very openly analyzes how society was transformed by its representation in the mass media. Basically the author indicates that the media have created an artificial template for life that we, the new generations, try to emulate, considering the achievements on screens as the quintessence of our existence. Here, and in conjunction with the previous book, Jake, a fan of musicals and cinema, tries to reach the pinnacle of existence imparted by the mass media: a perfect girl who shares his same mental scheme, tastes and who also finds him physically desirable. Never able to come up with such a panacea, he goes into despair (like Wallace on the Cruise Ship) and ends up completely alone.
  7. Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Frank Loesser: It is a song originally intended to tell people that it was time to leave the bars, back in the 1940s (the movie perhaps incorrectly indicates that the song was written in 1936). It is a conversation between a girl and a boy, the boy wants to go with her, she claims that she has other things to do. Feminism has found the song an apology for rape, for including references to giving the girl alcohol to have sex with her. It’s an interesting inclusion because it implies that Jake has also faced the clash between her prevalent mindset in her youth (homosexuality is a disease, women should stay home), with the new awakening. And like, maybe, because of that, another layer of alignment was added against him. He is not only an old man,sick and without achievements, but on top of an old man who does not understand current times, and nobody is willing to guide him, either.

What can we learn from this movie?

We all have dreams and aspirations, but this movie forces us to wonder how proper and appropriate those dreams are. Some have dreams associated with the pattern imposed by society: marrying, having children, going into debt to have a house, a car, perhaps a farm, perhaps a business. Others have dreams associated with what the media impose: A hot body, being sexually active, finding someone who is a perfect fit for you, and living a romantic and intense love at the same time. There are also other templates, the good son who cares for his parents until they die, or that of conformism, out of fear or lack of motivation to go as far as possible.

The film invites us to reflect on what it is that will make us at the end of our days really happy with our decisions. It invites us to think that perhaps by thinking too much of others, we end up destroying ourselves. It invites us to double think on establishing life patterns as models to achieve, without really thinking about what makes us happy. It invites us to be careful with our decisions.

But even more importantly, it invites us that in the process of knowing ourselves, and seeking our happiness, we do not just dismiss others, simply because they are not precisely what we are looking for.

Questions? Annotations? More doubts? The comments section is open just below this post so feel free to use it. See you in the next installment of Ending Explained here at El Sabanero X.