Your thoughts on the ending
An American here. I saw this film when I was a teenager—I really identified with Billy, and was heartbroken when he didn’t go on the train.
I still love this movie, but I have a question about that ending. I can see it in more than one way.
One is that Billy is finally facing up to reality—he knows he isn’t going to write scripts in London, and that—just as his mother said—his troubles will go in the suitcase with him. And certainly he is leaving town at a bad moment—he’s left his tearful mother at the hospital, where his grandmother has just died. His yelling at his grandmother earlier in the day may have even contributed to her death. So he must be feeling degrees of guilt, and this, I would assume, is a factor in his ambivalence as he stands holding the two milk cartons at the train station.
On the other hand, when Billy is walking home at the end, he is back to dreaming of being in Ambrosia, and this hardly smacks of his turning toward reality—although I could perhaps see it as, “I’m going to face up to my responsibilities, but in doing so I’m not going to give up my dreams.”
However, there is yet another interpretation—that it isn’t guilt that keeps Billy off the train, but that he’s so much of a dreamer that he can’t even face up to escaping with Liz—and that his walk down the street shows him withdrawing even deeper into himself. This is rather a depressing interpretation, the one I like the least.