Terrifyingly psychological The protagonist of “Nocturne” is a talented teenage musician who will stop at nothing to realize her potential. The two sisters, Vivian and Juliet, grow apart as the film proceeds, highlighting the film’s central topic of sibling rivalry.
In their pursuit of greatness, the two sisters were so consumed by their own ambition and drive that they viciously injured one other.
The show’s premise dances around the question of how far one is willing to go in pursuit of perfection in order to realize one’s aspirations. If you haven’t seen the show yet, you can watch it for free on Amazon Prime. If, like us, you were left wondering whether or not Juliet died in the Sydney Sweeny film Nocturne in which she also appeared, then read on.
How Does Nocturne End?
Vivian drops by her sister Juliet’s dressing room just before the performance. She then breaks the bombshell that, contrary to Juliet’s expectations, there will not be a scout from Julliard in attendance. The last-minute admittance to the music conservatory of her dreams is shattered, and Juliet is devastated.
She walks up on stage to play her piece, but she freezes up again, just like she did when she was a kid and had her first solo. She quickly exits the stage and ducks into a nearby cloakroom.
Then, seemingly under the influence of some kind of trance, she proceeds to the building’s rooftop after following a luminous exit sign. Deliberating on the precipice, she looks down at a statue below and once again sees a light, this time in the form of the sun on the cover of Moira’s journal.
Juliet laughs, walks down the railing, and suddenly awakens in the concert hall. It dawns on her that she didn’t actually flee the stage. A standing ovation greeted her excellent performance. She takes the flowers with a broad grin on her face, realizing her earlier dream.
But hold on, that’s not what happened at all. The film ends with an image of Juliet’s mangled body impaled on the statue, her teeth showing as she smiles with the last of her power and lives out her dying moments in a fantasy of fame and prosperity. It’s a rather gruesome shot, so be warned.
The Ending of “Nocturne,” Explained
The final shot of Juliet’s body may be interpreted as more of a symbolic death of the “old” Juliet. (I’m sorry, but the original Juliet isn’t available to take your call just now. (She’s not just unconscious; she’s dead.)
As the camera pulls back, we observe students milling around campus, seemingly oblivious to the bloodied corpse in the center of the quad, suggesting that the body is fake.
Nonetheless, I’m leaning toward the idea that Juliet actually did throw herself from the cliff. From earlier in the film, we know that Juliet’s vision involves her appearing on stage with a bunch of roses and receiving a standing ovation.
Though supernatural events continue to plague Juliet throughout the film, no one else seems to be able to verify their veracity. For the same reason that Max didn’t notice the blood on Vivian’s hands before she plunged from the cliff, no one else seems to have noticed the light.
If Vivian sees blood on her bed, it was probably from her menstruation. As a last note, Juliet takes medication for her anxiety, a motif that appears all too frequently in films of this kind and which suggests she may not be entirely mentally stable.
In essence, the final moments of Nocturne are open-ended, yet all indications point to Juliet’s insanity brought on by her obsession with achieving her goal of being a famous musician.
She secretly realized that her goal was hopeless. What’s the takeaway from this? Perhaps, instead of urging young people to “follow their goals,” we could tell them to get out and experience the world.