explain the ending


At the end of the movie, did he have a real Wave or it's just the immagination of David, because he become insane???

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Hmmmm.... it's ambiguous for sure...

Arguably budgetary/technical limitations forced their hand in leaving it open to interpretation.

My favourite special effect in the film is the one where Burton is in the car and he envisions a world submerged.

Simplistic but well executed.

Of course, that was an hallucination so perhaps the ending is, too?

The overflowing bath at the start seemed a little hackneyed to me at first but then I thought about it and thought maybe it was supposed to represent an omen or portent of doom rather than just a cinematic first 20 min teaser.

I suppose, in answer to your Q, it depends on how much you believe in tribal customs over westernized ways?!

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Remember that Chamberlain's character could in advance of what was to happen (as his reverend father revealed to him). Therefore, at the end, he sees the last wave coming, and this confirms that what he did in the cave has done nothing to prevent its onslaught.

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i thought it was for real...

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I just saw it again for maybe the dozenth time. I'm not sure if the wave at the end is real or not, but I figured it didn't quite matter. The visions he's been having throughout the film have been getting to be more and more detailed and the suggestion of "one month" of lead time was made by the conversation with his father about the dreams he'd had before his mother died. Even if the wave is not real (I kinda think it is and he's looking at the actual wave coming in, hence the shadow that's falling on him in the last minutes), it's coming very shortly at that point.

And yes, I as a bit of a thicko and it just didn't occur to me to make the connection that what'd he'd done hadn't prevented it. Though I'm not sure if there was anything he would have been able to do in any case: as m'kuru(sp??), it seemed like his position was more the transmitter of prophecy and as a bellwether of the change and not actually able to prevent it.

Mighty profound for pre-coffee. :)

Yours truly,

John Hedtke
Author/Consultant/Freelance Writer
www.hedtke.com

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There may be more than a bit of Don't Look Now in this film. In DLN, the main character is a psychic who doesn't believe in ESP and therefore doesn't know what to make of his visions. In fact, he confuses what he is seeing with something else. So when his time comes, it's too late.



There, daddy, do I get a gold star?

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Very good point, Gnolti. Yes, I agree with this: Richard Chamberlain's character has been brought up to disbelieve all of this stuff and it was clear he'd completely suppressed all memory of it when it happened with his mother. So even if there was something he might've done--again, I think not from the passing description to m'kuru (sp?) appearing at the end of a cycle--he wasn't prepared to do the right things. His trip through the Underworld and the removal of the mask were only signs that he'd stripped away his previous existence and had arrived at the beach reborn and innocent of his past life. He could now know himself for what he was without anything cluttering his perceptions, but not necessarily that he also knew how to prevent things from happening.

W/r/t DLN: My former g/f was in Venice at one point with a friend of hers and it was night and they were walking along some deserted lane (of which there are MANY in Venice) and the friend leaned over and said "Doesn't this feel like something out of "Don't Look Now?" " My former g/f was ~NOT~ amused by this. :) :) :)

Yours truly,

John Hedtke
Author/Consultant/Freelance Writer
www.hedtke.com

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judging from the shadow on his face it's a real wave, but it looks like maybe a 6 footer at worst - the people of Sydney can rest easy

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Yes. It seems he was made a believer, in the worst possible way. I saw this twice, during it's theatrical run & loved it.

Carpe Noctem!

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No, he had another vision of the disaster that was to come.

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It looked to me like it was a vision he was having. Maybe that's a technical limitation, but I think it was important that the movie about premonitions ended with premonitions rather than an actual event.

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I agree with gnolti 100%! David Burton was losing it and the wave did the final damage to his mind.

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It is open to interpretation but I think he is having a vision of the wave that will inevitably come, but not the actual wave.

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I wonder if it really was the actual wave. I mean when he was at his house he experienced an earthquake kind of event. This could have been an effect of whatever caused the tsunami, it simply took a few hours for the tsunami to reach the coast. Sort of like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

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"It is open to interpretation but I think he is having a vision of the wave that will inevitably come, but not the actual wave."

Its impossible to say for sure, and it really doesn't matter. The wave's coming soon, whether "soon" translates into minutes or days, the difference is insignificant (other than for him personally, perhaps).

But there are one or two scenes towards the end that suggest seismic events, so I'm guessing he's really seeing the wave bearing down on Sydney...

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It is open to interpretation but I think he is having a vision of the wave that will inevitably come, but not the actual wave.

“There is no ending".
- Peter Weir

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I believe the wave was not real, as the tide had not receded enough for such a large tidal wave to begin approaching. A wave of such apocalyptic proportions as foresee in the prophecies would probably suck the tide in for many miles.

I believe, as others have theorized, the last wave was merely Burton accepting his fate as a mulkurul (or completely losing it?).

~ I'm a 21st century man and I don't wanna be here.

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the way i saw it was that his dreams manifested themselves in the real world

and he started slowly believing in the prophecy, so even if there was no wave coming at all, it would still happen all because he (day)dreamed that it would


pretty scary






so many movies, so little time

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Good answer! I hadn't thought of it that deeply, but that does make sense. That he is the one that creates this last wave.

As his father does mention that one month before his mother died he dreamed it. So his dreams became a reality and he caused her to die?

But what is the power of the wave? Is it going to destroy Sydney, Australia or the whole World?

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