I was watching Stakeland the other day, a pretty slow-moving movie about people trying to cross America to escape the vampire epidemic sweeping the nation and get to Canada or New Eden as it is now called, anyway lots happens and without giving away the ending, it pretty much just ends. No Hollywood happy ending, no loose ends tied just a big fat question mark hanging over it. On reflection I quite like the fact that it ended like that.
When I was doing creative writing my teacher was a little obsessed with happy endings or endings that had closure, there had to be a definitive ending. To be fair she tried to let us be out creative selves but you could see it pained her when she didn’t like or agree with an ending, this was one of the reasons as to why I eventually left. Anyway I digress, my point is that there are no definitive endings in real life or sometimes happy ending are not always achievable no matter how hard you try to and yes I know they are movies and are pretty much fantasy but sometimes I get disappointed with the formulaic Hollywood schmaltz that is a happy ending or that it all turns out for the best in the end and everyone goes skipping off into the sunset holding hands, unless of course it’s Disney!
I like it when movie makers or writers treat their watchers/readers as intelligent and lets them interpret the ending how they see fit. Take Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth my favourite movie of all time and one that can be interpreted in two ways, a story about a child creating a fantasy world to survive the horrors of the Spanish Civil War or a beautiful fairytale where the princess triumphs over evil, either way you interpret it you’re going to cry your eyes out!
Don’t get me wrong, I do like a happy or definite ending just as long as it fits the point of the film and also so it doesn’t generate a never-ending stream of sequels one of which will have to be in 3D!