MovieChat Forums > Man Facing Southeast (1986) Discussion > The ending ruined this movie (warning sp...

The ending ruined this movie (warning spoilers)


The movie starts out ok, and then it gets more and more interesting as the movie gets you through the patient´s mind, the atmosphere grasps you and doesn´t let you go; you start to wonder how can the story end... it was looking like a great movie, a classic, it was really close, so close...

Hour and a half into the movie, you start to suspect... wait a minute... what the *beep* is going on here?

And then it just... ends!, I actually almost cried and said: wait a minute... DID IT END LIKE THAT?? oh god I can´t believe it... I got a really dry feeling in my mouth; I don´t know, I was waiting for some clever twist, something that would surprise me and make me go WOW!; and it feels like the director just got bored and threw some ending together; I think this movie is a lot better than k-pax... except for the ending; K-Pax had a better ending IMHO...

This was almost one of the best movies I have ever seen; and then it all goes to waste in the last 15 minutes, what a shame.

reply

well that's the beauty of non-northamerican movies. for some reason, in north america, we want the concrete ending with all our questions answered. other movies, like MFSE, it leaves you to think for yourself: well... hmm... was it? who? WHY?

makes you think. thinking is good. in life, there are actually very few questions which can be answered fully. i love movies that just leave you hanging like that!

Against an army, you would have a hope of survival. Against me, you have none.

reply

And, of course, with all the speculation about whether he was an alien, a crazy person or something else, any concrete ending would have been totally unsatisfying.

reply

I was expecting this kind of ending since the comparison Christ-Rantés was made. Actually Dr. Denis says something like "The more he behaves like Jesus more likely he will end as him".

For me the 1st part of the movie is really good and promising, but the 2nd half is dull in comparison. One scene I found particularly ludicrous is the concert when suddenly he makes everybody to dance like possessed people as the orchestra is playing Beethoven. That scene reminded me "The Perfume" by Patrick Süskind.

I love Bioy Casares and Jorge Luis Borges and their collaborations under the pseudonym of "H. Bustos Domecq". But Eliseo Subiela is not in the same league as a "fantasy" writer.
Anyway as a filmmaker, Subiela's works seems quite original (And I say "seems" because I just have seen a couple of his films).

Usually argentine cinema is not my cup of tea but this movie, despite its flaws, IMO is the best argentine movie I've seen, just behind "Un lugar en el mundo" (although Aristarain insists it's an Uruguayan film) and "El hijo de la novia" by Juan José Campanella. And yes I've seen "La historia oficial", "Camila", "Tango", "Nueve reinas", etc.

7.5/10

reply

I prefer an ending like K-Pax(Seemsly a copy of this movie), more open!.

I didn't like the scenes of telekinesis(when randal move the things) it makes one think thats he really isn't from Earth, or is from Earth and has this gift? :S

reply

For me the ending works on several levels: the "individual vs. society" theme explored in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" et al, the inevitability that Rantes sees of his fate ("if I had appeared anywhere else and told anyone who I was, they would have sent me here"), and the tendency of humans to distrust and try to "fix" anything that does not fit a preconceived pattern. Psychiatry is a wonderful way of showing this unfortunate trait, but I don't think the film was intended as an indictment of psychiatry. After all, it is a psychiatrist who is able to view Rantes most objectively and appears to believe in him.

I know there is an intended Christ-Rantes parallel, but in so much of the film I see Rantes as a "Man Who Fell To Earth" figure, something greater than society who is destroyed by society. This changes rather abruptly with the ending, with the patients (the only ones who completely believed in Rantes) waiting, as do those who follow all prophets, for the next word which never comes.

We are left grateful for the fact that Rantes came to visit, but saddened and ashamed by his fate and the fact that no one seemingly could change it.

The film is full of references to Philip K. Dick, and Rantes himself can be seen as a Dick alter-ego. Phil Dick, after all, had a number of experiences which may have been psychological problems, or just might have been something more.

The last resort of one who cannot think is to argue that another cannot feel.

reply

I don't think that a happy ending is the only way to have a "non-ruined" ending...

Why do you need always a "clever twist"? I liked the film just as it is.

reply

It was a satisfying ending. Some questions are better left unanswered.

reply

I agree with the original poster.

And I knew that almost no one else would. The patterns of IMDb commenters are becoming more and more predictable, the more one stays in this crazy world. If it's a movie that's respected here, then it's sacred in its perfection, and beyond criticism, and its ending is perfect, no matter whether it's actually a good ending, an imaginative ending, a dull ending, a 'slapped something together for abrupt non-conclusion'-kind of ending.

It's because people said that this movie is better than the 'Spacey' movie (though his name fits the idea nicely), that I thought this movie would be BOLD, and actually have the courage to take a stand and blatantly and flat-out tell us, that yes, this man actually IS from outer space, but of course a quack is not going to believe it... until he is forced to.

Because this is supposed to be so much better, I expected this to also contradict the BS of the other movie, and instead of the vague, conformist, cliché "he could have been either way, YOU decide, because I am too lazy to create a full plot, so the audience has to co-create part of it"-ending, the wishy-washy Charlie Brown-type, politically-correct "let's not offend anyone" crap, there would be an ..

.. ACTUAL ENDING ..

that would show us him possibly taking the boy with him, and going to the field he spoke of, levitating into the spaceship, and just drifting away.

Of course after the shrink would have called the other quacks, to confirm, investigate, research and clarify as to whether his story checks out or not (he called Rantes a mystery, but he never lifted a finger to solve that mystery, what?).

I am also disappointed that this movie didn't feature that 'astronomy proof', and that the quack-shrink was allowed to just go on like he was just another case, slightly mysterious perhaps, but just another loon.

Now, what could be more depressing than that?

I fully expected the doctor to be FORCED to realize the truth. Now, he just goes on with his shink-ramblings, and his illusions and hallucinations are never broken. HE is never helped!

Helped to see the reality 'as-is' instead of 'as-indoctrinated'.

There was so much potential in the story and the movie, but half way, it becomes truly idiotic (what's with the pied piper Beethoven-scene?), and then loses its momentum before fizzling out without ever exploring the ideas it could have expanded into something glorious.

This movie is not that much better than the other - it's just different. This has telekinesis (but of course not, when the shrink-quack is present), the other movie has 'astrology proof'.

I'd rather watch 'Flight of the Navigator' again than see this movie ever again. At least there the 'space visitor' theme was clearly shown to be true (much better, interesting and fuller of possibilities than the dull, grey, imaginationless, narrow "mental patient" plot), and done in an entertaining and interesting way.

There are some other gripes as well.

Why did he go to a mental hospital and _NOT_ expect to be medicated? He said he knows all human procedures, but somehow, had NO PROTECTION against being injected?

Why did he say that all over the place, there are many Ranteses having the same exact conversation with head-shrinkers.. AT THE SAME EXACT TIME?

Is the cleaning-schedule that EXACT in mental hospitals, that the janitor would hit the box at the -exact- same time in all places at once? That's kind of hard to believe. Besides, how would he know, whether one hospital is slightly early or slightly late in that conversation? And if he can know, surely he would easily be able to describe things outside the hospital that he has no way of knowing about, that can be checked out, to prove his story.

If he can't feel, where did the rage come from?

Why does he stupidly say "doctor, doctor, why hast thou forsaken me", mimicing what Jesus is reported to have said about his Father? Does he think that the head-shrinker is GOD? What?

So he just .. (Oh, come on, do I really have to write "SPOILERS"?)... dies, and that's it?

What the heck kind of an ending is that? Where's the imagination? Where's the entertainment value? Where's the escapism?

These are the three things the Earth movies seem to avoid like AIDS. It's like they are forbidden qualities in movies. "No, we must be instead dull, boring and as mundane as possible, plus slightly horrible and scary".

Because, you know, that's ART.. that's the emperor's invisible, beautiful clothing that every ape praises.

The original poster is right, and he/she's the only one here, that's right. This movie had potential, and then got medicated, and became dull and mundane. Movies are not supposed to be dull and mundane, meaningless stories with crappy endings.

If I want that, I have my life.

reply