A Sense of Reality in (Ir)resolution

The stylings of the end of the film show some forms of resolution and satisfaction, but I believe ultimately the viewer is left with a feeling that not everything is resolved. We see that characters who formerly laid out all their plans for life outside the island, such as Yellow Mary, Eula, and Eli have stayed behind. This decision is shown as a positive resolution, as these characters express the desire to stay on their own accord, and Nana is shown to be relieved by this. Whether or not it is because of the decision of some of her family to stay, her feelings for her family leaving have turned benevolent. She says as they leave “Morning will begin a new life for me and my children. They will carry my spirit. I would remain here with the old souls”. However even while this is displayed as a positive resolution, the viewer can still feel a sense of dissatisfaction as there is uncertainty for what lies for those who chose to stay. For example, we heard all of Yellow Mary’s plans for after she was to leave the island, but know nothing in depth of why she now wants to stay or what she has planned for her in this new and unexpected home. 

Even the last moments of this film are in contrast with the resolution that one might expect to feel at the end of a story. As Iona stands in the boat waiting to leave, she moves in an unsettled way and seems to know that she should run away to stay with St. Julian Last Child. As he rides by to meet her, the strong wind in the air is shown around Nana showing the sudden shift in plans. While this is another choice that is made by the character to stay on their own accord, a feeling of disconcertment is felt as she doesn’t say goodbye and leaves her mother upset and crying for her. 

The uncertainty of resolution at the end of this film makes the film feel more like a piece of real life rather than a set start and end story. It shows that often times change doesn’t feel wholly renewing and exciting, and there can always be conflict and a sense of loss about what is being left behind. The choice to show conflict in who is going and who is staying right up until the second they leave shows the uneasiness that persists in change.

1 thought on “A Sense of Reality in (Ir)resolution

  1. Hi Lauren,
    I agree with you saying that it felt like not everything was resolved at the end of the movie. For me this was especially the case with Eula and Eli. In the scene in the graveyard with Eli and Nana, it seemed like Eli was really desperate to get off the Island. He wanted a fresh start with his wife Eula after she was raped on the island. In the end though, I was very surprised when they stayed with Nana. I wish that we got to see a little bit more of how they decided to stay on the island opposed to leaving with the rest of the family. It seemed like them, out of anyone would have the biggest reason to leave. I would have liked to know who raped Eula and if their decision to stay on the island was just so that they could stay connected to there roots or if there was something else that made them stay.

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