The meditative Clive Owen movie I'll Sleep When I'm Dead starts with a dream-like meditative scene where the lead character monologues about existence and death.

The movie follows Clive Owen's former hard-man character (Will) as he returns to gangland London after a 3 year absence (he claims to have been away because of grief over a wasted life). He was clearly formerly a powerful and dangerous character and his return threatens the current powers in gangland.

His return is prompted by the suicide of his younger brother, apparently after being raped by another character (who claims to have done it because he didn't like his lifestyle). The story follows Will's attempt to unravel this story.

But the end is strange. We see a hit-man hired by one of the current gangland leaders waiting to kill Will. But instead of seeing whether this happens, the movie shows the meditative opening scene again and then stops.

Are we meant to assume Will has taken the advice of his friends and fled London again before someone kills him? Or are we supposed to assume that he was killed and finally found peace in death?

  • Tags with apostrophes don't seem to work well, so I've left them out, but this makes the format look odd. Is this fixable?
    – matt_black
    May 24, 2016 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


I think it's meant to be optimistic , looking at I from both ways shows the outcome of an optimist.

The first shows the outcome of someone who is relying on the positive advice of friends

The second could be looking at a positive option on death

This is just the way I look at it

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