Marionette Ending Explained & Plot Analysis

Parallel realities, Schrödinger’s cat and other mysteries of the thriller Marionette (2020): plot summary, meaning of the film, explanation of the ending

Country: Netherlands, Luxembourg, UK

Genre: thriller, detective

Year of production: 2020

Director: Elbert van Strien

Actors: Tekla Ruten, Elijah Wolf, Iman Elliott

Slogan: “Who plays with your destiny?”

Director Elbert van Strien has created a dark psychological and intellectual thriller with an enveloping mystical atmosphere. The plot of the film Marionette is based on the principle of Schrödinger’s cat and asks serious questions for which there are no easy answers.

What is the movie about

Brief description of the contents of the picture. The plot of the film begins with the fact that child psychiatrist Marian Winter comes from the USA to Scotland. In the recent past, her husband died in a traffic accident and she sincerely hopes that she will be able to “let go” of the tragedy and start a new life here. She goes to work at the clinic in place of Dr. McVittie, who not long ago tried to commit self-immolation on the roof of this building.

Tekla RutenTekla Ruten played the role of Dr. Marianne Winter. Still from the film.

Soon, Dr. Winter’s clients come to her – a woman named Tina and her son Manny. The boy immediately begins to draw and does not pay attention to Marian until she tells him that he will be in charge of the sessions. Apparently he really likes this idea.

The boy soon says that he is able to cause various events. For example, her arrival is his doing. He also casually says that there is a gun in her desk drawer. That’s how it turns out.

Soon Marian meets a girl and a guy in a bar – Margie and Kieran. The girl also works in a clinic, and the guy runs a small store and attends a local literary club. On the way home, the doctor witnesses a fatal accident and tries to help, but the car explodes. The next day, on her desk, she finds a drawing of Manny with an eerie meaning – the boy depicted an accident. When the time comes for a new session with Manny, he confirms that he caused the accident.

At the consultation, Dr. Winter learns that the strange child is silent even at home and speaks only to her, and the solution to this is not yet clear. Marian asks where the work of Dr. McVittie, who worked with Manny before her, disappeared and the head physician, Dr. Mandelbaum, promises to look for it.

The next day, the woman signs up for the literary club, which includes Margie’s friend, Kieran. Club members discuss Schrödinger’s cat, placed in a steel safe: until it is opened, the cat is considered both alive and dead.

When class ends, Kieran is waiting outside for Marian. He lives next door and she happily gives him a ride. The next day they meet again and Kieran offers the woman a ride on his brother’s yacht. In the evening she tells him about the accident in which her husband died. Kieran calms her down and she eventually trusts him.

Elijah WolfElijah Wolfe stars as Munny. Still from the film.

At the clinic, she investigates Manny’s case and finds out that he is an adopted child, and his natural father and mother died. Nothing more is known about him. Marian asks Dr. Mandelbaum again about McVitty’s notes. He says the recordings were probably made by a colleague amid increasing paranoia. Dr. Winter is sure that the head physician is not telling her something – it seems to her that there is some sinister hidden meaning behind all this. A little later, Margie sends the main character the secret information she obtained about her patient. It turns out that Manny’s father died in a car accident, and his mother committed suicide by poisoning herself with exhaust fumes.

At the next session, Manny draws a new tragedy – a surface of water and a drowning man. According to the boy, there is no need to save him. Then Marian goes to the library and there she finds out that Dr. McVittie, while studying with Manny, studied physics, various predictions and the biblical origin of evil. In one of the books she manages to find a doctor’s note – it says that Manny’s full name is Emmanuel. In his opinion, this is important, this has a special meaning, because in translation from Hebrew the boy’s name means “God is with us.”

Soon Marian visits Manny at home. A boy sits in his room and draws. When he sees the doctor, he hides the picture – she doesn’t need to see it, because the future is drawn there. He asks if she found the gun, and the shocked doctor clarifies where he got the weapon from and why he put it there. Manny says the gun was already there – she made it real when she opened the box. Then Marian asks the child about the picture of a man drowning. He does not answer and the woman, angry, takes the drawing from him. It shows a pig shooting itself in the head with a pistol.

Marian was supposed to meet Kieran this evening, but he doesn’t show up or answer his calls. The Doctor returns home, has a drink and tries to relax. However, she does not succeed, because she again and again replays in her memory the terrible accident in which her husband died. Suddenly Marian remembers that on the way they met a boy and now she clearly understands that it was her patient.

Iman ElliottIman Elliott as Kieran. Still from the film.

She turns on the TV and learns about a flood that has killed several thousand people. Having gotten rid of all doubts, Dr. Winter finds a prediction of this tragedy among Manny’s drawings.

Marian goes to look for Kieran and arrives at the literary club. He is not there either… Unexpectedly for herself, Marian finds herself drawn into a discussion with a religious man. She is sure that if God creates such tragic events as the current flood, then they are all very unlucky, because in this case they are just puppets in the hands of a sadist.

Then Marian goes to the psychiatric hospital where Dr. McVittie is kept. He asks her about the gun in the table and many other things, and then tells her that the boy controls everything that happens. There are two ways to stop the nightmare – kill either it or yourself. The doctor leaves, she runs after him, but he takes his own life.

Dr. Winter writes a message to Kieran and asks him not to go to sea. Having discovered the yacht they were riding on, she unties it… A little later, the yacht crashes and it turns out that the man was there. Later, in the car, Marian listens to a recording of a conversation between McVitty and Manny – the boy assures that it was he who created this world and can destroy it whenever he pleases. Because he is God.

Marian, furious, breaks into Tina’s house and kidnaps the boy. Pointing the gun at him, she asks why he is doing all this. He calmly gives his interpretation of everything that happens: “it” is not he who does it, but she. After all, it was she who saw enough of his drawings, took the gun out of the drawer and stole it. After this, Marian shoots first at him and then at herself.

Manni drawingStill from the film.

In a very serious condition, she is taken to the hospital, and she asks God to return her husband to her, and in return promises that she will continue to believe in him. Suddenly her alive and healthy husband enters the room…

The couple’s life goes on, but soon Marian talks about a dream she saw while she was in the hospital. He was so real that she clearly remembers all the names, events and even phone numbers.

In her opinion, that dream could very well be another reality that the boy-God created. But it could also be the other way around – the dream was a reality, and Manny created this reality. She soon realizes that the Scottish events were not a dream and flies there. She goes to the clinic where she worked, but no one knows her there…

Ending explained

Explanation of the ending of the picture. Towards the end, Marian suddenly turns from a doctor into a clinic patient and tells the specialist what happened.

It turns out that after Manny lost his parents, he withdrew into himself and began to think about how God allowed this to happen. He also thought about his role: could he himself somehow influence what happened? After that, he found a way to get out of a stressful situation – he created his own world in which everything was under his control. In fact, Marian and the others do not exist – that is, they live only in his imagination…

Playing the role of an inner voice, Marian advises the boy to try to live in the real world – surely not only pain and horror awaits him there, but also a lot of good things. After this, the boy goes to his adoptive mother’s room and hugs her for the first time. Thus he frees Marian.

It seems that the meaning of the ending of the film “Puppet” is that the boy from the very beginning came up with a kind of “inner psychologist” (that is, he turned to the inner “I”). It was he who ultimately helped him understand everything and accept reality as it is.

The meaning of the film

In their analysis of the film, many viewers note that it skillfully plays with various theories and paradoxes of psychology, quantum physics, philosophy and religion, as well as with the theory of the origin of evil. One of the main questions studied by the director is: do we manage our lives ourselves, or is someone pulling the strings?.. He does not give an answer to it.

To understand what is happening to Marian, the theory voiced in the film about Schrödinger’s cat, which is constantly pitting people against each other who are sure that fate exists and those who believe that everything in our lives depends on ourselves, can help.

Dr. Winter belongs to the second camp – that is, she does not believe in God or in fate. Everything changes when she meets Dr. McVittie. After his suicide, the heroine understands that the boy does not foresee the future, but creates it – that is, he acts like God. The right of choice, which she seems to have, is negated by his skillful manipulations.

The woman is trying to regain control of her life and demands that Manny return her to the United States, to her husband. After the shot, a “restart” of her life and destiny occurs. However, the desire to get to the bottom of the truth does not let Marian go and she returns to Scotland. There she soon finds out that she is a character (puppet) who lives only in the boy’s head…

psychotherapy sessionStill from the film.

If we move somewhat away from complex metaphysics, we can assume that the essence of the film lies in something slightly different. The fact is that, imagining oneself as God, one can get carried away and unwittingly turn into his antipode – this is possible if one is not imbued with sympathy for the fate of one’s creatures. The ultimate development of empathy was the meaning of the entire existential “art therapy” session.

However, there is another, simpler interpretation of the events of the film. So, after the death of his parents, Manny created his own reality, in which the main character was Marian, a doctor who could help him cope with the loss. After the death of her husband, the woman created her own reality, in which Manny is the main one. So (thinking that everything was predetermined by someone in advance), it was easier for her to come to terms with the death of a dear person.

Shortly before the tragic events, Manny and Marian saw each other in real life. This happened before the heroine and her husband got into an accident and, probably, shortly before the boy’s father died. That’s why they chose each other for their fantasies. They were freed only by coming to terms with what had already happened – he in his reality, and she in hers.

tunnel of consciousnessStill from the film.

Similar films

Several films similar to the film “Puppet” in plot and meaning:

  • “Shelter” (Spain, 2007). Laura grew up in an orphanage. Having grown up, she decided to restore the dilapidated building and organize a boarding school there. But something went wrong…
  • “Stay” (USA, 2005). The young man is obsessed with the idea of ​​suicide. An experienced psychotherapist is trying to help him, but everything is very difficult with the young man.
  • “Voice from the Stone” (USA, Italy, 2017). The main character is trying to help a boy who is having a hard time with the death of his mother.
  • “Psychic” (UK, 2011). Florence Cathcart investigates all sorts of hoaxes. One day she arrives at a boarding school that is believed to be haunted.
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