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Sundown Movie Ending Explained: What a Devastating and Honest Investigation of the Challenges of Grief!

sundown movie ending explained

Michel Franco wrote and helmed the drama movie Sundown in 2021. Samuel Bottomley, Tim Roth, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Iazua Larios, Henry Goodman, Albertine Kotting McMillan, and others appear in it.

Following the passing of his mother, the main character (Roth) of the story tries to take a family vacation without them.

The movie had its global premiere on September 5, 2021, at the Venice Film Festival before being distributed in the US on January 28, 2022, via Bleecker Street. Overall, reviews for the movie were favorable.


Tim Roth and Charlotte Gainsbourg play siblings, Neil and Alice Bennett

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Box Office Collection:

The movie made $21,930 in its first weekend in six cinemas in the US and Canada and $113,607 the following weekend there.

The movie generated $21,173 in its third weekend after being released in 181 additional theaters and $1,040 (for an average of $5 per screen) in its fourth.

On April 14, 2022, the movie was made available to the public in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The local revenue was $80,006.

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Sundown Movie Ending Explained

Known for his work on After Lucia and New Order, writer-director Michel Franco (Sundown) offer a courageously frank perspective on loss, love, and the human condition. The drama explores difficult and occasionally heartbreaking topics regarding familial ties that muddle ideas of what we owe one another in the midst of disaster.

In a typically excellent performance, Tim Roth plays Neil, a British man on vacation with his sister Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her two kids in Acapulco. The four are shown in the beginning of the film relaxing on the beach and drinking booze at a lavish resort. Alice is focused on the urge to work during the brief time we have with her. The kids gently nudge Alice away from her phone and encourage her to play games and be more active.

Roth seems more present on the surface in certain ways. Emails and business calls, for instance, don’t appear to be on his radar. However, something is strange about him. He is apathetic and passive. While his body may be there, his mind is not.

The family quickly returns home after learning that Alice and Neil’s mother had passed away. Neil reveals he left his passport at the resort just as they are about to enter the airport and begin the customs process. They are instructed to continue without him. He’ll board the subsequent flight.

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But instead, Neil makes a reservation at a budget hotel close to the ocean. To remain in Mexico is his choice. Indefinitely. Very little of his logic or thinking is revealed in the film. He abruptly leaves, leaving questions that are never fully resolved. Only when we are feeling inclined may we infer.

Sundown captures the sounds of Acapulco, including the waves, the inaudible talk of beachgoers, and the clink of drinks. In contrast, Neil rarely speaks. While he drinks, relaxes and eats by the beach, we hear what the character is hearing.

It could be days or weeks. Eventually, Bernice, a neighborhood shopkeeper, captures Neil’s heart (Iazua Larios). They hardly ever converse. We also discover way too little about Bernice. In terms of sex as well as a more general desire for company, their relationship seems to be more physical than verbal.

Franco’s relationship with his audience is one of the film’s primary sources of conflict. The director is steadfast in his determination to offer scant or no context for Neil’s conduct. There isn’t a lengthy monologue.

For instance, Neil doesn’t let any internal conflict show on his face or in his speech. But he just keeps on living. He loses himself in the monotony of his new, in some ways easier, life in Acapulco. So, there is a dialogue between what we are thinking while watching and what we believe Neil is thinking when he is actually living.

Franco leads us nowhere as he leaves the spectator to consider Neil’s moral ambiguities. Because of Neil’s actions, we currently exist in moral limbo. Sometimes we find it hard to comprehend his self-centeredness. We also occasionally feel sympathy for his suffering and state of mind, questioning whether he isn’t free to mourn and live his life as he sees fit.

Roth’s acting treads this fine line with subtlety. Even throughout many of the slower parts, we never become bored while watching the movie, which allows us to feel a variety of emotions. Sundown can be humorous as long as Neil simply keeps drinking, sitting, having sex, and moving around. But the whole experience has a persistent sorrow.

More details about Neil’s life are revealed as time goes on. He has no other close relatives. His niece and nephew are very dear to him. He is also a co-heir to a sizeable fortune and the meatpacking company owned by his family. All of this adds complexity to Neil’s decision-making process.

His lesson provides a window into the ways in which and to whom society permits reflection and mourning. Neil’s actions are only possible for wealthy individuals. Few people can afford the time, space, and energy to think about and become their own minds. Such basic demands are rarely met in modern life.

For instance, Neil has a unique opportunity to express his own humanity in his own unique way because of his unrestricted access to riches. There is a part of us that yearns for this independence as well, even though we cannot ignore his greed.

Neil’s gender is apparent throughout the entire incident. It feels quite manly of him to simply turn around and do whatever he wants. He abandons his sister to take care of the enterprises and bury their mother by herself. Why would he just abandon him if he loved them so much? There is no simple solution. At the same time, his acts are heartbreakingly frustrating.

More tragedy occurs by the end of the film. Neil’s actions are only partially explained. However, it does not improve our mood. We are instead left debating the fundamental essence of time. How do we use the time we have left on Earth? Does anyone owe us their time? Is it truly our own, though?

Sundown makes it very evident that, depending on the individual and the situation, the answers to these questions may change. However, it is a universal truth that every decision has an effect, whether positive or negative. Regardless of our intentions, we shall stay with them for the remaining time we have left in this world.

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