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After Stephen got shot by Diamond Dog's men right in front of his Brother Bloom he reveals to him that it was only fake blood and he pulled of the ultimate con. He says farewell to Bloom, that he shouldn't ever return to St. Petersburg and cannot see him for some time. But already shortly after, when he is driving in the car with Penelope, Bloom realizes that the blood was indeed real blood and that his brother is in fact dead.

Yet when he sits in the grass crying over his brother, he repeats what Stephen once said:

The perfect con is one where everyone involved gets just the thing they wanted.

seeming appeased and walking into a future with Penelope.

The way he says that and seeing that Penelope is most probably the thing Bloom wanted and vice-versa seems to imply that Stephen also got what he wanted (and thus achieved the perfect con), yet he died. So what did Bloom want to say with that quote? Does this mean that Stephen really wanted to die? But why?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

When Bloom and Penelope got attracted and talked aboard the Fidele, Bloom told about his brother and his dreams. While it may be part of the con at that point it sounds real. He tells about his brother's dream to do the perfect con, about making the made-up story true, and how he thinks Stephen might have even liked it to have died at midnight on a beach during a trip to Jakarta as that would be something "real". Bloom then tells Penelope that it is a trap to try to make your own story true.

Dying for his brother, to complete the story, does fit into this pattern. Stephen says that it was always only about Bloom, and it is certainly not a coincidence that Bloom is the one who is called by the Family name; he is the main person of the movie. Stephen is the creator of a story for his brother; his job is done at the end of the movie.

Of course that is an explanation that only works in movies; in reality stories and lives rarely have fixed and clear starts and ends. The death of a character in a movie is a clear symbol that his part is completed. The character in this movie served a single purpose, to care for the happiness of his brother; by making the story real he spares the couple to start their relationship on a lie.

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Thanks for the excellent answer. Seems I didn't remember the dialogue on the ship too well. "it is certainly not a coincidence that the movie and the pair is named after Bloom" - Then don't hesitate to bring this aspect together with your explanations into the respective discussion. – Napoleon Wilson May 6 '14 at 17:13
Hm, if it is really their last name (which sounds reasonable) then I have to rephrase that a little... – his May 7 '14 at 11:35
I for myself would rather want you to put your ideas from here into that other question as an answer, since this answer here sounds very reasonable (and the fact that it is their last name from the other answers seems only specualtion either, and I like your approach very much). In fact I liked your previous version a bit better (but nevermind, it doesn't change too much). Still no matter if it is their last name or not, your views would still make for a very good answer over there. – Napoleon Wilson May 7 '14 at 14:42

He doesn't really die!!!! Why does he bleed down his arm when he is shot in the side? Because he cut himself, as a symbol of cutting ties with his were all duped. A man shot in the kidneys would be able to jump up like he he put a little real blood around his hand to make sure his brother thought he was dead...because he knew that his ways corrupted him and he wanted to give him everything.

Also the blood had turned brown on the shirt...a big handprint of brown blood....but his shirt is covered with fake blood as he sits down in the chair. Referring to him dying the day he cons his brother, is that he dies inside because his brother was the story of his life. Go back to the very beginning...they were all they had.

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