Inside Ending Explained & Plot Analysis

“Inside” the golden cage: analysis of the film and ending Inside (2023): plot summary of the film, explanation of the ending, meaning, similar films.

Country: Greece, Germany, Belgium

Genre: thriller, drama

Year of production: 2022

Director: Vasilis Katsupis

Actors: Willem Dafoe, Gene Bervoets, Elisa Stuyck

Slogan: “This is not Willem Dafoe” (This is not Willem Dafoe)

The plot of the film “Inside” tells the story of the burglar Nemo. By the will of fate, he literally finds himself in a golden cage from which it is impossible to escape.

What is the movie about

Brief description of the contents of the picture. A burglar named Nemo breaks into a luxury penthouse to steal several pieces of art and luxury. Periodically talking on the radio with an accomplice, he is looking for a portrait of Egon Schiele, a famous impressionist artist. He doesn’t find the painting and decides to leave. But it’s not so simple: a malfunction occurs in the system, and the alarm turns on, cutting off all escape routes for the thief. His accomplice leaves him in trouble and Nemo is left alone with the smart home.

Willem Dafoe of Inside
Willem Dafoe stars as Nemo. Still from the film Inside (2023)

A little later, he manages to turn off the alarm, but he can’t get out. The owner of the apartment went on a business trip to Kazakhstan for a month, so there are almost no signs of life in the house. There is very little food in the refrigerator, the fresh water taps are turned off.

Soon the burglar notices a skylight on the ceiling, which, in theory, can be opened or broken. From scrap furniture he makes something like a miniature Tower of Babel. However, having climbed to the very top, Nemo realizes that he cannot reach the window.

Thinking up a new plan, he entertains himself by drawing in a sketchbook and observing a maid named Jasmine through a hidden camera. He literally tries to reach out to her so that she will let him out, but she puts her headphones away and does not hear the knocks and screams.

This is how it goes day after day. Suffering from boredom and loneliness, a burglar one day discovers a pigeon trapped on the roof. Seeing a kindred spirit in the bird, the man talks to it – this somehow saves him from the rolling spiritual devastation.

For fun, he “corrects” found paintings, turning them from masterpieces into caricatures. A little later he manages to break into a wardrobe with clothes. Behind the wall he discovers a secret partition, illuminated with green light – there is a self-portrait of Schiele hidden by the owner. But that’s not all – the most terrible discovery of the burglar is a rubber doll that imitates the dead body of the owner of the house. On the doll’s chest is a book with religious content – it talks about the marriage of heaven and hell. The author of the work is the English poet William Blake.

luxury mansion of the film Inside
Still from the film Inside

Having taken both rarities, Nemo returns to the apartment and sees through the window that the unfortunate pigeon has died. The death of a feathered comrade in misfortune makes a depressing impression on a man. Seeing Jasmine in the surveillance camera, he again frantically tries to attract her attention, but the front door is so thick that the girl cannot hear him.

Nemo goes to bed and in a dream sees the owner of the penthouse. The old man greets him as a good friend. They talk about Sheela’s drawing, but Nemo is soon distracted when he sees Jasmine, who has long attracted him, among the guests. And then the stairs catch his attention, he starts to climb and eventually wakes up.

There are no more food supplies in the refrigerator, and a hungry Nemo catches one of the fish in the aquarium. He again tries to get out of the penthouse through the window, but he fails. Feeling like he is going crazy from loneliness and hopelessness, he draws on the walls with charcoal and tells himself jokes.

His body weakens along with his psyche: having once again climbed the improvised “Tower of Babel” to the window, Nemo suddenly loses his balance and falls. When he wakes up, he discovers that he has broken his leg. He begins to hallucinate: first he sees Jasmine next to him, and then the owner of the apartment, who hits his head on the sink.

The desire to survive and get out of the penthouse does not leave him. He makes a tire that allows him to get around, and then tries to start a fire and flood to attract the attention of rescuers. Both attempts turn out to be failures – the house, whatever one may say, is “smart” and safety comes first here.

Inside Ending explained

Explanation of the ending of the picture. More and more losing touch with reality, Nemo nevertheless writes a message on the wall for the owner of the apartment. He apologizes for breaking in and for what he did here. Then, with the last of his strength, he rises to the saving window, from which a soft and completely unearthly light pours in… The ending of the film is open: the director invites the viewer to independently find the answer to the question of whether Nemo got out of the apartment or not.

To understand the meaning of the ending of the film “Inside”, you need to consider that it is completely imbued with religious symbolism. The staircase that the hero sees in his dream is an allusion to the “tower” he created. Rising upstairs (in a dream and in reality), he seems to be cleansed – thoughts of enrichment leave him, he looks more carefully at the surrounding reality and reads a book found in the “green room”. It was probably Blake’s work that contributed in part to his madness. Nemo looked too deeply into himself, but could not return.

Of course, he was freed – symbolically, of course. Most likely, he died, like the dove on the other side of the window. In the last moments before his death, it seemed to him that he had escaped from his cage. And perhaps he felt free and therefore happy: he was freed from the “prison” on the physical and spiritual level and saw his “paradise on the hillside.”

burglar at the window of the film Inside
Still from the film Inside

The meaning of the film Inside

The film “Inside” is billed as a psychological thriller, although in fact it is a typical arthouse from the “not for everyone” category. Thanks to the ideas present in the picture, it is perceived as a psychophysical landscape of the 21st century – an era of blurred boundaries between art and violence, creation and destruction.

This is a very meditative, intimate, cramped and slow movie with a hidden meaning, a story not so much about attempts to escape from a “cage”, but about loneliness.

The main character is in a tightly sealed penthouse. The time spent here helps Nemo rethink the true value of art. Does a dying person need expensive paintings? Can a work of art support the spiritually starving? Nemo is trying to find the answer to these and many other philosophical questions, who has to fight the creeping existential fear that entails the collapse of his psyche and everything that he values.

He wages a true war of attrition against an ornate apartment that holds him captive. The apartment wins, and gradually madness overtakes him. He destroys the masterpieces he once loved and creates his own mixed media installation that tells the story of his desperate attempts to escape.

The plot centers on a burglar stuck in a smart apartment. However, not everything with him is as simple as it seems at first glance. Some viewers who analyzed the picture believe that Nemo is an allusion to the “anti-prophet” Jonah, who was stuck in the belly of a whale. However, biblical “ears” stick out everywhere here and you can dig in this direction for a very long time – take, for example, the same “Tower of Babel” that the hero built from scrap materials.

art in the mansion of the film Inside (2023)
Still from the film Inside (2023)

The image of the owner of the apartment is no less important. He alternates between looking at Nemo from the wall and then suddenly appearing as a creepy doll. It’s hard not to see a reference here to the one who is behind all our problems – what we call him depends on ourselves…

The penthouse itself is also interesting. According to one interpretation, this is a personal purgatory for Nemo. Personal because purgatory in Catholicism is a special dimension located between hell and heaven, and it appears to each person differently (by the way, the book Nemo found in the “green room” hints at this). The hero loves works with meaning and art in principle. Therefore, his purgatory is a luxury apartment, completely filled with melancholic and meaningful works. In the end, it was the paintings that served as the final catalyst for Nemo’s descent into madness.

“Inside” is a conceptual picture with an open ending. It’s really worth watching. What is the point of the film? This is probably an allegory. Taking into account what happened to the hero throughout the film, we can assume that he personifies art, and his life (like the life of any person in principle) is the most valuable work.

makeshift tower of the film Inside
Still from the film Inside

Similar films

Here are several films that are somewhat similar in meaning to the film “Inside”:

  • “Pet” (Spain, USA, 2016). Seth works at an animal shelter. One day he meets his school sweetheart and starts stalking her, and then kidnaps her.
  • “Infinity” (Australia, 2015). The film tells the story of Whit Carmichael, the only survivor of a biological disaster.
  • “13 Cameras” (USA, 2015). Newlyweds Claire and Ryan are moving into a new home. The homeowner begins to follow them.
  • “Acceleration” (South Africa, USA, 2015). Alex is an experienced thief. One day she is persuaded to commit the latest robbery and… something goes wrong.
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