Apocalypse Now Ending Explained: The Horrifying Conclusion of The Movie

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apocalypse now ending explained

Before being assigned a highly special mission, Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), a burned-out special operations specialist, is going nuts in a Saigon hotel room.

To infiltrate the camp of highly decorated Green Beret Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who is acting violently outside of the jurisdiction of the Pentagon, he must cross the river into neighboring Cambodia. Willard’s task is to “very prejudiced” terminate Kurtz’s command.

Willard takes a ride aboard a U.S. Navy river patrol boat to get to his objective. He and the crew face more horrifying and hallucinatory events as they slowly make their way upriver, including a helicopter gunship raid on a VC-controlled settlement and a Playboy Playmates, dance performance deep in the forest.

Before the survivors reach Kurtz’s compound, Willard’s team gradually perishes as a result of the jungle’s dangers one by one. After the planned air raid on the location was called off, Willard dug far into his own well of evil to deal with the tortured, corrupted Colonel Kurtz. “Oh, my God, the terror!”

What About the Book that Inspired It?

Novelist Joseph Conrad created a fiction about Kurtz, a man who takes control of a trading post in the country’s interior and imposes a ruthless dictatorship while being revered as a demigod by the indigenous tribespeople, drawing on his experiences working for a Belgian trading business navigating the Congo River. It was then turned into the novella “Heart of Darkness.”

Marlow, the protagonist of the novel, journeys through the forest and upriver to visit Mr. Kurtz, who is known for being enigmatic and frightful in the area. According to rumors, he is seriously unwell. The assumption that the errant ivory trader’s methods have proven ineffective is confirmed when Marlow and his crew find Kurtz’s tent decked with the severed heads of natives.

Conrad used Kurtz as a critique of Belgian domination in the Congo, where traders and adventurers would abuse their position and descend into the violent and inhumane treatment of the indigenous due to their technological advantage over the natives. This also reflects the bigger image of European countries plundering the continent in the late 19th-century Scramble for Africa.

The phrase “Heart of Darkness” itself refers to both the protagonist’s trek deep within the fictitious “Dark Continent” and the levels of savagery and depravity that humankind is capable of as a result of lust and greed.

Read More: Midnight Mass Ending Explained: What Happend in The Movie?

What Does Apocalypse Now’s End Mean?

Although the Core Plots Are Comparable, Coppola and Milius Add the Additional Dimension of War to The Mix by Comparing the Division of Africa with Us Involvement in The Vietnam War. Willard Is the Main Character, but Like Kurtz, He Becomes More and More Cut Off from Society the Further He Travels in Search of His Prey.

Given Unlimited Power and Influence Over the “savages” They Plan to Subjugate, Kurtz’s Actions Imply that Combat Has a Degrading Effect on Those Involved.

Willard Isn’t in The Best of Moods from The Start, and By the End, He Has Abandoned All Western Decency and Has “gone Native,” Roaming Around Kurtz’s Estate Half-Crazed and Half-Naked.

Willard Slashes Kurtz to Death the Same Way We’ve Seen Kurtz’s Followers Ritualistically Kill a Water Buffalo. the Implication Is that Kurtz Served the Us Troops Well as A Burden until He Became a Liability, at Which Point He Had to Be Killed.

apocalypse now ending explained

Following Kurtz’s Death, His Supporters Appear Prepared to Embrace Willard as Their New Leader. Rather, He Simply Sets Sail with The Last Survivor of His Crew.

Also Read: No Country for Old Men Ending Explained: What Was Tommy Lee Jones Talking About?

Has Willard Managed to Break Free of The Cycle Knowing that Another Assassin Will Be Dispatched for Him if He Replaces Kurtz? or Is He Now Moving Even Further Off the Map to Establish His Own Dominion, Freed from The Last Traces of Decent Behaviour? Though There Is No Longer a House for Willard, He Could Simply Be Returning Home.

Although Previous Movies Have More Vividly and Correctly Shown Military Conflict, None Have Come Close to “Apocalypse Now’s” Depiction of The Psychological Effects of War. Yes, the Horror.

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