Mr. Nobody Review: What Does the Ending of Mean?

Mr. Nobody: the meaning of the film, explanation of the plot & ending. In 2009, the Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael presented the world with a surrealistic picture Mr. Nobody, the meaning of which is the problem of choice. The film did not leave anyone indifferent. Someone categorically did not accept a certain confusion and randomness of the story, not seeing the meaning of the film Mr. Nobody behind this. And someone considers the picture the best in the history of the existence of cinema, wondering why eminent film festivals bypassed it with awards.

Mr. Nobody: meaning and plot

The story revolves around the 118-year-old old man Nemo Nobody, who woke up after suspended animation in 2092. The world before his eyes is not like the one he remembered. Humanity has conquered death and disease. People have learned to artificially regenerate body cells, thus saving themselves not only from old age, but also from the need to worry about procreation. Ideal immortal healthy bodies that do not know the experiences of love and the joys of sex. Are they ideal?

Interesting! The director in one of his interviews says: “The fact that the main character was the last of the mortals is very important. The idea of ​​contrast between those for whom feelings are a kind of atavism, and an old man who only does what he says about love.

Birth and death

The whole film is an interweaving of various options for the development of events from the life of one person, depending on the choice he once made.

There is a beautiful legend that a child knows thoroughly all his future life before his birth. But then the Angel of Oblivion touches the baby’s lips and, leaving a mark above the upper one, deprives him of this knowledge. And from now on, all life every second depends on the choice made:

  • which path to take.
  • which person to choose next to you.
  • whether to be born into this world at all.

There is an opinion that one of the reasons why people are not afraid of death is that everyone dies. After all, no one can end their life journey somehow differently. But in the world of immortals, a dying old man, one of a kind. His last days, during which he analyzes and remembers everything that happened to him (did it happen?), Turn into a reality show.

Butterfly Effect

Nemo’s life story is not linear at all. It appears in the form of a tree with many branches – the roads along which the hero moves, depending on the fateful decisions he made at some point. It is the choice that determines the meaning of Mr. Nobody. Choice, choice. As well as the consequences that it carries, the influence of insignificant little things that force you to choose one or the other. A kind of “butterfly effect”.

On a note! The butterfly effect is the dependence of macroconsequences on microchanges that precede them. For example, the flapping of the wings of a South American butterfly can lead to a North American tornado.

One of the central “forks” in the life of the protagonist was the choice he made at the station with the symbolic name Chance.

With whom to stay after the divorce of parents:

  • with a cheating mother. In the future, she will meet with another man. Nemo will have a half-sister Anna, who will become his true love, carried through the centuries.
  • with a failed father who will soon become seriously ill. And Nemo, forced to take care of him, will fence himself off from the world behind unwashed hair and a difficult character.

Mr. Nobody: the meaning is in the little things

But even in this seemingly absolutely conscious choice, there are many external reasons that affect it. A broken shoelace makes it impossible for the boy to catch up with his departing mother, leaving him with his father.

In the film, in general, there are many minor events that predetermine the further path of the hero. A dismissed worker in another country, having no other food, boils his own egg. The steam lifted into the atmosphere from this process affects the rainfall in America. The rain washed off the paper Anna’s phone number, which she leaves Nemo at one of their many meetings in different realities.

Thus, the director adds a certain amount of randomness in an attempt to make a balanced and deliberate choice. As they say: “Man proposes, but God disposes.” God, higher power, South American butterfly, low quality shoelace or boiled egg.


In addition, any decision entails consequences not only for the decisive one, but also for the people around him. Nemo, at some point in one of the realities, decides on a relationship.

  • In one case, it’s the girl who dances with him at the bar – Jin.
  • In the other, Eliza, who in one of the branches answers his feelings.

But neither one nor the other brings happiness in any of the lives. Even having escaped the death of Eliza and built a family with three children with her, Nemo feels that his life is wrong and ridiculous. By inertia, he tries to maintain a relationship for some time, but Eliza, not feeling love, leaves him.

On a note! The director at some point simply leaves the stage, giving the viewer the opportunity to look for answers to questions on their own. He does not hide the fact that having many questions, he himself cannot find answers to them.

How does Mr. Nobody end?

The ending of the film returns the viewer to Chance Station. Perhaps everything that happened was only in the imagination of a little boy who made such difficult, and so important decisions for himself. Having studied all the possible consequences, Nemo realizes that he will not be happy in any of the possible scenarios. And so he .. just runs away from his mother, from his father. He runs away without making a choice, but thereby opening another branch, unknown to the village.

It is this life that brings Nemo eventually to Anna. She comes to the lighthouse and romantically immerses herself in his arms. Mr. Nobody, whose meaning of life is revealed at this moment, is happy. The central thread that binds together and gives integrity to existence, even in moments when everything collapses and falls apart, is love. The last word spoken by the dying Nemo is Anna.

Life is not a computer game in which you can save at some point and start from a well-known checkpoint if you make any mistake. Throw away the draft and try to solve the problem again. But that’s the beauty of it, no? After all, in the darkest times there comes a moment when the light is lit. And the darker it was before him, the brighter he is.

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