Unraveling the Enigmatic Finale of ‘Love Lies Bleeding’

Nihan - Uniforumtz
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As the credits roll on A24’s ‘Love Lies Bleeding‘, audiences are left to sift through the remnants of a story that is as much about the power of love as it is about the consequences of violence and obsession. Director Rose Glass’s foray into the surreal crime thriller genre has certainly left its mark, with Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brian delivering riveting performances that anchor the film’s descent into a feverish dream-state.

Unraveling the Enigmatic Finale of ‘Love Lies Bleeding’

‘Love Lies Bleeding’A24

In this blog post, we’ll attempt to dissect the film’s ending and explore the symbolism that drives this cinematic enigma.

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The Sunrise Escape: Love’s Final Act

In the closing moments of ‘Love Lies Bleeding’, we witness protagonists Lou (Stewart) and Jackie (O’Brian) make a desperate bid for freedom. After surviving an assassination attempt orchestrated by Lou’s nefarious father (Ed Harris), Lou confronts him, only to be wounded and tortured. It is at this moment that Jackie, who has undergone a series of symbolic transformations throughout the film, becomes a literal giant, rescuing Lou and allowing them to flee.

This climactic scene is drenched in metaphor. Jackie’s growth signifies her newfound self-assurance and emancipation from inner demons. Her size isn’t just physical; it represents her complete embodiment of strength, untethered from the steroids that once promised false power. It’s a powerful visual metaphor for personal growth and the liberating effects of true love and self-confidence.

Daisy’s Perplexing Survival

Daisy, portrayed by Anna Baryshnikov, serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of obsession. Despite being shot, she survives, her fate hanging in a precarious balance. It’s Lou’s decision to end Daisy’s life that casts a long shadow over her character, blurring the lines between mercy and malice. This act echoes her father’s ruthless pragmatism, suggesting that despite her efforts to forge a new path, Lou is still influenced by her dark past.

The Sins of the Father: A Legacy of Violence

Lou’s complex relationship with her father is riddled with moral ambiguity. Though she has distanced herself from his criminal empire, it becomes evident that she has inherited more than she’d like to admit. Her actions mirror his in their shared willingness to do anything for those they love—even if it means crossing ethical boundaries.

Unveiling Lou’s Maternal Mystery

The fate of Lou’s mother remains deliberately unclear, with conflicting narratives leaving us to wonder whether she was another victim of Lou Sr.’s violent tendencies or if she indeed abandoned her family. The evidence suggests foul play, but Glass cleverly leaves room for speculation, adding another layer to the film’s rich tapestry of doubt and ambiguity.

Steroids: The Metaphor of Obsession

The theme of addiction runs rampant through ‘Love Lies Bleeding‘, with each character grappling with their own compulsions. Jackie’s reliance on steroids parallels her relationship with Lou—both are intense obsessions that threaten to consume her. The film posits that true strength comes from within, not from external sources or substances.

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Director Rose Glass on the Surreal Finale

In an interview with Inverse, Rose Glass sheds light on the film’s fantastical ending. She emphasizes the importance of fulfilling the narrative promise of transformation and the need for a surreal climax after a buildup of fantastical hints. The giants’ escape symbolizes the invincibility of love, providing a stark contrast to the grim reality of the events that preceded it.

Love Lies Bleeding‘ is a film that refuses to be neatly categorized or easily explained. Its ending is a testament to that—a blend of raw emotion and surreal imagery that invites viewers to interpret its meaning for themselves. As we reflect on the journey of Lou and Jackie, we’re reminded that love can both elevate and destroy, and that strength often emerges from the most unexpected transformations.

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By Nihan Uniforumtz
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