Movie Endings to Make You Smile

Darling, I recently watched The Quiet Girl – a lovely film until the last 2 minutes in which the director gave up the ghost, retreating in disarray and defeat. So frustrating!

People, if you are going to be artistic, then you need to have a vision, manifest your vision and make sure your vision is complete. Finish your work , then let the people judge it as a comprehensive entity.

Watching the ending of such movies when directors throw up their hands bereft of ideas and  utterly vanquished is like a designer spending hours beading and draping a gown, then leaving the hem unfinished.

It’s like a chef simmering, basting, chopping, seasoning in a frenzy of preparation and, after carefully plating four courses, telling guests, “For desert, you can go root around in the fridge, I think there’s some Cool Whip and popsicles.”

It’s like an interior decorator carefully painting the walls, buying and arranging furniture, hanging pictures, fixing the lighting and leaving the floor as unpainted cement.

Did Michael Curtiz end with Bogart and Bacall on the tarmac, leaving us to imagine who got on the plane out of Casablanca?

For trust-worthy movies, stick with the Koreans. Value for money and clear endings. How we adored Memories of the Sword (2015). Amazing! Like watching the all the entire Oedipus cycle at one go, plus The End of the Affair. The only movie I could think of which incorporated the pain of an entire war as backdrop for the slow, long-term destruction of a group of people is Gone with the Wind (1939).

And Along with the Gods! Such scenes! Such trauma! Such unexpected twists. We love how part 2 throws in a scene with dinosaurs, just because they can. Who doesn’t love a nice Mosasaurs?

Even one like Decision to Leave (2022), with all sorts of confusion and unexplained plot points (not to mention those unclear motivations) has a strong, well-defined ending. Of course it will tear your heart out and leave you depressed for days, but the director didn’t make a hash of it. Park Chan-wook makes you miserable (unpleasant but acceptable), but not befuddled (comme c’est infâme).

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