Netflix Movie I Came By Discussion and Explanation

Netflix Movie I Came By Discussion and Explanation
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The other night – not looking for something to write about here (this is rare) I just flipped open Netflix and flipped on the first thing that caught my eye. That happened to be, I Came By. Overall, it was a bit all over the place, but still I enjoyed it. I found the twist at the end to be a bit of a good surprise, and thought it worth my time. But, I will say this, I had to stop for a second and walk the movie back to make sense of the ending. If it didn’t click for you, like it didn’t click for me at first, we can discuss it together and see if we can make it make heads or tails out of if. Alright? If you are unaware of the movie – here’s a trailer, and then you need to depart, because the rest of this discussion is 100% spoilers. Okay? Great.

Netflix Movie I Came By Discussion and Explanation

Toby (George MacKay) and his best friend, Jay are a bit of a Robin Hood duo, marking the inner walls of the upper-class in order to leave the message, “I Came By” on the wall. I have a million questions about Toby and Jay’s “political activism” – like, how do they pick their victims? Do they just look for affluent individuals mainly? Are they looking for imperialist, colonial sorts? We really only get hints here as to what is their motivation, and I think it’s because it is just the driver the connects them with a totally different story (which, is a shame). Skip the politics, and fast forward to Toby’s next job – a retired Judge Hector Blake – which will be solo because Jay’s girlfriend is pregnant. Blake is played by Hugh Bonneville, from Downton Abbey – who is probably the main British actor you know in this production.

Blake is an outspoken, liberal leaning, Judge who seems to care about social causes and the like. I guess the Brits would call him Progressive. But when Toby breaks into the house, in spite of his external facade, he finds someone entrapped in the basement. And I have questions about this guy in the basement. Lots, and lots, and lots of questions. But we’ll save those to the end. Regardless, when Toby tells Jay about what he found at the Judge’s house, Jay doesn’t want to hear it… baby on the way and all. Well, Toby calls the police, leaves an anonymous tip that there is someone imprisoned, but the police find nothing when they arrive.

Cut to, Lizzie, Toby’s widowed mother, who is trying to do the best she can (as a counselor, no less) with her politically motivated/disaffected son. The two get into a shouting match about the mess he’s left in the kitchen, and the fact that he likes to steal her television remote as micro-political aggression against his mother’s trash TV habits. She kicks him out of the house, and Toby goes to free the prisoner by himself. But Blake was waiting, and when Toby stages his final stand, he trips and falls, and his cremated remains end up getting flushed by Blake. When I watched this, I was a little confused at first, but yes, Toby was killed, chopped up, and put in the incinerator, and his ashes? They were flushed. Got it? Done. Toby is now an ex-Toby.

So, Lizzie, concerned for her son – understandably – after he doesn’t come home for several days, decides to contact the police. The police start a missing persons investigation, but when Jay is asked for more details, he doesn’t tell the police anything. Instead, he begins investigating on his own. He goes to Blake’s house, and steals a letter from the Birlstone School alumni about a reunion coming up. Jay goes to Toby’s house, places the letter in Toby’s secret hiding spot, and it helps motivate the police to look more closely at Blake. More importantly, it causes Lizzie to begin investigating Blake as well, clumsily sitting outside his house night and day. The police pay Blake another visit, and they find an empty “panic room” in the basement. But there is no one there. Blake is arrested, but he is able to use his connections at the police force to guarantee his release.

After Blake brings a man (massage/trainer sort of fellow from his private club??), Omid, back to his house, and drugs him, Omid runs for it. Lizzie witnesses what happened and saves the man. Now, Omid is an Iranian who is deep in the throws of the paperwork involved with seeking asylum. He chooses not to press charges against Blake, for fear of losing his efforts at permanent residency. So when Omid walks out of the police headquarters, and is offered a ride by Blake, we get a glimpse as to why he gets in the car. Hello rock, meet hard place. Hello hard place, meet rock. Shortly after? Blake imprisons, and then murders Omid. Done, and dusted.

Eventually, Lizzie discovers a thumb drive of Toby’s “I Came By” exploits. From the photos, she knows that Jay was involved and asks him to help her break into Blake’s house. He says no… baby. Remember? And so, Lizzie does it by herself, only to be caught, murdered, and cremated, then to join her son in the sewers of London. Now, Jay, the person with all the dots… begins connecting them, he realizes that Lizzie is now dead, and Toby is gone too. And it’s literally all his fault. Baby or no. And the audience has to agree, it really is all his fault.

(Insert drama with Naz, his wife… which literally serves no purpose but to convince the audience that Jay’s selling out his best friend was the most useless decision of his life.) Jay attends the Birlstone 300- year-anniversary and follows Blake to his country estate. Once in the house, he attacks Blake and ties him up. He then finds, in the pottery studio, a prisoner. Now, who is this guy? We’ll get to that in a minute. He frees the prisoner, and calls the police, then flees. When the police arrive, they find the prisoner, and Blake – tied up, and I Came By, tagged on the wall above him.

Some One Explain the Ending of Netflix’s I Came By

Now, is it me, or did someone edit the heck out of this screen play in a most incoherent way? Trust me, I love ambiguous movie endings. I like confusing editing. But generally I prefer it when the ambiguity is INTENTIONAL. The question I had when the movie ended was this… Who is the man that is discovered trapped in Blake’s pottery studio? This guy, right here???

Netflix Movie I Came By Discussion and Explanation

Personally? I didn’t connect it back to the fact that this guy was the same man that Toby discovered at the beginning of the film. Here he is from the start of the film:

Netflix Movie I Came By Discussion and Explanation

So, yeah – same guy. Definitely. But for me, personally it didn’t connect til the end, and I was like… wait, hold’up. What is going on here? And you know what? I think we should regroup, and see what I was missing, because maybe others of you were also missing it as well. Why would there be one guy, trapped, and tortured, left to die, day in and day out, in Blake’s basement? And why would he be keeping him alive when he kills anyone else that wanders through the house?

Netflix Movie I Came By Discussion and Explanation

When Omid was in the house with Blake, Blake tells a story from his youth. He tells about how his over-the-top father, took in an Indo-Persian kid as his lover – Ravi. And, as a result, his mother committed suicide. So, trauma building type foundational experiences. Got it. Then, Blake – the teen – tried to kill his father’s lover as a result. It was too much for Blake to take, seeing his father with this unworthy peasant kid. Worse, his father continued the affair with this kid, and sent Blake packing off to boarding school. For all of this – his mother’s suicide, his getting shipped to boarding school, the in-egalitarian affair – he blamed Ravi. And for this, he even attempted to murder Ravi. But at this precise moment in the story, Omid, caring only about himself, and not the audience who was desperate to find out who this man in the basement was, Blake cut off his story as a result. But even without the story’s conclusion, we know from all of this, that the man that has been entrapped in his basement’s home for all these years… is definitely Ravi.

So, my assumption here is this. Blake attacked his father, and his father died of his wounds. Ravi was injured in the attack, and Blake then enslaved him in his basement to live out his life, perpetually on the verge of dying. This, is the definition of pure evil. Calculated and focused maleficence. Does that add up? I think that is the natural conclusion anyway. Please let me know if I’m missing something here.

Missed Opportunities in I Came By

I do have to say that this movie felt like it was an editing mistake that Ravi’s perpetual enslavement wasn’t exactly obvious. I would have preferred it if this was more intentionally obtuse. Another detail here that shows that the movie is decidedly British is how Toby was summarily disposed of and it wasn’t 100% clear that this is what had happened. Was he messing with someone? No, no one is there. So, did he just murder the protagonist of this film. Wait, is Blake the protagonist? What is happening here?

Worse, the political activism is just an excuse to accidental meet Blake. It was a throw away idea. The fact that Jay tagged Blake’s house after saving Ravi and tying up Blake seems like just a throw away idea. I think if Toby and Jay had actually been good – had actually been on to a good political thing – then the payoff of the I CAME BY at the end would have actually been a real pay off. But as it was? Not much. Regardless, it was an entertaining little Netflix film, and I enjoyed it for what it was. You?

Edited by: CY