(NOTE: this question reveals both the plot-details of the film's ending and the film's major twist.)

In the climax of Paul Verhoeven's Elle (2016), all the characters are at a party. Elle leaves the party with Patrick, telling Vincent as she leaves that Patrick will take her home. On the ride home, she provokes Patrick by telling him she'll go to the police and report his previous attacks. Patrick pursues her into her house, once again wearing his ski mask. Elle puts up a better fight than before but is ultimately pinned to the ground again. Vincent comes home, sees Patrick in the act, picks up a log and mortally wounds him. Patrick stands up, asks Elle "why?", and dies.

Elle's actions here seem (to me) fairly intentional, especially her behavior in the car. She seems to want Patrick to follow her into the house and attack her.

Similarly, Patrick seems to think that this was a setup, since he asks her (and not Vincent) "why?". (In any case, asking Vincent would make no sense; obviously he attacked because he saw Patrick raping his mother.)

It could be that this is just another instance of Elle trying to turn Patrick's assault into a semi-consensual relationship, but she doesn't just make herself vulnerable, she makes Patrick angry. And, as previously stated, she fights more vigorously and effectively than previously. However, it does not seem that she was planning on being able to successfully defend herself against Patrick alone, because she doesn't prepare for the fight by fetching the mace or the hatchet.

So, was this planned? Is there something in what Elle said to Vincent while leaving the party that caused him to also leave the party and follow them home?


1 Answer 1


So, was this planned? Is there something in what Elle said to Vincent while leaving the party that caused him to also leave the party and follow them home?

I strictly and firmly believe that it's not planned by anyone. It's just the course of events of their depraved and perverted relation for which Patrick has become the victim and Elle took full advantage of the situation.

In a nutshell, Elle is not necessarily a good person, I'll explain why.

Elle is a divorced single mother leading her dull life. The only person is Patrick who made her fantasies come true with his depraved sexuality. Initially she resisted and then she figured it is exactly what she wanted.

Jumping to the climax scene, after leaving the party, she was hoping for another occurrence with Patrick. The part she says, "what he was doing to her is wrong, it could be any other woman, she wants to report it to police." could be both to provoke him or she has grown some moral conscience after their flings.

When Patrick starts attacking her with his ski mask on, she was prepared for this, everything was going exactly as planned until Vincent thinks her mother is being attacked and hits Patrick in the head. Patrick asking Elle "Why?" is an outcome of shock.

Elle doesn't want to share her true nature with her son or with the police, she just takes advantage of the situation and acts like she doesn't know that the rapist was Patrick and pushes the full blame on Patrick and acts like she's innocent.


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