In Darkness – a puzzle film about blindness, fear and revenge. In Darkness (2018): plot summary, meaning of the ending, explanation of the content, similar films.
Country: UK, USA
Genre: thriller, detective
Year of production: 2017
Director: Anthony Byrne
Actors: Natalie Dormer, Ed Skrein, Emily Ratajkowski
Slogan: “The invisible is the most terrible weapon”
The plot of the film In Darkness tells the story of a blind girl who accidentally gets involved in a dangerous criminal and political game. At some point, a real whirlwind of events swirls around her, but she, despite the fear and darkness surrounding her, continues to move towards her goal.
Plot of the film In Darkness
Brief description of the contents of the picture. The plot centers on the fate of a talented pianist named Sofia. Due to a rare genetic disease, she lost her sight at the age of 5. But she does not lose heart: the sounds around her help her navigate life.
The girl is from Yugoslavia. She survived the war with NATO, but all her loved ones died. Sofia tries to bury the memories of the war, but she unexpectedly and cruelly reminds herself of herself.
One day, a girl becomes an involuntary witness to the death of her neighbor Veronica, with whom she had a friendly relationship. The police assume suicide, but Sofia is sure that her father, a famous businessman, is to blame for Veronica’s death. It soon turns out that the name of the entrepreneur is Zoran Radić. This is a man with a difficult and dark past – he participated in the Bosnian War and is accused of war crimes. Trying to cover his tracks, he begins a hunt for Sofia – after all, she was in close contact with Veronica, which means she may know something she shouldn’t know.
The girl is saved by one of Radic’s employees, Mark. It turns out that he had an affair with Veronica, and the girl was even pregnant from him. Mark sadly says that Veronica had an unstable psyche and, most likely, she took her own life. Mark and Sofia become closer and gradually their friendship develops into a romantic relationship.
Despite the fact that Sofia’s new friend promises protection, she understands that Radic will not leave her alone. Knowing that there is no point in hiding from him (he will find him anyway), she decides to act.
It soon becomes clear that the main character is not as simple as it seems at first glance. It turns out that in the past, Radic was a friend of her family, but he betrayed them and led a massacre on ethnic grounds, as a result of which the girl’s mother, her sighted twin sister Belma and her father died. Miraculously, Sofia survived and was adopted by another old friend of her father, Niall. Together with him, she eventually developed a real special operation, the purpose of which was revenge on Radić.
Now (not least thanks to Veronica, who had her own scores to settle with her father) she has important information about his criminal operations. The main character stores them on a USB drive.
Soon Sofia learns that Mark’s sister, Alex, really needs the information compromising Radic. She is an employee of Radić’s security service and she also has complaints against him. Having met Alex, Sofia offers her a copy of the disk in exchange for the opportunity to meet Radić in person. The woman agrees, and the main character eventually meets her enemy at Veronica’s funeral.
The old man behaves extremely friendly and invites the girl to visit his house. Sofia soon becomes bored with his chatter and attacks him. Radic stops pretending and gives his interpretation of the tragedy that occurred during the war.
It turns out that in his youth he was in love with Sofia’s blind mother – at least so it seemed to him. She refused him and married a Muslim. Radic took revenge – during the massacre he raped his beloved, then gave her to the soldiers who came with him, and then killed her. The old man hints that perhaps Sophia is his daughter. This is unbearable for her: she literally loses her grip and misses the enemy. But she is not going to give up.
Soon the heroine comes to the police and meets with the detective who is leading Veronica’s case. It turns out that he had been following the girl all this time and found out that she was not who she said she was. In particular, it turns out that her name is not Sofia, but Belma. Sofia was the name of Nyla’s daughter, who died in infancy. After the tragic events, he adopted little Belma and, preparing her for revenge, gave her an alias.
The blind man was actually Sophia Belma’s twin sister. To get as close to Radić as possible, the main character stole the identity of her dead sister and all this time only pretended to be blind…
In Darkness Ending explained
Explanation of the ending of the picture. In the finale, the detective assumes that the heroine wants to kill Radic. The girl assures that she does not look like a murderer – she just wants the scoundrel to answer for all his crimes.
Meanwhile, the ground under Radic’s feet begins to burn and he sneaks into Sofia-Belma’s apartment to kill her. Mark protects her again and after a short struggle the criminal dies. After this, the main character leaves the apartment. Soon a detective arrives at the scene and sees signs of a struggle and dead bodies…
The meaning of the ending of In Darkness seems unclear. In particular, it is not entirely clear why the heroine ran away from her apartment, because from the point of view of the law, it is impossible to find fault with her actions: a well-known criminal entered her house with the intention of killing her, for which he eventually paid.
But not everything is so simple: “Sofia” stole someone else’s identity and lived on fake documents. This is as illegal as entering the country illegally. Against the backdrop of all this, “Sofia” didn’t really want to be drawn into a murder scandal.
She understood that she would at least be detained until all the circumstances were clarified, and as the investigation progressed, a whole tangle of violations would come to light. Another “prospect” for her detention could be a loud international scandal, and for obvious reasons she didn’t want that either.
Therefore, in the finale she leaves – and with her head held high: it’s done, she’s taken revenge. And in the future it will probably not disappear.
The meaning of the film In Darkness
According to many viewers who analyzed the film In Darkness (which was released in 2018), its distinctive feature is the presence of the most contrasting transitions in a fairly simple plot. Initially, the story tells about a blind pianist – about a person endowed with the ability to feel to a greater extent than “ordinary” people. However, soon events develop so rapidly that one can only be surprised.
By the way, In Darkness is another example of an unsuccessful translation of the original title. The film is actually called “In Darkness” and this has a special meaning: Sofia is connected with the world around her by the sounds that create the atmosphere and make her feel like it.
And the atmosphere here is very alarming and gloomy. Thanks to numerous details, while watching, associations with World War II and Nazi Germany involuntarily arise, and fear slowly creeps into the soul.
And for good reason. Yes, fascism was defeated, but disgusting ideas, unfortunately, sprouted too deeply inside humanity. It’s like a dangerous virus that reminds itself from time to time. “The womb that bore the reptile is still capable of bearing fruit,” Bertolt Brecht once said in his play “The Career of Arturo Ui.” This pamphlet play was born in the 40s of the twentieth century – the playwright seemed to feel that everything would not end with the destruction of the virus itself.
And so it happened. In this film, the Serbian war criminal Zoran Radic became the carrier of the virus. Behind him is another war, the Bosnian one. Not nearly as large-scale as the Second World War, but still (like any military conflicts) – monstrous.
Thanks to his presence (both in the frame and behind it), the film gradually becomes darker, and the heavy oppressive atmosphere puts more pressure on the psyche. Sofia eventually realizes that she has to do something – and now. Because otherwise it is impossible to break the vicious circle of pain, fear and regret.
Viewers trying to figure out what the film is all about will point out that Anthony Byrne was probably trying to pay homage to iconic old-school thrillers. One feels that he is in every way equal to the “master of suspense” Alfred Hitchcock – this is evidenced by both the camera work and the director’s approach to the sound content of the film.
The plot does not imply a search for hidden meaning, but it is similar to the card game whist – it requires you to really rack your brains over the solution, and also refers us to “Hitchcockiana”. Indeed, in the master’s paintings, at the epicenter of events there is often a person who, by chance, has fallen into some kind of conspiracy. Almost the same thing happens with Sofia. “Almost” – because, as it turned out, she was ready for something like this and, probably, subconsciously was waiting for just such a denouement.
The critics didn’t like the picture, the audience also greeted it rather coolly and it’s clear why. The essence of the film, it seems, is that there are no limits to human imagination in carrying out revenge, but the director simply “got carried away.” In his little story, he tried to fit crime, spy games and a story about genocide. It would have been nice if all these lines had been developed properly, but Anthony Byrne simply lacked the timing.
However, the picture cannot be called bad. It’s really interesting, and the events of the Bosnian War are not covered in films very often. Of course, you can feel the “narrative” flavor in all this, but the message of the film is correct: any genocide is evil.
Here are several films similar to the film In Darkness in meaning and plot:
- You Were Never Really Here (UK, France, USA, 2017). At the center of the plot is Joe, a stern defender of the weak and offended. One day, fate brings him into contact with the senator’s young daughter, Nina.
- The Shadow (USA, 2017). Gabriel Howarth has terrible, haunting dreams. To get rid of them, he turns to Dr. Reese for help.
- Penthouse North (USA, 2012). A blind girl lives alone in a New York penthouse. One day, a dangerous criminal breaks into her apartment.
- Wait Until Dark (USA, 1967). A rag doll with a large quantity of heroin inside ends up in the house of the blind main character. And soon criminals appear there.