One of the many things Netflix released at the end of the month is The Discovery. Starting from the premise of a scientist discovering evidence of some form of afterlife, the movie asks questions about what happens next.
This is one of those movies I think is better experienced without too much knowledge the first time but I’ll mention a few things here in the non-spoilery section. This movie is what Netflix categorizes as cerebral and dark. While there are hallway scenes, none of them involve Rooney Mara’s character fighting her way through a horde of bad guys. So don’t watch this if you’re not in the mood for a slower movie where people are talking a lot. And despite what you might expect, religion is not a big factor in The Discovery.
If you haven’t watched yet stop reading here because I’m about to get into the spoilery stuff.
Seriously, I’m about to discuss the ending so turn back now if you want to avoid major spoilers.
I’m not usually caught completely off guard by an ending but The Discovery managed to do it. I’m still processing it and will probably rewatch the movie to figure some stuff out.
Here’s how I understand it right now. The beginning where Thomas’ interview ends with the suicide is the only thing that happened in the original reality. When we meet Will on the ferry it’s several iterations later in his alternate reality which may or may not be shared with Isla. I don’t know if the final version of his reality is really shared with Isla or if it’s just what he imagines is the best version (Isla still has her son so she’s happy too).
Then there’s the question of just what is happening in the original timeline. The voices we hear suggest Will is hooked up to the machine with people trying to revive him (though I doubt he wants to come back). Or is it a reality inside a reality where Will is only hooked up to the machine in the reality we were watching for most of the movie.
I definitely need to do more thinking and rewatching.
Images via screengrab