Definitive Resurrection Ending Explanation

Definitive Resurrection Ending Explanation
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Definitive Resurrection Ending Explanation. Look, we’ve had some pretty crazy movies lately. What with Lamb and Men alone… Memoria was another crazy one. And yes, that is what we do here… we watch the wildest movies and see if we can make heads or tails out of them. Even so! Resurrection?!? But if you just watched the movie, don’t worry, I’ve got you.

Alright, without further ado… let’s dive into the movie Resurrection and unpack what is going on in this really complicated movie. But, please, be careful, if you have not seen this movie yet, you are about to ruin a really great movie. So, do me a favor and don’t. Thanks for that.

Definitive Resurrection Walkthrough

In the first 30 minutes we are introduced to Margaret and Abbie. Margaret (played by Rebecca Hall – from the best movie ever The Prestige) is a kick ass, take no hostages executive in the bio-pharmaceutical world. It’s clear she is looked up to by others at her firm. And she is a clear leader that revels in her job. We also learn that she has a 17-year-old daughter named Abbie, and the two of them seem to have a great relationship. And Margaret is so secure in her life that, when she is feeling a bit randy, she just calls up one of the firms other employees, and has him come over. Wait, what? It’s fine. Guys can sleep around. Why can’t gals? Everything is fine here, nothing to see… move along.

That is, until the 30-minute mark.

Enter David (played by Tim Roth… which, as everyone knows, his most influential and groundbreaking move was his work in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. What? Do you see this face? I’m not joking) … who, happens to be minding his own business at what appears to be a conference. Margaret notices David and… comes… completely… unglued. Her world literally begins unraveling from this moment forward. No hyperbole here. Why? This is the question that fuels the rest of this movie. But know this, the police cannot help… why? Because David didn’t do anything. He was sitting in a conference. Later he was sitting on a park bench. If anyone that should be in trouble with the police it’s Margaret.

Now, as a foil for sharing her past, there is an intern that Margaret had been mentoring that she begins to share her history with. In a seven-minute, uncut, monologue, Rebecca Hall spins an amazing tour de force out onto this intern and the audience. Through this soliloquy, Margaret makes it clear the level of craziness going on here. We learn that Margaret, at a young age, was swept away by David. He enamors her parents, and she moves in with David. But over time, things start going squirrelly.

David began requiring kindnesses. What’s a kindness you ask? Well, as Margaret would tell it, they are little details like cooking and cleaning. And with each kindness he rewarded her. She was his muse after all. But then the kindnesses started cutting deeper and deeper. He asked her to stop drawing. Hours of meditation. Endurance poses. Fasting. You name it. David, after all, could hear from God. But if she wasn’t able to accomplish the kindness? He would tell her to burn herself with cigarettes. And that was fine, because she could hack that… she could do it.

Then, one day, Margaret realizes that she is pregnant. And this is when the monologue takes on a truly prophetic level of “oh, oh no…”. The terror in her voice, the brilliance of the acting here is really quite magnificent. You see, it would appear, that David ignored Maggie’s baby… maybe he was jealous of the new love that she found? It’s unclear. But one day, after David asks Maggie to head to town to get a few things, and when she returns? The baby is gone. Everything save for two fingers. David makes it clear that Ben, their child’s name, is now in his belly, that he is caring for him and loving him. Yes. You are correct, that is insane. But if this is bothering to you now? You needed to punch out then… you should not have continued to the end.

Definitive Resurrection Ending Explanation Step One

Let’s pause right here for a second. Because we, as an audience, have some heavy lifting that we need to do. The very first thing we need to do is weigh out what Maggie is saying to Gwyn the intern. Is this real? If it is, how much of it is real? All of it? Some of it? Like… because, the story she just laid on us is a lot. “Hey THiNCy, I buy it. I mean, this Dave guy could totally have been a creep like that, and the kindnesses. For sure!” Alright, but here… you think that Dave, literally, has Ben in his belly, for safe keeping? This happened? No, of course not. So, if that didn’t happen, and there isn’t a real baby in his belly, then what else is fiction from this story? Just hold that in the back of your mind as we finish this downward spiral, and then try and make heads or tails out of what is going on here. Because this one question, “What is she not telling us?” will go a long way towards understanding this movie I believe.

Finishing the Resurrection Movie Walkthrough

As Maggie is considering what David had said to her, she realizes that she knows where he is staying. But David knows that she is coming. (hrm.) So the two have a conversation at a nearby restaurant. And when Margaret realizes that at the end of the day, her daughter will always be at risk, she eventually concedes and let’s David tell her that he needs a kindness. “Walk to work. And do it barefoot.” Huh. And she does.

The ‘kindnesses’ begin.

Then later, skipping out on work, she watches until he leaves the hotel. Then she goes into his room (which he left open for her) where she finds a package for her. “M”. It’s Ben’s baby blanket. Soon after, the hotel manager finds her and screams at her to leave. (Which, I will admit, scared me out of my skin. I expected David, and I expected more of the standard… ‘you know that I am right…’ tone. But nope. We are greeted with screaming instead.)

After following him for a week – and literally teetering on the edge of insanity, Margaret is decided. She is going to kill David. She will wait for him at the final park bench that he ends his (all day) walk with. There she stands, the gun next to David’s head. A trigger pull away from freedom. But instead, David takes the gun away from her. She can’t do it. ‘This deserves a kindness – you will assume the position from 2am til dawn each day.’

The ‘kindnesses’ continue.

Later, Abbie brings in Peter… her mother’s boyfriend, for an intercession. To be clear! Abbie is having an affair with a married man. This isn’t something you do. But Margaret is breaking. She’s falling apart. She’s crumbling. But, as a movie viewer, we are propped up in the dissonance by understanding that it has a purpose. There is a man, who has come back, and is causing this psychic fear. But if he can be removed, it will all snap back into place. Right? WRONG. Look at it from Abbie’s perspective. One minute, her mother is strong and independent. She calls the shots with her boyfriend, with work. She tells interns how to crush their boyfriend pigs, and they do. Right? She is MANHANDLING her life. Until she isn’t. And when she isn’t? She REALLY isn’t. When we see it from her daughter’s vantage, it is really scary. STRENGTH/STABILIZING/DILIGENCE… not. crash. booom.


You know? From Abbie’s space, her mother broke days before. And Peter’s intervention (which was startlingly ineffective) was super late. He leaves a card for a counselor! hahahah. She is wanting to kill someone. She is determined to. But can’t. And now she is walking barefoot to work. She is holding these endurance poses, for four hours in the park! She is crippled by this man. Miss Independence is getting walked around this movie, on all fours, with a ring in her nose. Her internal wiring’s have been jacked by this guy. She’s been rewired. She is broken. And David holds the keys to Margaret. No one else gets to her like this.

Then David shows up at the office. “How goes it with the kindnesses? Ease the pain? Quiet the noise? Make you proud?” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? He’s just popped the lid on her cranium. Uncorked her soul, as it were. And there, in her domain, her playground, he is showing his utter dominance of her life. He is talking down to her, with his kindnesses… with his ideas. And her world is done. It’s over. And then he asks her to come to a hotel room later. She obeys.

Now, we know from the counter on the length of the movie that this is going to be the final confrontation. We know that it is required to all come to a head right here. And she comes for bear. She doesn’t have her gun anymore. And David doesn’t either (which I gotta admit, was some serious mojo right there. He knows she wants him dead) he’s just super confident that he will win the day.

She has two knives. The first one cuts him, and then she loses it. She’s disarmed. It’s over. Oh, but knife two! And this time he hurts her, and she hurts him more. She wins the day! But, she’s worried though. She’s worried about Benjamin, her child that disappeared all those years ago. And this is where we get our final clue as to what has been going on this entire movie long. She gets the upper hand on David. She wins the day, but what does she do next?

She slices him open and pulls Ben out of his belly.

Wait, what? This whole movie could be happening. This David character could be here from her past. It could be he’s stalking her. He could come with ill-intent. And he could be malignantly and diligently, hunting her, reeling her in. Could be. Or? He could be not real at all. Just sit with that for a minute.

But before we close out the movie, there’s one more sun drenched, washed out moment before the credits roll. Maggie has Ben. There is a real baby there. She hands him to Abbie. And Abbie is so very proud of her mother. That she has finally beaten the devil, and turned this horrible psychic corner. Or not. This is so sun drenched and hyper colored. Abbie is wearing grown up clothes that she would never in a million years be caught dead in. THIS IS ALL UNREAL. Even an uncritical viewer gets this simple concept… this last bit is false. Obviously. Hrm. False? How could she lie to us like that?? Well, I’ve got bad news for you bubba.

Definitive Resurrection Ending Explanation

First, let’s think through a few things that have been happening throughout the course of the film that you might not have noticed.

Did you notice how David is basically a god?

From the moment he enters the movie, he methodically dismantles Margaret without raising his voice. He never runs. He always walks slowly. Insistently. In a very patient by methodical way. You will now do me a kindness. Walk to work without shoes. Okay. You will now perform endurance poses for four hours every night. Okay. You will heed my every wish.

Did you notice how David always knows where she is at all times?

The guy is never surprised by Margaret. She stalks him for hours, watches him walk to a diner, and when she sneaks up on him, he invites her to his table. Unfazed in the slightest. And when he goes out, he never looks backwards. He never is concerned. He just goes. And goes. And goes. Rewatch his walking scenes again. He goes from sun up in the morning until sun down. And he does this every single day. What? She is chasing him all day long. And she is never discovered. I am betting that a lot of you started catching on to something being amiss during these following scenes. Just because something doesn’t feel right.

Didn’t She Say She Did Something Unforgivable?

When she tells the story of her youth to Gwyn… she caveats it by asking a serious question. Could you kill someone if you had to? Hrm. Okay. We immediately think she is talking about David now. About how she needs to find a way to kill him today. To protect Abbie after screwing it up all those years ago. But she said it in the past tense. I did something unforgivable. And the unforgivable thing she did was to run away.

Now, I don’t know about you… but nothing I heard that she did was unforgivable. She was trapped, and after Ben was killed she fled. How is that unforgivable? She didn’t keep Ben safe. Okay. That’s very sad. But couldn’t be helped. It wasn’t her fault. Right? Alright, well, if you haven’t put it together yet, I can’t help you. But here’s what I think happened.

David courted Margaret and her hippie parents. They all three loved him, and Margaret moved in with him. He starts going off the rails, starts ordering her around, and he uses the power of his magnetic personality to persuade her further and further under his control. He’s almost like a cult leader… but with a church of one. Margaret has a baby. Ben kills that baby. And Margaret kills Ben. Margaret changes her name to Margaret Balian, and rebuilds her life in America.

Margaret, through her sheer force of will, turns her back on her unforgivable sin of murder… and starts over by building a family for herself. She has a child. And Abbie is her everything. Phew. She builds a great career. There are no consequential men in her life. It’s perfect. And then Maggie snaps. It’s a synaptic tear.

Personally, I’ve done a lot of really stupid things in my life. Embarrassing. Silly. Stupid things. We all have. And when those things snap to mind, I find myself swearing out loud. Or physically turning away from them. I literally will U-Turn. Do you do weird ticks like this? Or is it just me? F! Turn… run into wall. Which. I have literally done before. And they aren’t a big deal. Just stupidly embarrassing things. One time, in college, I absconded with a roommates’ headphones. And was caught in the subterfuge. I gave them back and apologized. But if this memory comes to mind, I literally twitch. Now, what would happen if you were a ‘normal’ human and you murdered someone in your past? That black oil is going to manifest itself somehow or other. It’s going to bubble to the top. And in this movie, we watch as Margaret is CONVINCED that David has returned from the dead.

Oh, and by the way, the movie is called Resurrection after all. I argue it isn’t a metaphorical resurrection – IE return – but rather a literal one. This interpretation of the movie explains everything. For one, does she ever have a conversation with David and ANYONE else? Even at the office? Does anyone acknowledge that David is there? No. Never. Seriously, think about it. The diner? The park? The conference? No. No waitress comes over and talks to the two of them. When they are at the park bench, no one react to the two of them together.


Because David is dead. He died years and years ago. Margaret killed him. But David is still haunting her cranial folds, twining his way through her mind without a respite or a break. Think of it, she has been wondering for years now if her killing David killed Ben. Could her killing David have killed an otherwise safe baby? Maybe he cut two fingers off, and was going to bring the baby back later? Instead, she killed him and now they are both dead. Was that her doing? She left her baby to die. See? Is it starting to come together now?

Thoughts on the Movie Resurrection

Just last week I discussed a movie called The Watcher. It is a movie totally ensconced in the genre that I call “Is She Crazy”? The Is She Crazy movie can be a solid yes, or a solid no. It can also be an ambiguous, well maybe? But they way the genre works is that it keeps the horror from anyone other than her. She alone can see it. She alone knows its “real.” And in the end we determine her bona fides. Right? And here in this movie, which is also ensconced in this “Is She Crazy” sub-genre, we see at the end the mettle from which this movie is made. She is decidedly crazy. She doesn’t prove to Abbie that she has saved her from a real threat. No, she talks to a FAKE Abbie and tells her that she is safe. There are no bona fides in this movie. And that is how we know the truth about Margaret.

But its been a long time since I have seen a more powerful seven minutes of acting than we got here in the dark with Rebecca Hall. She gives the story line, then she lets it run, and we are shocked by it. But we are also wondering what we are missing. And it’s because of that that I say that this movie is really perfect. Did it come out and say that Margaret is insane? No. Does it come right out and tell the viewer that she had killed David years ago? No. It doesn’t need to. If you want to think that this encounter really happened? You are more than welcome to. Feel free to own that perspective on the film. But reality would tell you something differently. And for that, kudos to the screenplay author Andrew Semans, and the Director, Andrew Semans, and the actors… they just sold the hell out of this movie. I can’t tell you how much I adored this movie. (Well, 3,085 words later, I think it’s pretty obvious…)

Edited by: CY