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Flashback Movie Explained: Was Cindy Williams a Real Person, Is Cindy Alive or Dead?

Christopher MacBride’s Flashback, also known as The Education of Fredrick Fitzell, is a 2020 Canadian mystery thriller film written and directed by him. Dylan O’Brien, Hannah Gross, and Maika Monroe star in the film. The film had its world premiere at the Sitges Film Festival in 2020.


Fred is played by Dylan O’Brien.
Emory Cohen as Sebastian and Hannah Gross as Karen
Andre is played by Keir Gilchrist.
Cindy is played by Maika Monroe.
Mrs. Fitzell is played by Liisa Repo-Martell.
Evelyn is played by Amanda Brugel.
Mr. MacDonald is played by Alan C. Peterson.
As a pierced man, Aaron Poole
Maika Harper as a woman with tattoos
Ian Matthews plays a horned character.

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What Happened when Flashback Ended?

flashback movie explained

Fred is planning two major events. His final exam is coming up as a teen, and he has a significant presence as an adult. He makes a scene and then flips out during both. It everything comes together, and he goes back in time to before both incidents occurred.

He then goes back to the party where Cindy (Maika Monroe) went missing. This time, he chooses to follow her, and we see him flashback to other times when he chose not to.

Following that, we see many variations of Cindy and Fred’s reality. Many of them are happy experiencing the world together. They’re junkies living in the party, bum house from the party where Cindy vanished in the current one. One of the building’s tenants informs Fred that they’re running low on Merc, so he goes dumpster diving in the hopes of finding anything to sell or more Merc.

He returns to Cindy and presents her with the necklace he discovered in the rubbish. It bears a symbol he noticed on her back in one of his alternate realms. He then drops and fractures it by accident. This brings back a childhood memory of him destroying his mother’s figurines.

Fred pays a visit to his ailing mother in the hospital (Liisa Repo-Martell). He realizes she’s the mouth he’s been painting as she tries to communicate with him. He used to equate it with a monster, but he recalls her just yelling at him as a baby to protect him from harm.

She then addresses him by name, demonstrating that she recognizes him. Fred recalls his experience of the party with Cindy, and the two have a touching moment. He tells her that he had to quit chasing her this time. She says she understands, and he now takes a different path every time he follows her.

As a result, he meets his girlfriend Karen (Hannah Gross), becomes pregnant, finds work, and excels at his presentation. Fred is in the hospital with his mother in the closing scene. We watch scenes rush back and forth from when she held him as a child to him crawling in her arms one last time as she passes away.

Cindy Williams: Who Was She?

Cindy Williams was Fred’s college roommate. He was either in love with her or fascinated by her, but he never actually admitted it. In the film, Cindy and Fred used to take Mercury as a recreational drug (similar to ecstasy or DMT).

Cindy never showed up for her final exam, according to his old professor, and abruptly vanished. She never returned after that and did not graduate. Although the professor speculated that she may have died as a result of her drug addiction, Fred is preoccupied with locating her in the present.

Outside of Mercury’s influence, Fred never spoke to Cindy. He even emphasized this in the terrace scene with his comments. Cindy’s proclivity for recreational drugs was revealed during the conversation. She desired to travel the world and become more aware of her surroundings (one of the drug’s side effects).

According to her, humans are imprisoned, lusting after their worldly aspirations, and unable to recognize that they are victims of their own greed—in other words, a philosophical free thinker character.

The plot of Flashback Film

flashback movie explained

The flashback film follows Fred, a successful businessman with a girlfriend named Karen and a pastime. His dying mother, who is on her last breath, is the source of his misery right now, and the thoughts that plague him.

A police officer chastises Fred while he is driving back on a one-way road, frustrated by the impending loss of his mother. He sees a scarred man, which causes him to have flashbacks of his childhood.

Those recollections bring up his childhood infatuation with Cindy, who vanished while they were both in high school and was never discovered. He returns to his old school with his friends to look for Cindy, his long-lost crush.

Mercury medications are reintroduced to him. When Fred wakes up to reality, we see Fred and his buddies endure a near-death experience. Later, he discovers that the scar-faced man in school was the drug dealer kid.

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