The ending for the movie "AfterSun" was confusing as it's not clear why the father was seen going back into the club. It's as if the daughter who we see as a grown woman was imagining that part.

It can be suggested that the father committed suicide and when asked by his daughter who he thought he'd be like as an adult, that's left rather ambiguous shown with flashbacks of him at the club as if to imply what his life has become? I take that to mean that he either was wasting his life away drinking and dancing or that he hasn't been happy since he was younger dancing at these places.

I enjoyed this movie a lot but because so much was ambiguous regarding this, I failed to feel the emotional connection at the end.

Is there something I'm missing to understand with these scenes or was it meant to be a fully open interpretation?

1 Answer 1


The common interpretation is that the strobe-lit club scenes throughout the movie are imagined, it is where the grownup Sophie goes to find / meet her father to try to understand him. Note that in the glimpses of him we see in the club, he is the same age as he is when on holiday, whereas Sophie in the club is an adult. She has constructed this place in her mind as a space to think about him - 20 years later and she still misses him terribly.

The final club scene shows her reaching out and trying to talk to him and hold him, but he pushes away and falls backwards, downwards and out of her reach. He is, in all respects now, unreachable. She will never know more about him, and what ailed him.

The final shot - Sophie sits still, contemplating. The end of this moment of contemplation is signalled by her father walking back into the club scene alone - maybe to wait there until Sophie next reaches out to him.

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