That last shot...
He foresees it all.
"Look what you did to my shirt."
It's not even clear if he forsees anything at all. You don't know if he's psychic or he's going mad.
A wonderfully ambiguous ending!
Agreed. There is no reason to impose a "definitive" explanation for the final shot. Better to be left up for debate.
Keep in mind that Weir is the same guy who directed Picnic at Hanging Rock, which is as ambiguous as you can get.
This is not a psychotic episode. This is a cleansing moment of clarity.
the wave was all in his mind.share
I don't agree with that notion, that it's all in his mind. I think he's seeing it happen and knows there's nothing that can stop it. Inevitability is woven throughout this film, especially in his persistent visions of the world filled with water. Back when this originally aired on HBO, I must have watched it every time that it was on. Sadly, I did not have a VCR back then, so I had to go without this film for nearly three decades. Finally, it began showing up on IFC, and I finally have a copy; yet, here I am, tuning in late to watch it though, thanks to the time change, not as late as I thought.
Did anyone seeing "Deep Impact", with the scene of Tea Leoni and Maximilian Schell on the beach, think of this film as the huge wave came at them, sweeping them away? I think of this film whenever I see that, and I think of it the times I've gone through a car wash! How's THAT for having a movie on the brain?! Then, there are the rainstorm flashbacks.
I wish that HBO would run Aussie films the way it did back then, when I saw this and so many others, ranging from "Picnic at Hanging Rock" to "'Breaker' Morant", from "Walkabout" to "My Brilliant Career", from "Thirst" to "Patrick".
"Who are you? Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?"
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.
But we see the dark shadow that the wave is casting onto Burton's face. Also, throughout the film, the other prophecies that we eventually see depicted in the ancient cave art come to pass. The older Burton daughter, Sophie, also receives gnosis - she "sees" in some sense, Jesus and His angels. The name Sophie is derived from Sophia, which means the "personification of wisdom" in ancient Greek but Sophia is the female counterpart to Christ in Gnosticism. When Christ and Sophia are unified, harmony within the universe will commence.share
"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 are a lot of questions about the ending that's for sure. . .and I'll bet Peter Weir just loved the controversy. However, I believe that there may have been a wave, but at the end David was just about bonkers and his imagination took over. We never see the wave break, and in fact it doesn't even look like a real wave, but something a psycho might see in his imagination.share
It's not even clear if he forsees anything at all. You don't know if he's psychic or he's going mad.That's what I love about it. You can't tell if the visions have become real, or just too real to him that he can no longer tell the difference. Brilliant. share
A wonderfully ambiguous ending!
Probably the coolest final shot in film history. Gives me huge chills down my spine to this day.
"I've been living on toxic waste for years, and I'm fine. Just ask my other heads!"