I realize not everything can be tied up in a neat little bow, but I was wondering if maybe you folks could give me your take on the film's ending because I'm a little cloudy on this (I saw it at 3am). In the next to last scene Dr. Crawley (Ben Kingsley) tells us that everything we have seen is just an elaborate role playing game to help Teddy (Leonardo DICaprio) a psychiatric patient actually named Andrew, relize that he murdered his wife after he found out she murdered their three children. He soon admits to all this and realizes everything he thought before was a fantasy in his own mind. But then in the last scene he is talking to his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) and he seems to go back to his old conspiacy theories, that he has been amassing throughout the film. Chuck even has gone back to calling him by his so-called fictional name, Teddy. Has Teddy/Andrew had a relapse and really gone insane? Or is he caught in some Hitchcockian conspiracy plot? Or will we just never truely know the answer? I know there are probably no right answers, but I would like to hear your take on it.
I believe that Leo's didn't relapse at all....he just couldn't live with murdering his wife and the loss of his children...by pretending to have relapsed, he would be taken wherever and basically be turned into a vegetable so he wouldn't have to deal with his feelings
There are great 'bad' films and bad 'great' films, and SI is of the latter type. The problem is film requires coherent characterization and narrative for it to be film (unless film of the experimental type no one watches). I could never embrace the idea that a psychiatric roleplay could be so realistic and yet hallucinatory. Or that hallucinations could add up to anything so coherent that they could be integrated into a narrative film. Besides it's a bit too much coincidence for this guy to have horrifying war experiences (including possibly war crimes) and a crazy murdering wife who drives him over the edge too. About the only outcome I could understand for this character, a man of action, would be to kill himself after he killed his wife (for murdering their three children). This is Scorcese making bad films, and he has made plenty of them. Surprisingly DeCaprio is bearable, but I can't help but think Ruffalo would have been better in the lead role.
As for his relapse or not, not sure, but have to wonder why the Ruffalo character or the Kingsley one couldn't see through his 'extended' role play, if he was only faking it in order to get a lobotomy.
I've just rewatched this because the first time, I didn't catch it. But I think the alarming look on Mark's face tells us that he feels like this is different and not a relapse after Leo's telling statement. The questioning 'Teddy?' as he walks away. You can tell he had some kind of gut feeling but what could he have done anyway?
Yeah at the end he doesn't 'relapse' just decides his fantasy world is better then the real world where he has to live with what happened. It actually makes you wonder if he always knew the fantasy world wasn't real. The plothole in this movie is the 'roleplay' bit itself. I was lost at points as to what was a 'dream' and what was really happening. I also can't believe they would give him free rain in the asylum like that. Good idea, good ending, weird execution.
Ugh he did not relapse at the end at all. He started calling Sheehan (Ruffalo) by his detective name again to make it seem like he has regressed again. He did this so he could be taken to the lighthouse and lobotomized. "You can live as a monster, or die as a good man" are his last words, suggesting that he can no longer live with what he has done and chooses to act crazy so he could be lobotomized and not have to deal with his messed up world any longer.