SPOILER ALERT It one of my favourite films of all time, with an astounding performance from Leonardo Di Caprio and one of those brain twisting endings that you do not see coming. But, what actually happened? what did Director Martin Scorsese want us to believe, or has he even decided what line the plot actually followed. From watching the film and having a think about it, there are three possible, most likely answers. But which is correct ? 1. He really was Mad Many viewers who do not like to overthink, or have a tendency to follow the basic plot will argue that there are o questions to be answered, Di caprio’s character, Edward “Teddy” Daniels, was in fact mad. He was admitted to the hospital, in a final attempt to cure or limit his insanity, to prevent the threats that he currently posed. The hospital undertook a rare experiment in a desperate act to cure, however even following what appeared to be a breakthrough and a realisation from Teddy of what was true, the following day he turns to his Psychiatrist and addresses him as he would have before, his “partner”. Therefore as the experiment had failed, the hospital had no other choice but to carry out a lobotomy. And there it ends .. 2. He was mad, he was cured, but chose to be punished Other choose accept most of the above to be correct, however think there was a different meaning of Teddy’s final conversation with his “partner” and Psychiatrist, Chuck. Teddy turns to Chuck and says “Which would be worse: To live as a monster, or to die as a good man?”, a line which is potentially the most important of the whole movie. Believers of theory number two argue that this is intact proof of Teddy’s acceptance of reality, but then a conscious decision being made not to simply accept his guilt, but to be punished for it. Theory two is that Teddy has been cured, but in realising what the truth is, leaves him overcome with guilt and therefore he choses a lobotomy, as punishment. The presence of this quote in the film may be enough reason to question theory number one, suggesting that it is deliberately there to suggest the latter theory to be correct. 3. The hospital won It is an argument that Teddy Daniels, was the true character, and that he really was a US Marshal who upon investigating the disappearance of a patient, did make discoveries about the facility, that many did not want exposed. Therefore, they played Teddy at their own game, using well practised mind games and illusion, to convince him that he was intact someone else, and their for a whole different reason, forcing him to comply with a lobotomy based on his overwhelming guilt. This is the most unlikely of the theories above, but does appear a possibility, and the believe of many viewers. As for my interpretation of what truly happened, I am not going to disclose that yet, as a I will soon follow this blog with another, exploring the For and against arguments of each of the theories. Regardless of which you choose to believe, what an incredible movie it is.
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