Apples Movie Ending Explained and Deconstructed

When Apples becomes available, you will find it here:

Apples Movie Ending Explained and Deconstructed. First, a shout out to Nancy… thanks a ton Nancy for tipping this movie our direction!! OK, look. Not all movies need to be super clever or come with a right hook to be worth our time. The movie Apples, is just such a movie. A low-key, passionate little film that has a very interesting question to ask us. And actually, though this movie is pretty low key, and straight forward, I found myself immediately starting over as soon as it ended. I went right back to the beginning to see if I could see the signs. Also, I had to jump around the film, fiddling madly with the scrubber in order to sort a few other key details out. This one isn’t a gimme folks, so if you found yourself a little confused, then went to the all-knowing-google for answers, it’s a decent alternative to scrubbing around yourself to make heads or tails out of this one. The film is brought to us by Christos Nikou, who also happened to work on Before Midnight, and Dogtooth (so so crazy) and boy, has he got a few things he wants to say to us all in his latest movie, Apples (or Mila).

Now, listen closely, if you are interested in watching this film… you will be able to do so, with a VPN, that you can get right here. For like $2 a month. That will allow you to zoom-zoom to Switzerland, and then, on the 18th, you’ll be able to bounce to this page, and watch the film yourself. But wait, what is it, and why do you even care?

“Amidst a worldwide pandemic that causes sudden amnesia, middle-aged Aris (Aris Servetalis) finds himself enrolled in a recovery program designed to help unclaimed patients build new identities. Prescribed daily tasks on cassette tapes so he can create new memories and document them on camera, Aris slides back into ordinary life, meeting Anna (Sofia Georgovasili), a woman who is also in recovery.” The two of them struggle to find meaning in life through trumped-up memories and faulty remembrances.” Our writer and director utilizes super low-key, deadpan humor in order to investigate how, collectively, throughout society, we identify with memory, loss, and expectations. Are we just a collective cohesion of our memories? Or are we something other than the sum of our remembered experiences?

Walkthrough of the movie Apples

The movie opens with Aris banging his head on a wall. Then sitting on his couch. Then a radio announcement comes over the air, “From the Disturbed Memory Department of the Neurological Hospital… it concerns the new identity program. The program helps amnesiacs manage a new life, and takes place in two additional hospitals.” Apparently a worldwide outbreak of amnesia has become the pandemic to watch. People go out for the day fine, then sit on the curb with no idea who they are, or why they are sitting there. Seems like a pretty awful affliction actually. I think? Maybe we’ll get into that more soon. Regardless… our headbutting hero, heads out, and quickly forgets himself. And, because he has no identifying information on him when he pops, he’s hauled to the hospital, where they take his photo and post it in the hopes of finding family members, or acquaintances that can tell the hospital staff who he might be.

After weeks worth of training, study, and help from the hospital staff, Aris is not any better at all. He has no memory whatever of himself. Heck, he can’t even remember items placed in a box a minute earlier. The poor man is terrible shape.

Then, the staff offer him a chance at a new program. They take him to an apartment, and hand him a cassette tape of instructions. They’ve set him up with cash for daily expenses. And the flat is basic and serviceable. Aris seems happy enough there, and very diligent working on his daily tasks. For example, one day, the tape tells him to get a bike, and to ride it, and to try and pop a wheelie with it. The hope is that it will jar his memory as a child, and help him begin to unravel at least a thread of his memories. Day after day these memory shaking experiences come, and Aris is diligent at them. And each day he is to take a photograph of him doing these tasks, and to place them a photo album, thereby documenting his progress. Right? Seems like a fairly simple regimen.

One day though, he is told to go watch a horror movie in the theater, and he meets another memory sufferer who is also there to document her experiences. The two of them hit it off, and they begin to do their challenges together. Actually, they start doing HER challenges together, and she gets a little bit ahead of Aris. One of the day’s tasks is to take a car out of town, crash it into a tree, and leave it there. So the two of them do it together.

The duo continue doing their work together, and they seem to sort of hit it off. But, we never learn her name. At least, I don’t remember him referring to her by name. This turns out to be an important detail here to our determining how the ending of this movie comes together. But when I looked at the credits, it turned out that her name was Anna. Okay? And not only that, but in the official summaries they refer to her as Anna as well. So tuck that little detail away in your brain. We’ll get back to it in a bit. Regardless, one evening though, Anna tells Aris that she has something she has to do. Aris asks if he can come, and although she is hesitant, she eventually relents. It turns out that it is a pub/party/dance. And Aris loosens up and joins in on the dancing. Then Anna flips a switch, and asks him to meet her in the bathroom. When he gets there, she is undressing. Cut to him, later that night, with the music of the evening continuing in his head as he is in his own bed, staring at the ceiling. Doesn’t seem like Aris is having much difficulty remembering things. But, after that moment, Anna goes completely AWOL.

Now PAUSE Just A Second

When this movie started, I assumed that when these individuals with memory problems would go out into the world, they would require memory assistant mnemonics of sorts. You know… like how Memento mori did it… with Polaroids, notes on the Polaroids, and tattoos. Right? You’d need to do something just to go about your day. We already know that Aris can’t remember what is put under a box a minute prior. To go about his life, he’d quickly lose his apartment location, number, etc., etc. So how is he going through his life, and returning again? How is he not getting picked up regularly by the ambulances, and how exactly is he surviving?? Hrmmmm. Maybe something is going on here.

And there are moments throughout the film that we get a feeling that Aris’ memory is better than he’s probably making it out to be. For example, when chatting with the grocer about being new to the neighborhood, he gives him his old address number, not this new one. 135, instead of 8. Okay, so he knows what his old address was/is. While in the park, he sees a dog there, running free and he says to the dog, “Malou, what are you doing here?” And when he sees the owner, he chucks the sandwich he just bought so the dog would run and get it, and he runs off the other direction. Huh. Okay? So maybe his memory is okay? Then what is going on here? And later, he sings the entirety of the lyrics to an American song. But when he learns that apples are good for your memory… the food he eats throughout the entirety of this movie, he stops eating them entirely, and switches to oranges. WHAT?

Let’s Finish Apples Off

Eventually, Aris catches back up with Anna’s tasks, … as in, we see that he is starting to do the tasks that she was working on right before they stopped talking. and runs his car into a tree, which he does solo. But then he is given the task to go to a random pub and have a one night stand with someone there at the bar. Stop… think. Anna had been tasked with sleeping with someone random at bar somewhere… she was going to go alone… but thinks better of it, and invites Aris along. Think about that for a second. She was tasked to sleep with someone random. And she has sex with Aris. Just put a pin in that for a minute. And after that encounter, she disappears.

Eventually Aris is tasked with befriending someone random at a hospital who is terminal. To visit them regularly, and to attend the funeral… etc. Then, out of the blue, Anna asks if Aris wants to go with him to a funeral, because it’ll be boring. Aris though? He passes. Decides he’s done with Anna, even after he sees her come to his door to reconnect. This connection/re-connection/non-connection is critical to the understanding of this entire movie. After completing the funeral task, Aris listens to the next task and just gets fed up half way through and turns it off. He goes and gets flowers, and takes them to a grave site:

Apples Movie Ending Explained and Deconstructed

The flowers at the site are very very old, and he replaces them with new ones. This flower replacement detail is enormous. Afterwards, he heads back to his house at 135… his old house. You know, the one we start out in? But we didn’t see much when we were there last. This time, we are shown heels, lipstick, photos, and other details that show there was a woman there with him at some point.

Apples Movie Ending Explained and Deconstructed

After Aris breaks back into his own apartment, he sits in the living room and collects himself. He then raises the blinds, picks up dishes, begins cleaning up. But more importantly, he starts picking up his partner’s things. He picks up her heels, clothes, and puts them away. He tidies up the apartment, and he then heads into the kitchen. He then takes an old apple, cuts out the old and bruised portions, and then sits and methodically, and intentionally, eats it entirely. Roll Credits.

Apples Movie Ending Explained and Deconstructed

So Aris, has a massive memory loss of some sort… and is checked into a hospital. Many on planet earth are also, similarly having these bouts of amnesia. While they do look for relatives of Aris… finding none, they decide to help him by signing him into a program that will allow him to begin delving into memories of his past in the hopes of finding one that will strike a chord, and begin the process of remembering. He and a gal named Anna begin doing the tasks together… but ultimately, Aris gets sick and tired of it all, and just walks away from the program and heads back to his old life. Yes, BUT, Amnesia!?!? What the heck?! Well, there are a couple of possible ways in which you could read this movie.

Theory #1 – Aris Gains His Memory Back

One possible explanation for the movie Apples is that Aris, at the beginning of the film, is seen banging his head on the wall because his memory is on the cusp of going. And later that day, it’s completely gone. As the movie continues, Aris is genuine in his amnesiac state. He has no idea what is going on, or how to proceed. But as time goes by, he starts to remember things about his life, like his address, and other details. Eventually, he decides he is fed up with the amnesia therapy and just decides to head back to his flimsily remembered life of his. And when he arrives at his home, he sees that there are artifacts of a woman’s life that are there. We can assume that she probably died, probably after a bout with amnesia, and his bout with amnesia probably came from the side effects of this encounter.

Theory #1 – Debunked – oh, come on. That is literally the lamest possible theory I have ever floated here at THiNC. – even as a critical thought exercise! Just horrible. The logic of this just doesn’t even add up. We get a number of heads-up flags that indicate that Aris is attempting to willfully forget. For example, his abandoning of apples after he learns that they are good for ones’ memory. (It is also the title of the movie for heaven’s sake.) Yes, I understand that this is a literal reading of this film… but it just cannot stand as it leaves too many unanswered questions on the table. Who was this woman, where is she now, did she die? Why is her name also Anna? Was that a coincidence? Etc., etc.

Theory #2 – Aris Never Lost His Memory

Possibly the most obvious solution to this whole movie, and one that will dawn on even the most oblivious of users, is that Aris doesn’t have memory loss at all. Wait, how does that work?? Let’s walk through it:

  1. Aris is married to a woman named Anna.
  2. She has memory loss – and disappears, maybe dies.
  3. Aris can’t find her, and has a funeral, buries an empty box and we start the movie with him deep in grief.
  4. Aris is so completely done, he just willfully decides to have “amnesia” and peaces out of his normal daily existence, whatever that might entail.
  5. He is treated in the hospital, and they look for his relatives or friends. But they can’t be found.
  6. After a lack of “progress,” the hospital staff assign Aris to an in-home program to jar memories out of him.
  7. Aris and a random woman named Anna begin doing their treatment sessions together.
  8. Anna uses him for a random one night stand, that hurts Aris, and he decides he is too hurt by the exchange to continue with the ruse anymore.
  9. He heads back home, puts away his wife’s stuff that is still lying around after her funeral, and he goes on with his life.

Does that make sense? Aris “escapes” into a world of forgetting, but is just as hurt there as he is hurt in the real world. End of message, end of story.

Theory #2 Debunked This theory is actually great. Really good. Aris escapes, hides from his loss, and voila, we have the movie explained. Easy. BUT, there is one enormous flaw here. One MONUMENTAL EXTRAORDINARILY PROBLEMATIC ISSUE. And that is the name Anna. Aris was married to a woman named Anna, we know this because that is the name on the headstone that he visits. Anna Kapaxa… something. ALSO, the name of the woman that Aris begins doing the therapy with, she was also named Anna. Right? Look, in a movie like this, it is literally not a coincidence. You don’t use the same name of two different characters accidentally. That’s just not a thing. So, while this theory tangentially makes sense, I don’t buy it.

Theory #3 – Aris Investigates His Wife’s Disappearance

So we have a name problem. Got it. Anna1 and Anna2. What if there is only one Anna in the movie? WAIT, HOW? Well, what if the timeline went more like this:

  1. Anna disappears because of amnesia.
  2. Aris has a funeral – but decides he is going to hunt his wife down.
  3. Why? Because he hears about a new program where these people can gain new memories.
  4. So Aris acts like he lost his memory, and gets submitted to this program.
  5. In the process of doing his assignments, he finds his wife at the movie theater.
  6. The two work to do the work together, and Aris hopes that his wife will eventually remember him.
  7. She never really does, and even goes so far as to have a one-night stand with her own husband.
  8. This breaks his heart, and he decides he can’t do it anymore, and considers her dead, and just goes back to life without her.

This is a nearly perfect solution to the problem of all the various pieces. The amnesia is a fake, he wants to avoid the truth, and get away… but he also desperately wants to find her if he can. He ultimately does find her, but then is crushed by her treating him so terribly and packs it in. Make sense?

Theory 3 – Debunked – I don’t have a debunk for this theory. It solves most of the issues of this movie… except for one detail. Why don’t we get any indication from Aris that this Anna in the movie theater is his wife? Had he just been so certain that he’d find her that he doesn’t react?

Apples Movie Ending Explained and Deconstructed

The response to this “debunking” is that he is a very calm sort of person. He doesn’t ever react emotionally in the entirety of this movie. And his staring at her, intently, and watching her fearful watching of the movie is a pretty big response for Aris.

Theory #4 – Aris Has Amnesia Finds Anna, Doesn’t Know It

Want a really really tragic spin on this movie? And this is a Greek movie in the vein of Dogtooth and Killing of a Sacred Deer after all… so, this should be your obvious go to answer for this movie just for that reason alone. Let’s play this theory out real fast:

  1. Anna – Aris’ wife – disappears… and they have a funeral.
  2. Aris also gets Amnesia and is admitted to the hospital.
  3. He is then submitted to this program to help nudge his memories.
  4. Eventually he finds Anna, but his amnesia is in full swing… the two of them spend weeks together doing their homework and generally connecting (yet again).
  5. Anna sleeps with him for an assignment, it randomly hurts his feelings this new friend of his would do that to him.
  6. He cuts off ties with Anna.
  7. He starts to get his memory back, and remembers his address.
  8. Heads home, but puts flowers on his wife’s grave.
  9. Puts her things away, and wonders if she will ever turn up again, or if he’ll ever see her again.
  10. Not realizing that he had just spent weeks with her.

Theory #4 – Debunked – Again, possibly the most tragic reading of this movie that is possible. And therefore, maybe it is the best reading of this deceptively complicated little movie. I can’t really see a problem with this particular reading besides the enormousness of the coincidence of it all. But we are talking about the Greeks and their penchant for obvious coincidences and the tragedies they incur. Right? #4 hinges on Aris’ memory of just a few details, but not remembering his own wife.

Thoughts on the movie Apples

I LOOOOOVVVVEED the movie On Body And Soul… and this movie was in the same international vein as that. Not quite as good, but still intriguing, and complicated. The ending isn’t simply understood, and allows for a lot of different options and possibilities that may, or may not, align with your particular view of the world. That, in my mind, is a requisite detail for a glorious movie. Vague, yet, clever enough to allow for various interpretations and debate. Personally, I am going with theory #3, that Aris goes looking for Anna, finds her, but is ultimately crushed by what he finds. She dies all over again when he finds her. But, am I correct? I don’t know. That is the best thing about the movie. I might be. But your literal reading of the movie with theory #1 might just be as on target.

Edited by: CY

Apples Movie Ending Explained and Deconstructed
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