(Warning: Spoilers ahead because, well, obviously.)
Have you ever been taken aback when credits roll out at the end of the film? “What? But what was that ending???”
And then you go home still thinking about it, trying so hard to make sense of the ending that you can’t even go to sleep!
But hey, that’s how good movies make a lasting impact.
Here are our top 5 picks for you to lose sleep on.
1. The Shining
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” says Jack as he slowly loses his sanity.
Jack is an aspiring writer who ends up becoming a caretaker of the Overlook Hotel during a cold winter with his wife and son. Possessing the supernatural ability to see into the hotel’s terrifying past, Jack slowly loses his mind and begins endangering his family.
At the end of the film, his wife and son manage to escape him while Jack was left lost in the snow. He is seen frozen to death.
However, the last shot of the film shows Jack in a photo with the rest of the hotel guests. Except that the year is 1980, and the photograph is dated 1920.
‘Birdman’ is an American black comedy-drama about Riggan Thomson, a washed-up Hollywood star best known for his role as the superhero ‘Birdman’.
We see his mental health decline as his ‘Birdman’ persona manifests himself as a separate personality, influencing him and his obsession with writing, starring and directing a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s short story.
His character commits suicide by shooting himself in the head, except Riggan wasn’t acting. The gun he picked up was real.
He wakes up in the hospital to find that his performance is heavily praised and that his daughter loves him again. To the audience’s surprise, he jumps out the window. His daughter, alarmed, rushes to the window only to look upwards and smile.
So, did he fly (kind of unlikely) or was he already dead the second he pulled the trigger?
3. Taxi Driver
Travis Bickle gets a job driving a taxi and, most likely due to his chronic insomnia, starts losing his mind.
He gets increasingly violent, despite his pure intentions in saving a child prostitute and gets himself involved in various dangerous predicaments. Near the end of the film, Travis is injured from a gunshot wound and lies still on the floor.
When he recovers, suddenly the whole tone of the film shifts. Travis is hailed as a hero. The father of the child he saved sends him a ‘thank you’ letter. He reconnects with the woman he fell in love with.
This severe positive change falls a little tone-deaf compared to the rest of the film, hinting that maybe, just maybe, the uplifting turn of events is just a ‘perfect life’ he dreams up for himself as lies dying.
What do you think? Or if you have any other theories, be sure to drop them in the comments below!
*Cover image via Mental Floss